The city of Usuki is located on Kyushu Island in southwest Japan. Thanks to its unique landscape, the city has become renowned for the production of miso paste and soy sauce (seasonings fermented with rice malt) and spirits such as sake and shochu liquor. Today, many traditional Japanese restaurants in the city are serving dishes made with local products. At present, Usuki is promoting organic farming and the slow food movement by producing compost from fermented grasses, certifying organic vegetables, and using them for school lunches. In this way, in addition to the time-honored fermentation industry, the city is in the process of developing unique sustainable industries that take advantage of fermentation technologies, particularly the organic agriculture that uses mature compost. With food production and environment concerns at the heart of the city’s development, in 2018, the Usuki City Self-Reliance Support Council began holding a bi-monthly city wide food-related event "Colorful Cafe", in which community members, including families, youth and vulnerable groups, are actively encouraged to participate. In these events, local food lovers constantly participate to engage in various cultural activities, such as preparation of festival decorations and other seasonal ornaments.
As a Creative City of Gastronomy, the following steps will be important:
• Introducing Japan's fermented foods to the world and promoting interaction of fermentation cultures in the world, by taking advantage of its fermented food industry
• Sharing with the world its technology to produce fermented mature compost, which helps efficient production of wholesome and high-quality crops, so as to build a recycling-based society through the promotion of organic farming; and
• Developing creative tourism by enabling tourists to experience the city's gastronomic culture and other creative, cultural aspects firsthand.