A booth for information about Japanese cultural experiences, and hospitality performed with projection mapping
From July 14 to August 11, 2023, the World Aquatics Championships 2023 and the World Aquatics Masters Championships 2023 Kyushu will be held in Fukuoka for the first time in 22 years. During the Championships, a booth offering Japanese cultural experiences will be set up near the main venue, Marine Messe Fukuoka, to provide visitors with a comprehensive overview of the various Japanese cultural and sightseeing experiences available in Fukuoka. The booth will introduce a variety of Japanese cultural and sightseeing experiences that visitors can enjoy all around Fukuoka, including the lighting up of the old quarter of Hakata (only during the World Aquatics Championships) and ancient food experiences at cultural properties. Other activities include trying out traditional kimono, rickshaws, drone photography, sutra copying and Zen meditation, tea culture, Hakata doll painting, and iaido sword skills. Japanese tea and sweets will be served, so be sure to visit the booth. The area around the venue will also be lit up. Projection mapping will be performed every night, centered around the theme of wa (harmony). The entire area around the venue will be a hotspot for social media, and you are encouraged to enjoy the nighttime atmosphere.
The Tokyo National Museum in Ueno, Tokyo, currently houses approximately 120,000 items passed down over the past 150 years. Of these, 89 are National Treasures and 649 are Important Cultural Properties (as of April 2023), making it one of Japan's leading collections in terms of both quality and quantity. Within its grounds stands the Okyokan, a Japanese house of great value that is not usually open to the public. For a limited time only, the Okyokan will be open as a teahouse. Visitors can enjoy a number of Japanese cultural activities while viewing fusuma screen paintings (currently reproductions) by Maruyama Okyo, a painter of the Edo period. Visitors can try on kimono garments crafted in Kyoto, or try Zen breathing exercises. There will also be a variety of food and beverages made with ingredients produced in Japan. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit during this limited season.
This may be the first golf event in Japan in which visitors from overseas can take part and engage in golf as a form of intercultural exchange. Each golf course will present a variety of friendly golf events, including closest-to-the-pin and long drive competitions, both for local golf course members and for golfers visiting Japan. Come to Hyogo and interact not only with Japanese golfers, but also with many other golfers from all over the world. Aside from golfing, local market events will also be held at the golf courses. There will be introductions of local products and opportunities to interact with the local Japanese community! At WGW in Hyogo, you’ll enjoy experiences you’ll simply never have on a normal golfing trip. Meet golfing friends from all over the world here in Hyogo, enjoy great golfing in Japan, and enjoy Japanese food and drinks in Kobe after playing. World Golf Week in Hyogo is an international exchange golfing event that delivers experiences you’ll never have on a regular golf trip.
Global content on remote islands: the Earth Celebration Festival, and the Gold and Silver Mines of Sado Island, for which World Heritage registration is sought
This year marks the 36th annual Earth Celebration. Alongside this headline event, various other projects will be held this year! During Earth Celebration from August 18 to 20, a camp site and outdoor field will be set up at Shiroyama Park, which is considered a sacred site. Workshops on Japanese taiko drumming, traditional Sado Ondeko drumming, South African Zulu dance, and more will be held all around the Ogi area. The week following the Earth Celebration will see an e-bike cycling tour as well as a jazz festival. There will also be art tours on the themes of food, folklore, crafts, Japanese sake, and nature. Visitors can use an app to follow along the "Gold Road," a former highway that carried gold and silver from Sado Island to Edo, or join a training camp for Japanese drumming and Sado performing arts. Discover something different each time you come to Sado. The island is packed with experiences you’ll never tire of.
"A walkable gem."
The New York Times listed Morioka City, in Iwate Prefecture, second only to London in its "52 Places to Go in 2023" article.
Morioka, and all of Iwate Prefecture, is truly a gem, full of culture, food, and historical buildings that are a joy to discover.
Morioka holds special events such as a jazz café in a historical building designated National Important Cultural Property, where dining is not usually permitted. There is also a premium sake brewery tour where visitors can observe the refined techniques of Nanbu brewing masters and sample sake intended for competition, which is not commercially available. A specially designed event, the Morioka Premium Town Walk, takes strolling around the city to another level of fun.
