Takasaki CityRed Restaurants List

Hakuhodo Kettle Inc. / Hakuhodo Inc.


Japan is an aging nation. This aging has even impacted the food industry, as the average age of owners has crept up to over 61. As a result, the number of independent restaurants is gradually declining.

A regional city in Japan, Takasaki was also affected. Amid declining customer numbers and a shortage of restaurateur successors, our objective was to save the town’s old restaurants.



When people hear about that “good old restaurants” are closing down, they rush to eat there and the media picks it up.


So, we created the world’s first gourmet guide for protecting “endangered restaurants,” the Red Restaurants List.


To be selected for inclusion in the Red Restaurants List, a restaurant needed to have an aging owner, be worn out, and have no one to take it over. The food also had to be so good that we wanted to keep it going for generations to come.


Through gourmet websites, books, and national television programs, we introduced these restaurants, which had been in town for years, as “valuable restaurants that people should eat at and protect.”



The unique restaurant guide received attention across the country, popularizing the provincial town of Takasaki, giving it a huge economic shot in the arm. The Red Restaurants List has now spread to other parts of Japan as well, with restaurant preservation activity taking place across the country.


  • 2019 Epica Awards: Silver (Technique)

  • 2019 Spikes Asia: Gold (PR), Silver (Integrated), Bronze (Brand Experience & Activation, PR)

  • 2019 Cannes Lions: Bronze (Media Lions)

  • 2019 New York Festivals Advertising Award: Third Prize (Public Relations)

  • 2019 ADFEST: Lotus Roots, Gold (Brand Experience & Engagement, Direct x 2), Silver (Media)