The Japanese government recently introduced a subsidization program called fukko-wari (post-disaster recovery discount), hoping to attract tourists into cities and towns previously stricken by natural disasters. The program is aimed to help these areas recover faster so it will only run for a limited time and the number of eligible application is fixed. Qualified tourists will not only be able to save on travel costs but also contribute to the restoration of disaster-hit places — a win-win situation for all parties!
Quite a few cities in the eastern part of Japan were severely hit by torrential downpour and typhoon in 2019. To help 14 prefectures get back on their feet, the government devised a program where tourists both home and abroad can receive discounts through online travel reservation sites or from participating hotels. One can get as much as 5,000 JPY off one night’s stay. Note that the maximum discount Japanese nationals are eligible to receive is 15,000 JPY and 50,000 JPY for foreign tourists.
The discount expiration date and description differ from prefecture to prefecture, so we suggest that you look up the official websites of each prefectures you want to visit for details. In Saitama’s case, one can receive a 5,000 JPY discount off travel or accommodation that totals over 10,000 JPY before February 29, 2020. Meanwhile, a 3,000 JPY discount can be secured for travel purchases between 6,000 JPY and 10,000 JPY. Travel packages below 6,000 JPY or those that do not include accommodation, however, cannot be subsidized.
Saitama’s scenic Chichibu area is taking an active part in the fukko-wari program. Ikoinomura Heritage Minoyama hotel, for example, has announced a two-day, one-night accommodation package that includes either a delicious meal consisting of Hokkaido produce or a night outing to see icicle illumination. Both options allow you to save on travels while having a fantastic time. All applications are processed on a first come, first serve bases. Since applications for foreign tourists are still open, those interested are urged to book through the hotel’s homepage at http://go-ikoinomuraminoyama.reservation.jp/en. The hotel provides shuttle service upon reservation.