Video games growing local Japanese tourism (thanks, Monster Hunter!)

Why are Japanese gamers flocking to a hot spa resort in Yamanouchi? Apparently, the resort took note of its similarity to a town in Monster Hunter -- and launched an event luring gamers to the real-world venue. The Mainichi Daily News details an increasing trend of small Japanese towns trying to boost their economy by launching events that tie in with the country's most popular games.

Konami's popular Love Plus games have also featured their own themed hot spa promotions. There have been other more inventive tie-ins throughout the country as well. A botanical park in Mimata has been selling out of bottled fish eggs by packaging special cards that can be used in Colony na Seikatsu Plus. Even vegetables are getting in on the action, with the town of Yuni promoting "specialty crops" via farm-related games. Somehow, that sounds much healthier than America's approach to games tourism: Farmville-themed Big Gulps at 7-Eleven.

[Image Credit: Travelpod]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.