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15:20 - 16:20

【Sauna Session】The potentiality of Sauna in Regional revitalization

【Sauna Session】The potentiality of Sauna in Regional revitalization

Saunas have been enjoying one of the biggest excitement in recent years in history. Saunas are becoming more and more diversified, from fashionable sauna facilities such as Finnish-style and women-only saunas to outdoor saunas such as tent saunas and self-built saunas.

In addition, it has been pointed out that saunas can be an experience for all five senses of the local and regional resources, such as vegetation (aroma vihta), water quality (löyly and water baths), landscape (outdoor air baths) and foodstuffs (sauna food).

Important players in local sauna from government, private sector and citizen’s standpoint will come together to discuss not only the sauna itself, but also the potential of the sauna in regional development.


Hitoshi Kinoshita

Urban Business Entrepreneur/ Representative Director of Area Innovation Alliance

Born in 1982 in Tokyo, Japan. Graduated from Hitotsubashi University, Graduated School of Commerce and Management, with a master's degree. When he was in high school, he started a joint venture in a shopping arcade and set up local corporations all over the country to formulate policies and organize alliances for business collaboration. He has also served as a regional revitalization missionary for the Cabinet Office. He is the author of "A Beginner's Guide to Regional Revitalization to read when you find the local is wrong"Essentials for Local Revitalization" (Essentials for Local Revitalization).

Tadashi Komatsu

Mayor of Takeo, Saga

After working for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Fukuoka City and Takeo City, he was elected mayor of Takeo for the first time in January 2015 at the age of 38. He is currently serving his second term.
The Takeo City Children's Library, which he founded after taking office, won a Good Design Award. He also focuses on online education for elementary and junior high schools and is the president of the Federation of Chiefs Supporting Children's Future. He is currently working with Suppose Design Office (Makoto Tanijiri and Ai Yoshida) to plan a completely new sports park.
He is one of the foremost sauners in the municipality, deciding where to stay for business trips based on the sauna he wants to visit.

Yoshitaka Nishio

Representative Director of YULAX

Its overwhelming hospitality and passion for sauna has attracted the attention of sauna lovers from all over Japan.
Nowadays, sauna lovers come to Kumamoto from all over the country to seek out the sauna of "YULAX", and it has been called the "new sanctuary" of sauna. His hobbies are yoga and shakuhachi.

Yoshihisa Obara

Representative Director of Rakuenkeikaku Inc.

Date of Birth July 4, 1975 (45 years old)

Address Takeo City, Saga Prefecture

Brief History
1975 Born in Takeo City, Saga Prefecture.
1996 After graduating from the university, he worked at a travel agency after graduating from hotel school (YMCA).
1997 He retired from the travel agency. While working part-time, he aspired to pursue music such as club DJ and music composition.
2003 Due to his father's worsening illness, he returned to his hometown and joined the Mifuneyama Kanko Hotel Co.
2007 He became the President of Mifuneyama Kanko Hotel Co.(Onyado Chikurintei・Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel・Mifuneyama Rakuen).

To the present.


Writer who loves sauna

He is a writer who loves public baths and saunas and calls himself the "Sento God. He is active in a number of media, including "Omokoro", "Yahoo! News" and "Minnna-no-Gohan".
He is also the editor-in-chief of "SPOT," a media for going out, and is often involved in local development projects.

Koki Kanazawa

Producer of Kyushu and Sauna

President of "Kyushu and Sauna". He manages a web magazine that writes about his partiality for sauna in Kyushu and organizes sauna events in Kyushu area. He is also active as a stray Aufgysser by the street name of Hakata Niwaka heat waver. His main occupation is tourism as a company employee.