Feb 16, 2009
From Friday, February 6, 2009, through Sunday 8, the 3 day "Hita Oukan Nakatsu Street Revival Walk" along the old Edo Period style street "Hita Oukan" was held. The walk was hosted by the APU Tourism & Hospitality Institute(THP*) and the Nakatsu Shimoge Chamber of Commerce and Industry(sponsored by Nakatsu City and APU).
The APS Associate Professor TODOROKI Hiroshi Research Office has been working with the Nakatsu Shimoge Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the areas of research exchange and tourism development since AY2007. This walk initiative aims to restore the old Edo Period style street "Hita Oukan" and commemorate the "Hita Oukan Nakatsu Street Map" which was produced to be utilized as a tourism and educational resource.On their arrival in Nakatsu on Sunday, February 8, the participants were greeted at the finish line by Mr. and Mrs. SHINGAI Masakatsu, Mayor of Nakatsu City who also took part and held the finish line tape.
Approximately 200 people from within and outside Oita Prefecture participated over the 3 day revival walk. As they reminisced about the olden days the participants made their way along the 50km road with its famous tourist spots such as Hita Mameda, Aono Cavern and Nakatsu Castle and old the stone paved mountain roads.
Associate Professor TODOROKI spoke of the results of his research and the future of the university's affiliation with the region, "In the west, old roads are regarded as fine cultural assets however in Japan people's awareness of them differ from district to district. In Oita Prefecture old streets have either been actively restored and utilized or just left ignored. I hope that this event can be the momentum towards the restoration of roads in Oita Prefecture. We should be content with just forming friendship agreements –they must form the foundation for various events to be proposed by both the university and the region."
The "Hita Oukan" road links the Edo Period Tenryo district (Tokugawa Bafuku Territory) and Bunzen Nakatsu. The 10kms of road from Hita Mameda to Fushikitouge including the "Ishizaka Ishidatami" which is famous for its old stone paving, has been designated by the Cultural Affairs Agency as one of the "100 roads of Historical Importance". It is a historical fact that Natsume Souseki used to walk home along this road when came to Oita Prefecture and visited Usa Jingu Shrine.
*The Tourism & Hospitality Institute (THP) aims to provide a high level of education as it works to nurture the future world leaders and is one of the 5 specialist areas of the Crossover Advanced Program. Through a policy and strategy oriented style of education, it aims to be an outlet for human resources for the hospitality providing service industry.
The Nakatsu City Home-Page (introducing the Hita Oukan Nakatsu Street Revival Walk):