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Prefectural ranking: Ibaraki back at the bottom

thomas

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The Brand Research Institute has released the results of its 2021 online survey regarding the allure and appeal of Japan's 47 prefectures.

The Top five:
  1. Hokkaido
  2. Kyoto
  3. Okinawa
  4. Tokyo
  5. Osaka
The seven least attractive:
  • Tochigi
  • Yamaguchi
  • Tokushima
  • Gunma
  • Saitama
  • Saga
  • Ibaraki
Ibaraki Prefecture's success in promoting its beauty and charms was short-lived. The prefecture returned to its familiar bottom-basement ranking in a survey this year of "attractive prefectures." For seven consecutive years until 2019, Ibaraki had ranked last among the nation's 47 prefectures for allure and appeal in the online survey conducted by Brand Research Institute, a consulting agency for regional brands based in Tokyo's Minato Ward. But after its promotional campaign, Ibaraki moved up to 42nd last year, relinquishing the "least attractive" title to neighboring Tochigi Prefecture in the northern Kanto region. The latest rankings, which were released on Oct. 9, put Ibaraki back in the bottom again. Tochigi climbed the chart to reach 41st.

Hokkaido kept its "most attractive" prefecture title for the 13th straight year, followed by Kyoto, Okinawa and Tokyo. Osaka Prefecture gained its highest-ever ranking, at fifth. Brand Research Institute asked respondents 89 questions in the survey conducted in July, including if they recognize each prefecture, if they had visited each prefecture, and if they are willing to visit each prefecture. About 35,000 people responded.

 
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thomas

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Tochigi Prefecture came 41st in the 2021 list announced by the Brand Research Institute Inc. on 9 October. Today's morning news reported that prefectural representatives (missed who exactly) consider suing the institute.

A statement from Tochigi Gov. Tomikazu Fukuda read, "Regardless of the results, we will work on strengthening our brand by refining local resources and proactively engaging with messaging in three strategic fields: selling prefectural products, attracting tourists, and encouraging people to settle here."
Tochigi Prefecture launched its own branding policies in 2016 as part of plans to raise its 35th place marked in 2015 to 25th in 2020. Instead, it was 46th in 2016 -- one above rock bottom. Despite tracking slightly higher at 43rd in 2017, 44th in 2018, and 43rd in 2019, it hit the 47th floor in 2020. When he heard Tochigi was last, Gov. Fukuda reportedly failed to hide his shock, saying, "I couldn't help shouting 'What?!'"

 

bentenmusume

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The seven least attractive:
  • Tochigi
  • Yamaguchi
  • Tokushima
  • Gunma
  • Saitama
  • Saga
  • Ibaraki
The good thing about being a sake fan is that almost every prefecture in Japan has something to offer. ;)
I can think of at least 2-3 incredible sake breweries from each of these seven prefectures, so I'd never in a million years think of them as "unattractive."

On a more serious note, I kind of sympathize with the governor's reaction, and I'd be questioning the point of releasing this sort of list, too, if I were in that position. I mean, for one thing, so much of it is out of their control, based on geographic factors, general stereotypes and preconceptions, etc. etc. Of course a landlocked, suburban/rural area north of Tokyo that isn't Tokyo (Gunma/Saitama/Tochigi/Ibaraki) is going to be seen as "less alluring" than, say, Okinawa or Kyoto. Also, I feel like it kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If "research" is telling people that Saitama objectively sucks, then it's only going to further cement that image.
 

mdchachi

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The good thing about being a sake fan is that almost every prefecture in Japan has something to offer. ;)
I can think of at least 2-3 incredible sake breweries from each of these seven prefectures, so I'd never in a million years think of them as "unattractive."

On a more serious note, I kind of sympathize with the governor's reaction, and I'd be questioning the point of releasing this sort of list, too, if I were in that position. I mean, for one thing, so much of it is out of their control, based on geographic factors, general stereotypes and preconceptions, etc. etc. Of course a landlocked, suburban/rural area north of Tokyo that isn't Tokyo (Gunma/Saitama/Tochigi/Ibaraki) is going to be seen as "less alluring" than, say, Okinawa or Kyoto. Also, I feel like it kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If "research" is telling people that Saitama objectively sucks, then it's only going to further cement that image.
Are you kidding? Do you really think it depends on these factors? The results are 100% in their control. I will bet you that if they hire the Brand Research Institute for "consulting" they will magically change their rankings substantially. :cool:
 
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