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1st foreign student doing internship in Mie looks to promote ninja prefecture

Deni Hoxha, right, receives explanations of tricks used in ninja houses at the Ninja Museum of Igaryu, in the Mie Prefecture city of Iga, on June 1, 2019. (Mainichi/Teruko Kukita)

IGA, Mie -- A 20-year-old Harvard University student visited tourist attractions in this central Japan city with prefectural officials as well as high school and college students to think about how information should be spread to promote the region to the world.

Deni Hoxha is the first foreign student to take an internship in Mie Prefecture. He is learning tourism promotion policy and other subjects while based around the prefectural government building from May 22 until June 7.

On June 1, Hoxha changed into a ninja costume and visited Iga Ueno Castle and the Ninja Museum of Igaryu -- both tourist spots connected to ninja. He received explanations on hiding tricks used in ninja mansions and other exhibits in English from a staff member at the museum. He also saw ninja tools on display and a ninja skill performance show.

Deni Hoxha experiences a hidden-door trick at the Ninja Museum of Igaryu, in the Mie Prefecture city of Iga, on June 1, 2019. (Mainichi/Teruko Kukita)

Ninja is a charming tourism resource, according to Hoxha. Tourist attractions are prepared to welcome foreigners, with methods including providing English explanations, he said. He believes that future efforts should be put into conducting a needs assessment survey and promoting the prefecture.

On June 2, he visited the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes in southern Mie. Hoxha and the Mie Prefectural Government plan to provide a glimpse of his internship through social media.

(Japanese original by Teruko Kukita, Nabari Bureau)

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