Ehime teens win national tourism contest ideas for foreigners

SHIKOKUCHUO, Feb. 27 ― Japanese high school students in the Shikoku region has won a national award for their idea to draw foreign tourists to their local attraction: Bonsai.

Four students from Doi High School in Ehime prefecture identified the local Akaishi pine is something special to offer and proposed a trip to the Shikokuchuo city to make it a travel destination for foreign tourists.

Now, local bonsai co-operatives and a travel company have tied up to realize the students’ idea. They organize a seven-day, six-night trip to the city, which charges 19,800 yen per person. The first trip will be offered to eight foreigners who live in Japan and understand both Japanese and English.

Bonsai, meaning “tree in pot” in Japanese, is the art of crafting a miniaturized version of trees found in nature. Some people search for inner peace by pruning Bonsai trees.

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