Contents Tourism as a Component of Regional Development through Tourism in Kawagoe City, Japan




Kawagoe city in Saitama prefecture is often considered a success story of town (re)vitalisation through tourism and kankō machizukuri (tourism-based city development). The preservation of its picturesque Edo-period-style main shopping street began in the 1960s, and its development as a Koedo (‘little Edo’) tourist site began in the Heisei period (1989-2019). This article discusses the development of Kawagoe as a tourist town from the perspective of its heritage, contents, and food tourism resources. While contents tourism has played crucial roles at various points in Kawagoe’s tourism development, ultimately it is only part of a much broader touristification process. The city has been a microcosm of both broader national strategy and also some of the challenges affecting the industry in recent decades, from the large increase in numbers of foreign visitors to the damaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the potential downsides of touristification are also discussed, particularly the intractable problem of traffic congestion caused by overtourism.



Author Biography

Toyozawa Chikako graduated from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in 2023. She studied tourism under Professor Philip Seaton.