【Award】Received the Gold Award in the “Kyushu Tourism Town Development AWARD 2023” sponsored by JR Kyushu

Denpaku”, a lodging facility on Amami Oshima Island, by Yasuhiro Yamashita (President of Atelier Tekuto Co., Ltd. and Amami Innovation Co., Ltd.), has won the Gold Award (in the “Inn (Hospitality)” category) in the “Kyushu Tourism Town Development AWARD 2023” sponsored by Kyushu Railway Company (hereinafter “JR Kyushu”). Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “JR Kyushu”) in the “Kyushu Tourism Town Development AWARD 2023”. In conjunction with this award, Denpaku participated in the award ceremony held at the Tokyo Midtown Yaesu Conference on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.
Taking the opportunity of receiving the “Kyushu Tourism Town Development AWARD 2023” award, Denpaku will continue to make it its mission to pass on the “village culture” of the Amami Islands to the next generation, and will continue to work in deeper cooperation with the local community to create a town that makes the village happy.


What is the “Kyushu Tourism & Community Development AWARD 2023”?

The “Kyushu Tourism & Community Development AWARD 2023” is sponsored by Kyushu Railway Company, and was established with the basic philosophy of “honoring people and organizations that take root in Kyushu and develop it into an attractive “town” that will be the pride of the region and inspire travelers. The purpose of the festival is to highlight people who are creating new “things,” “events,” and “scenery” for the future while preserving the traditions and folklore unique to the region, and to communicate the unique attractions of the area.
The “Nishi-Kyushu Tourism & Town Development AWARD” held in 2022 was further developed and expanded to cover the “Kyushu” area, and was divided into four categories: “Food,” “Manufacturing,” “Nigiwai (liveliness),” and “Inns (hospitality). This is a very valuable award that recognizes the efforts of individuals and organizations in Kyushu that are engaged in attractive urban development.


Judging Criteria
(1) “Tradition”: Respect for the town’s unique climate, history, and traditions.
(2) “Evolution”: Creating new values that lead to the future without being bound by existing concepts.
(3) “Cyclical”: Sustained development by utilizing and protecting the richness of nature.
(4) “Collaboration”: Making efforts while involving the entire town.
(5) “Diverse”: Everyone can experience it, regardless of whether you are a traveler or a resident.
(*Quotes from the official release of Kyushu Railway Company)


Official release from Kyushu Railway Company: https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/news/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2023/08/30/03_230830_kyushu_machidukuri_award.pdf


Commendation comments received from the judges

▼From Kyoko Sekine (hotel journalist)
I was very impressed by Denpaku’s mission of “passing on village culture to the next generation. I agree wholeheartedly with the concept of “aiming to create a society in which no one is left behind” by putting grandmothers and grandfathers in the leading roles.
The spiral of “the hotel is not destroying nature because it is built,” but rather “the surrounding environment is improving because the hotel is built, and cultural activities are growing and developing along with the hotel. The spiral is no longer just a place to stay overnight. The strong belief of the representative is utilized in the creation of this facility.


Comments on the award (from Yasuhiro Yamashita, architect and representative of Amami Innovation Co.)

I had been traveling abroad as an architect for many years, and my experience in supporting earthquake disaster reconstruction efforts had led me to believe that I must protect my own countryside.
At that time, the residents of my hometown, Amami, requested that I work on vacant houses, and the business was born in 2016. Almost 7 years have passed, and the company has grown from 2 employees to over 100 employees today. Denpaku has only highly motivated employees, but they are all amateurs. We are not experts in lodging, tourism, or city planning, but we want to be the “ultimate group of amateurs. This is because we believe that the grandparents are the main actors and that they should be the ones with strong feelings to accompany them. Receiving such a gratifying award encourages all of us to move forward into a new world. Thank you very much.
We will continue to make it our mission to pass on “village culture” to the next generation, and through community development that “turns everyday life into tourism” in villages, we will move toward the realization of “a society where no one is left behind.