Scenic Byway Hokkaido
1 Scenic Byway Hokkaido 1

Background of Scenic Byway HOKKAIDO Program

Recently, the number of tourists going on a tour around Hokkaido has been increasing in Japan as well as in neighboring Asian countries. Many of them tend to use their own car or rental-car as a means of transportation, and their needs are growing. Scenery, hot springs, recuperation, and driving itself rank higher than before as objectives of travel in Hokkaido. The way of enjoying tourism has been changing from the hurried trip--rushing to see the famous sights--to the leisurely trip where one enjoys the route itself seeking contact with the region and its scenery along the roads. From now on, it is expected that promoting individual experiences and improving the attractions of each region will increasingly be the focus of tourist resources. Scenery, local tastes, particular experiences and encounters with local people which are unique for each visitor at one point in time are growing in importance. To meet those needs, Scenic Byway HOKKAIDO started in earnest in 2005 .


Purpose of Scenic Byway HOKKAIDO

Scenic Byway is a program aiming to offer an attractive and distinctive HOKKAIDO. It intends to make a lasting impression on tourists, not only from Japan but also from all over the world. It makes full use of local resources such as the landscape, nature, history, culture and recreation areas unique to Hokkaido. Based on the idea of communities, the Scenic Byway HOKKAIDO program relies on various slogans: "enhancing the beautiful landscape," "creating a vibrant local community," and "attractive tourist resources." The ideas inherent in these slogans are to be implemented through conservation and improvement of local resources in cooperation with local communities and the administration.
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Process of Designating Scenic Byway Routes

The "Route Management Representative Conference"(*1) is organized by local residents. It compiles "route management activity plans" and proposes routes. It does this by choosing either scenic byway routes or candidate routes. The routes are proposed by the "Scenic Byway HOKKAIDO Promotion Council"(*2), with consideration given to the views of the Reviewing Committee. The "Route Management Representative Conference" and the "Route Management Administrative Liaison Conference"(*3) work together and conduct activities that contribute to conserving and improving the landscape and local resources for scenic byway routes.

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(*1)Route Management Representative Conference
Decision-making organization for route management, comprised of local citizens' groups

(*2)Scenic Byway HOKKAIDO Promotion Council
Organization designated to promote prefectural-level scenic byway activities, consisting of private organizations and government institutions (chaired by the Chairman of the Hokkaido Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry)

(*3)Route Management Administrative Liaison Conference
Liaison organization for route management consisting of Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau's Development and Construction Departments, Hokkaido sub-prefectural governments and municipal governments.


Activities after Designation as a Scenic Byway Route

Designation of a Scenic Byway route is based on the common theme of routes and communities and "route management activity plans." These plans contain the contents of activities which an active organization in the region of the designated route will implement. This organization will do so in cooperation with the "Route Management Administrative Liaison Conference," which will be set up by a local autonomous body and related administrative organizations. In addition, progress under their plan, objectives of the activities and the implementation structure will all be checked every year using a check sheet. Moreover, an action report and plan will be submitted to the Scenic Byway HOKKAIDO Promotion Council. These contents will be examined by the "Route Reviewing Committee" and some advice will be given through the "Scenic Byway HOKKAIDO Promotion Council." This information will be open to the public. The level of activities is intended to improve through the sharing of information among other routes.

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