Can industrial tourism help revitalize Japan’s manufacturing regions?

In a YouTube preview of a metal factory tour, Ritsu Yamada, a representative of the Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival, enters a cacophony of industrial sounds.

He is guided through the buildings of toolmaker Maruto Hasegawa, where giant mechanical hammers pound plates of red-hot metal while kilns and heavy machinery whistle and hum in the background. Viewers catch a glimpse of craftsmen diligently operating machines, refining metal components and assembling tools, before Yamada is led into an on-site store to browse the company’s finished products – an extensive range of pliers, clippers and other tools.

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