Japanese udon noodle tourists: what matters?

Abstract

The current study aims to examine what motivates Japanese domestic tourists to travel in the quest of fresh handmade udon noodles in Japan. Adopting a qualitative in-depth interview approach, the target samples of the study were Japanese tourists whose sole, main or part of reason for travel on the occasion was to consume Mizusawa udon noodles in Mizusawa udon region, Gunma prefecture. The results indicated that food tourists were motivated to visit the Mizusawa udon region both extrinsically and intrinsically. The identified extrinsic motivations encompass ‘expected sensory appeal and textual seduction’ and ‘heritage and authenticity of cooking methods and foodways’, whereas the intrinsic motivations include ‘escapism, prestige and self-enhancement’, ‘learning local culture’, and ‘past experience and familiarity’

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