Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Interview With Major of Parikkala- Vesa Huuskonen

On Monday evening March 11, 2019, we meet with Vesa Huuskonen via Skype. It was an amazing experience and chance to reach out across the world. Vesa was kind and understanding of our questions. We sent him a list ahead of time so he would be able to prepare. We learned a lot about the relationship between Russia and Finland. The city of Saint Petersburg, Russia is less than 200 Kilometers from the town of Parikkala. This creates great opportunities for growth and increase in tourism. The area is rich in agriculture and art. 
The major businesses in the area are Timber (which is exported to Russia and Japan), Farming, and Crafts. The area is rich in nature and art. It is truly a perfect get away. They host over 40 different festivals a year, which draw a crowd from all around. There truly is something for everyone. During our conversation we noticed that they have such a rich culture but it is so hard to get it to reach the rest of the world. We are working on Marketing and helping them take the amazing products from the area world wide. 
As we continue to develop and create a plan moving forward we are so excited to see the picture coming together. 

Monday, February 25, 2019


    My name is Sho Sasaki, and I am a student at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, which is one of the most international universities in the United States with students gathered from over 70 countries. My major is Business Management with Human Resource track. The mission of Brigham Young University-Hawaii is “Enter to learn, go forth to serve”, I study at this wonderful university to prepare myself to become a global leader who can contribute to my home country after I graduate. I have been married to my wife for two years, and she is also a student of this university.


    I am from Aomori, Japan which is located at the top of Japan’s mainland. My family lives in a small city called Towada, and the current population of Towada is approximately 60,000. As you can see in the picture above, you can enjoy seeing the beautiful cherry blossoms in our city during spring season.
One of the major issues that my home town has is a decrease in population. There is no college in the city, so young generations who graduate high school have to leave for bigger cities that have colleges to get more educated. As a result, most of those who left for colleges in bigger cities have never come back to Towada because there are not much hiring needs and less possibilities to get jobs with high income in Towada. Therefore, it has been causing depopulation in Towada, and the population of elderly has been increasing gradually in the past few decades.
「十和田市 バラ焼き」の画像検索結果
    The city mayor has been trying to advertise the city and get more tourists recently. A couple of years ago, the Towada city mayor and his subordinates promoted a new special local dish called Barayaki (the picture above). Barayaki is cooked with local specialties as the ingredients which are beef and onions. On top of that, professional chefs in Towada invented special source that goes well with Barayaki. Actually, Towada city has started to sell the special source in other places in Japan, and it was a good method to get more awareness from people in other areas. As a result, Towda has held a Barayaki festival every year since 2008, and we had approximately 400,000 visitors in the last few years. Towada is now planning to advertise Barayaki to the world and get more international tourists.

    Here is another story of a village closed to my hometown and how they succeeded in activating their community. The village has been worried about declining population and the number of visitors to their village. They didn’t have any famous local specialty except a lot of rice fields. The mayor and his subordinates got an idea that those rice fields can be used as art. They choose a theme every year and plant different types of rice seeds based on the theme (see the picture above). In 2005, they were interviewed by a famous TV program in Japan, and their project was spread to all over Japan. As a result, approximately 340,000 tourists visit this unique rice field every year even though the population of the village is only 8,000.



My name is Cathy and I’m from Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea is an Island nation in the south pacific and it is the second largest island in the world. It is located north of Australia which is our neighboring country. Like Finland and Russia, we are also sharing a border with Indonesia. I am studying here in BYU Hawaii as a Business Major emphasis in Human Resource Management and minor in Information System. I am currently working as a Student Lead at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). My Island country consist of 22 provinces and 800 different languages. Our common language or national language is called pidgin and it’s a mixture of English, German and our own languages. I speak four different languages plus I can understand three others but can’t speak it well. I love Hawaii, it’s just like home but has a much cooler temperature than New Guinea. Because, New Guinea is situated next to the equator it is mostly hot during the months of March to October and cooler around November to February.  Papua New Guinea is known for it’s mountain ranges and up in the highlands areas it is always ice cold through out the year. All the highlands provinces experience icy cold weather all year around.A picture containing person, tree, man, indoor

