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Tokyo Metropolitan University Department of Tourism Science Professor


Doctor of Engineering(Feb, 2006 Waseda University)


Susumu KAWAHARA is professor in the Department of Tourism Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University. His research interest covers Urban Design and Planning, Community-based Tourism, Destination Management. Current research topics are methods of balancing the needs of the community with those of visitors, methods of revitalizing local industries through the use of tourism techniques, development of Oral History Survey and Editing Methods for the inheritance of local culture and the use of tourism.

Research Interests

  • Urban Design and Planning 
  • Community-based Tourism 
  • Destination Management 
  • Townscape Planning 
  • Public-Private Partnership 


Research History

  • 2017-           Tokyo Metropolitan University,  Professor
  • 2009 - 2016 Tokyo Metropolitan University,  Associate Professor
  • 2008-  Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture,Faculity of Science and Eng.,Waseda Univ. 
  • 2006 - 2007 Visiting Lecturer (full-time), Faculity of Science and Eng.,Waseda Univ. 
  • 2003 - 2006 Waseda University School of Science and Engineering 
  • 2003 - 2005Research Associate, Faculity of Science and Eng.,Waseda Univ. 


List of works

see the researchmap service.

Annual reports related to practical research

under construction

A Study on Systematization of Planning Techniques for Sustainable Destinations 


We worked on a planning theory that integrate both tangible (e.g., preservation and improvement of urban space and environment) and intangible plans (e.g., plans for tourism programs and contents creation.) to develop more sophisticated sustainable destination, especially due to the recent targets of tourism planning in Japan are biased towards intangible programs.
Our detail methods are 
• to learn and reflect sightseeing behaviors and tourism resources in geographical / spatial environment
• to develop environmental improvement, utilize the private sites and the public sites together
• to realize a vision based on social experiments
• to support all the method above by organizational design, process design, and monitoring
In FY2020, we first organized new forms of tourism such as micro-tourism and virtual experience tourism such as online tours, which have become apparent in the COVID-19 pandemic, from the perspective of travel time and spatial movement, and then evaluated them from the perspective of the methodology that our research team has developed so far.
Secondly, we accumulated interviews with key people who have started new movements to overcome the effects of The COVID-19 pandemic.
Third, based on the questionnaire survey of local governments nationwide and case studies, we proposed that the future of local government tourism administration should not only be based on flow-oriented efforts, focusing on promotion for short-term effects, but should also aim for stock-oriented efforts to leave a "legacy" in the region.

Tourism and Regional Development through Collaboration of Businesses from Upstream to Downstream of Satoyama-Based Manufacturing


Tokigawa Town in Saitama Prefecture is a town with manufacturing industries, culture, and craftsmen based in satoyama, such as forestry and Japanese paper. This project aims to create tourism contents for people who share the values of living in harmony with nature, using these resources to enjoy DIY experiences while experiencing the story of manufacturing from upstream (material production) to downstream (product production). Through this project, we aim to promote multifaceted regional development through business collaboration with craftsmen, experts in tourism and urban development, and government agencies, with whom we have had little contact in the past.
 In FY2020, a total of 14 workshops of three types were held for visitors to the area, in which they toured the area with local craftsmen and took home specialty products made by themselves using wood and Japanese paper. Collaboration has been achieved among forestry workers, lumber dealers, furniture makers, braided paper makers, washi paper makers, construction companies, matching coordinators, designers, regional producers, regional trading companies, government agencies, and universities.
 Kawahara Lab assisted in the planning and refinement of the workshop, created explanatory tools and a website, and conducted monitoring and willingness-to-pay surveys in a situation where it was difficult to openly invite the general public to participate in the Corona disaster.
The level of satisfaction on the part of both craftsmen and participants was high, and many participants were willing to pay a relatively high amount for a one-day tour, which motivated us to strengthen our cooperation.
In FY2021, we created a "Mountain Blessings Phenology Calendar in Tokigawa" based on the existing "Craftsmen's Pictorial Book" of interviews with craftsmen, mostly immigrants, and interviews conducted in the Kawahara Lab with "locals" who have been involved in forestry in the region for generations. This calendar is unique in that it organizes the local resources of the satoyama as a chronicle, focusing on the people who are involved in them, as well as the various stories related to these local resources, from upstream to downstream, in terms of manufacturing and food. In addition, continuing from last year, Kawahara Lab conducted a willingness-to-pay survey to verify the projects of tourism events and workshops created by Tokigawa Network members. Our article, which drew on the findings of this survey, was published in a guidebook that is the result of a project conducted by the Japan Tourism Agency to promote cooperation among businesses in the region. The title of the article is "How can business verification methods be used to achieve business objectives and refine tourism products?
Tokigawa Network: Tourism to Taste Satoyama Monozukuri from Upstream to Downstream! HP


Development of Eco-study Tours as a Method of Managing the Historical Environment in Collaboration with the Local Community around the Imperial Tomb in Hue, Vietnam


The tomb of the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last dynasty of Vietnam, has been recognized as a component of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Complex of Hue Monuments". Our research team has shown that not only the buildings, but also the surrounding natural environment, villages, and rice paddies were uniquely designed and planned to suit the climate of Vietnam, based on the Chinese concept of feng shui.
 However, the damage caused by the Vietnam War, the recent changes in agriculture and forestry, and the development of spaces for tourism purposes by capital outside the region are destroying the landscape and water utilization system.
 Therefore, in order to share the original planning concept of the imperial mausoleum with villagers and government officials, as well as to preserve the historical environment of the imperial mausoleum and utilize it appropriately for tourism, we, the Japanese research team, have been experimenting with eco-study tours since 2017.
A local tour company was established in FY2020. Furthermore, in order to keep the movement going in The COVID-19 pandemic, we challenged the "hybrid tour" which is a local tour and an online tour which is broadcasted live at the same time. We tried to create value unique to the hybrid tour by combining live video from the air using a drone, and by presenting and explaining various materials using zoom screen sharing for online participants.
As a result, we were able to confirm many positive opinions about the affinity and usefulness of the hybrid tour with ecotourism-based tours for understanding the environmental value of the region.
In the next step, we will refine the hybrid tour while being aware of the significance of the online tour that is experienced before and after the current tour, and confirm its usefulness.

Development of a New Method for Regional Interpretive Exhibition and Education Using a Projection Mapping Model System



In recent years, projecter mapping model systems (P+MM), which can project a variety of thematic maps onto models using a projector, have been introduced in museums. The images projected by the P+MM can be freely created on a PC, so it should be possible to use the system in a variety of ways. However, the current state of use in many places is that the projected contents are not updated very often, and the system is only used for one-way explanatory displays.
Therefore, we are collaborating with a manufacturer to develop a P+MM that can be used for real-time writing and projection on the models, and for many people to create and bring in their own content for projection, and we are researching new ways to use the system as an explanatory exhibition tool that can also be used by private sector guides, and as an educational tool.
In FY2020, we tried a method of projecting and discussing thematic maps created by students in the tourism planning and design exercise of the Tourism Science Department.
In FY2021, students from our department and I created a projection work, "Sake and snacks made with Hachioji ingredients," as exhibition content for the Hachioji Museum, in collaboration with the Hachioji City Hall.
The projection work is characterized by the fact that it uses "food," which people are easily interested in, as an entry point to express the resources and stories that make up Hachioji's Japanese Heritage. We also proposed a workshop method that local producers could use this exhibition work for their sales promotion.


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