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The First NIPPON QUEST Awards have been Selected!

On March 4, 2016, the awards ceremony for the first NIPPON QUEST Awards was held at Marugoto Nippon in Asakusa. At the ceremony, the regional specialties selected for the Yearly Grand Prix on NIPPON QUESTTM, a website to showcase and disseminate unknown Japanese “regional specialties” to the world from local communities, were announced.

1. Outline of the project

The NIPPON QUESTTM website ( Site Link) is a website for regional specialties where Japanese people, who are passionate about certain regions, and foreigners, who love Japan, contribute and evaluate information about regional specialties. It is managed as part of the Program for the Development of Environments for Disseminating Regional Specialties, run by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). It is an initiative to collate information about regional specialties from all parts of Japan and to disseminate it widely overseas for the purpose of developing markets abroad and attracting foreign customers.


NIPPON QUESTTM has selected regional specialties that have been highly acclaimed by users in Japan and overseas as nominated specialties in each of three categories, “goods,” “foods,” and “activities,” every month.
A final vote for these specialties was held, and the specialties that gathered the largest total numbers of votes in each of the three categories have been selected for the Yearly Awards. As for special awards, one specialty was selected for the Buyer Award,*1 one was selected for Location Japan’s editorial department‘s “LJ Marche” Award,*2 one was selected for the Rakuten Ichiba “Machi-Raku” Award,*3 and one municipality was selected for the Local Government Award.

*Note 1: Specialties which are top vote-getters and those which people such as buyers selected, considering the contributions on the NIPPON QUESTTM website, are to be sold at Isetan Singapore in March 2016.
*Note 2: The product which wins the LJ Marche Award will be introduced in the 75th issue of Location Japan (to be released May 15, 2016).
*Note 3: The specialty which wins the Machi-Raku Award and those which Rakuten, Inc. selects are to be introduced on a special webpage within the Rakuten Ichiba website ( in Japanese).

3. Outline of the NIPPON QUEST Awards event

[First day] Friday, March 4, 2016
Venue: Third floor of Marugoto Nippon
13:00-14:00: Awards ceremony for the NIPPON QUEST Awards
14:00-18:30: Talk session: “Changing Local Economies and Cultures from Global Perspectives!”
[Second day] Saturday, March 5, 2016
Venue: Third floor of Marugoto Nippon
10:00-13:00: Global × Local Workshop –Discussion time–
13:00-14:00: Global × Local Workshop –Presentation time–
14:00-16:30: Passionate presentations by QUESTERs from throughout Japan

Grand Prix in the category of foods
Halal Gyoza Nikkoken Sano City, Tochigi Prefecture Muslim-friendly dumplings made from Tochigi leek, halal chicken and sweet cabbage.
Grand Prix in the category of goods
Raven Edo Kiriko Kimoto Glassware Taito-ku, Tokyo Jet-black faceted Edo glass that blocks out most light.
Grand Prix in the category of activities
Japanese Swordsmith at Work Matsunaga Sword Forge Arao City, Kumamoto Prefecture View Japanese swordsmithing using traditional manufacturing methods and foot-operated bellow iron manufacturing.
Buyer Award
Solar Bag Halos (Chord&Co.) Adachi-ku, Tokyo A bag equipped with solar panels, letting you take your own energy source on the go.
Location Japan’s editorial department‘s “LJ Marche” Award
Stewed Carp Kappo Ryokan Choshiya Itako City, Ibaraki Prefecture The tender, salty-sweet flavor of stewed carp has been beloved by locals and tourists alike since antiquity.
Rakuten Ichiba “Machi-Raku” Award
Ichida Persimmons Millefeuille Matsuzawa Co., Ltd. Takamori City, Nagano Prefecture A delicacy sandwiching seedless skinned Ishida persimmons in a millefeuille made with domestically-made butter.
Local Government Award
Senboku City (Akita Prefecture) Awarded for posting the most local specialties (45 posts) between August 11th and December 31st, 2016.

Inquiries from the public:
NIPPON QUEST management office
E-mail: mail_link



Release date

March 4, 2016

Division in Charge

Creative Industries Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau

Last updated:2016-03-14
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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