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Main Tourist Attraction
One of the main tourist attractions that we have back home is the beautiful Bomana War Cemetery. These graves are for all those soldiers who died in the world war II or the Pacific War. Most tourist go there to pay respect to their fore fathers who have fought in the war and lost their lives. They also pay respect to the brave young soldiers who were brave enough to go to war. Having visited this cemetery, I can say that it is one of the beautiful cemeteries that was built. Most of the soldiers were very young under the age of 15 to 19. Mostly Australian soldiers who came to fight against the Japanese soldiers that wanted to take control of Port Moresby. The battle was fought around late July and early August 1942. The Australians won the battle when they landed at the top of the Kokoda mountain called Gallipoli. Image result for kokoda track
    The significance of this track is that, without it, Japan would have taken control of Port Moresby. The Kokoda track or trail is a famous tourist attraction today. This is the track that the Australian soldiers used to fight with the Japanese and carry their supplies up and down with the help of the Papua New Guineans who were called the “Fuzzy Wuzzy angels”. This name was given by Australian soldiers to Papua New Guineans who war carriers, who during WWII were hired to bring supplies to the front and carry injured Australian troops down the Kokoda track. This event is commemorated every year as the ANZAC DAY CELEBRATION. This day is celebrated in Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand to remember our fore fathers and how brave they were during the WWII. Image result for kokoda track
The walk along the Kokoda track can be done either way. From south to north the walk begins here at Owers' Corner and immediately descends into the valley of the Goldie River. Imita Ridge is visible in the distance. [Photo: Peter Williams]
This is Gallipoli were the Australian troops first landed to fight the Japanese.
After walking for hours using the Kokoda track, this is the top of it. When the Australians think of the second world war, they think of the name Kokoda. Each year, five thousand Australians take up the mentally and physically challenging task to walk the Kokoda track. They are forever change by the experience and can feel how the soldiers felt walking the trail during the war. The Australian interest in the trail is of benefit to the people who live there. The track passes through two provinces, the Central Province and the Oro Province. When the tourist first arrives, they found these people living a subsistence farmer life style. However, today they generate income through tourism. Fees are paid to them for the tourists to camp on their land and some are employed as tour guides. The Kokoda track has changed the livelihood of the people in those two provinces in economy wise and culture.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Revisitalize Hashimoto with Omlet
February 14th, 2019 (Last Edited) Koshin Kitagaki

Japan is an island country in East Asia where located in the Pacific Ocean.Japan is the world's foremost forest country covered by forests with 67% of the country's land area. My home city, Hashimoto of Wakayama Prefecture where is a city with full of the grace of water and greenery, surrounded by Mount Kongo, Kisen mountain range, Kii mountain range. This is a perfect place for a change and a small vacation. It is a mountain area where you can enjoy fresh air and beautiful nature, and it is accessible if you use Nankai Koya line and you will only take less than an hour and a half from an urban city, Osaka.

When I visited Hashimoto, I saw flags and advertising board saying “Hashimoto Omelets.” A population of Hashimoto is approximately 60,000 people, and they carry out various activities for revitalizing the town. Hashimoto Omelets seems that one of them. This blog is researching what Hashimoto Omelets is.

Where did the idea come from?

According to Toshiki Umemoto, head of the Hashimoto City Hall "Economic Promotion Division,” the Hashimoto mayor received a suggestion from citizens saying why don’t we create food bland. Hashimoto City has often been named for agricultural products such as persimmon, grape, spinach, Koino mushrooms, Hatagonb burdock. But when it became a specialty dish, there was not. The city paying attention to omelets that various cooking arrangements are possible, then "Wakayama Hashimoto Omelette Promotion Council" was established three years ago.

Why an egg dish?

Hashimoto City is also an important local product of eggs. The hen's adults are about 142,000. Production of eggs is estimated to be about 46 million per year, the number of which is about 60% of Wakayama prefecture. There are several large-scale poultry farms in places high on the slope on the southern slopes of Mt. Kongo, and they are raised in a state close to flat keeping in clean water, air, and a clean environment.

Cooperation with the region community

There are two points to approve by Wakayama Hashimoto Omelette Promotion Council.

  1. Use eggs from Hashimoto City
  2. Use other materials from Hashimoto City together

As long as keeping this condition, the cooking genre is free. Now nearly 30 restaurants are affiliated, and many people agreed with the project and invented a new menu as "Hashimoto Omelette". These promotion movements led to activate not only outward appeal but also among residents. The local people began to reassess the city as "Was there a" brand egg that could boast in our town?" A mail, which is a small action from residents , made Hashimoto activated.


Hashimoto Omelet Official Website:

Yoshimura, Tomoki. “オムレツでまさかの町おこし。なぜ和歌山「はしもとオムレツ」は成功できたか .” TRiP EDiTOR, 4 Apr. 2018,

Author Information

Koshin Kitagaki - He is a senior majoring Business Management at Brigham Young University - Hawaii. He borned in Osaka and raised in Wakayama. He was interested in English when he was a child and get into the school when he was 19. He loves eating, sleeping, and hiking.

Name: Manu Panuve

Nationality:  Tongan

Country: Tongatapu, Tonga

Major: BUSM – Human Resources and Supply Chains

Anahulu Cave – The Underground Swimming Pool

In my Island, there are so many historical places that their sights are just breath-taking. It is almost that each village has something historically special about them. One of those places is the Anahulu Cave or known as the Underground Swimming Pool. This cave is unique as it is the only freshwater that is there in all the many islands in Tonga. This cave is called the underground swimming pool as the entrance to it is more like going underground to reaches it.

Information of the Anahulu Cave.

This Cave is located on the eastern side of the capital island of Tonga at a village called Haveluliku. The cave is made up of a network of large limestone caverns. It is 400m long filled with six different pools/ponds. They are all freshwater that never loses its coolness with changes on seasons. The beach is only 50meters from the entrance of the cave. Visiting this historical place is almost like killing two birds with one stone. If you prefer sunbathing in the ocean, it is not a long walk from the cave. You can have two experiences with only one stop and that is bathing in the freshwater and sunbathing outside in the beach.

There is a $15 TOP fee per individual that you are charged when you visit the area. It is to help keep the surrounding of the cave clean and also to pay employees who are guarding the cave. Outside the cave, there are displays of women's’ talented handicraft made from natural resources of the island.