Despite being renowned as the “Little Kyoto” of the Iyo region for its ancient townscape, Ozu has been suffering from a slow economy caused by a falling population.
But, the city is on the mend thanks to attempts to resurrect a busy environment by converting derelict ancient houses into hotels and other services.
Ozu’s efforts have been recognized, as he has been named one of six finalists for the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories competition’s Culture and Tradition prize.
For the first time in 2022, Ozu was named to the top 100 list of Sustainable Destinations by the Netherlands-based international certification agency.
Green Destinations, which reviews sustainable tourism efforts in local communities, releases the list every year.
After spearheading the city’s rehabilitation efforts, city officials commissioned Kita Management, a general incorporated association based in Ozu, to submit the application.
Its representatives will be in Berlin in March for the awards presentation.