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Road Stations effective promoters of local trade

Date Posted: 2002-05-03

"Michi-no-Eki," literally "Road Station" in English, are popular farmers markets located in the countryside along major highways throughout Japan. Japan currently has over 650 such stations. In Okinawa there are several Michi-no-Eki located in northern part of the island, the best known being on Highway 58 just before Nago City.

These facilities offer local produce, souvenirs and other locally produced goods for sale. There are also a rest house, several restaurants and toilet facilities. The place is extremely popular as witnessed by its jam-packed parking areas on weekends. Nago Michi-no-Eki is also the cheapest place to buy discount tickets to the Okinawa Expressway toll road.

Now the Bank of International Development has taken interest in the idea and sees the concept as an excellent way of promoting local industries and products in developing countries. The bank?s planners also see them as potentially effective centers for health and educational services.

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