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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.



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.
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.


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