In addition, a premium buffet only available on certain days and venues will be held at the Morioka Castle in Morioka and at three World Heritage sites (Hiraizumi, Hashino Iron Mining and Smelting Site, and Goshono Jomon Site). Visitors will have the opportunity to savor the food and local sake of Iwate to their heart's content while watching special stagings of traditional local performing arts which are passed down from generation to generation.
There’s also "wanko soba," a traditional specialty of Iwate Prefecture. A waiter fills bowls, one after the other, with bite-sized portions of soba noodles, and the bowls are stacked to show how much soba you have eaten. This year, the world's first ever International Wanko Soba Championship will be held, and it awaits visitors ready to take up the challenge.
Such special experiences in Morioka and nearby World Heritage Sites are sure to shine in your heart forever.
◆ Content has been developed and provided for visitors from Asia to experience the rice terraces and ponds where koi originated and continue to inhabit.
(1) Digital Content:
・ The entire former village of Yamakoshi is demarcated as the Nishikigoi Heritage Museum. A fee-based tour passport that enables reservations and payment for destinations within the target area, a booklet that provides historical and cultural explanations on maps, and an audio guide on the smartphone-based website will be produced.
(2) Green Season Options:
・ An event held at a tourist-oriented pond not open to the public allowing visitors to hold a koi (June to October).
・ A log house, BBQ, and sauna under the starry sky is packaged for one group per day
・ A tour of Yamakoshi’s instagrammable heritage spots and Japan's first agricultural heritage site
・ Experience the wisdom found through life in the mountains! A tour of "Nakayama Tunnel”, Japan's longest hand-dug tunnel (a certified Civil Engineering Heritage Site)
(3) Snow Season Options:
・Private ski slopes: A special reservation of the Koshi Kogen ski area for inbound tours from areas unfamiliar with snow and corporate training trips!
Enjoy snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and sledding
・ A private ski slope and a fully-reserved restaurant that hosts an event pairing Niigata/Yamakoshi food and sake
Creating Tourism Products with a High Added Value that Utilizes the Historical Value of Kotohira-gu Shrine
Enjoy a moment of serenity and travel alongside Shinto priests through the lush, mountainous grounds of historic Kotohira-gu Shrine in this brand-new guided tour.
Kotohira-gu Shrine is located on Mt. Zozu-san, near the Seto Inland Sea, and worships the gods of the sea. It is the main shrine of its sect. Its grounds are abundant in nature, contain many historic buildings, and have traditionally been the site of sacred rituals. As a result, the shrine was not open to public tours. That is, until now. Having received permission from the Chief Priest, this unique tour will provide you with exclusive access to the traditional grounds of Kotohira-gu Shrine. Within this relaxed atmosphere, you can take part in Shinto prayers, experience the ritual dance Kagura, view Japanese art in buildings closed to the general public, and enjoy a meal with locally grown food. As a private tour, you will also get a chance to speak with Shinto priests and shrine maidens, as well as enjoy a performance of traditional Japanese music with Ryuteki, a type of bamboo flute, and Sho, a type of reed instrument. Take advantage of this rare experience to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and experience the peaceful atmosphere and traditional culture of Kotohira-gu Shrine. Since ancient times, mariners in the Seto Inland Sea have visited the shrine to pray for safety at sea. People involved in shipbuilding companies, shipping companies, yachts and boats, continue to visit the shrine today. The walls of this private, traditional-style study contain paintings by the genius painter Ito Jakuchu, who lived from 1716 to 1800. While usually closed to the public for preservation, they can be viewed on this tour.
Tour of Kyushu’s Three Main Cities of Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Kagoshima ((1) Local gourmet tour, (2) Historical and traditional experience tour, and (3) Cycling tour)
(1) In Kagoshima, have a hands-on farming experience on Sakurajima, known for its majestic active volcano. Discover where Kagoshima's fresh produce is grown and enjoy Kagoshima's specialty, shabu-shabu hotpot, at a local restaurant. In Kumamoto, learn how to spend time at an izakaya and experience the full charm of dining at an izakaya. In Fukuoka, enjoy the local cuisine such as Fukuoka's famous tonkotsu ramen, yakitori, and oden at food stalls.
(2) In Kagoshima, enjoy the beautiful Sengan-en Garden while gazing upon Sakurajima, the symbol of the city. In Kumamoto, take a deep dive into the life of Miyamoto Musashi, the legendary swordsman who was said to be undefeated in 60 battles. In Fukuoka, watch traditional crafts such as Hakata textiles and spinning tops being made by skilled craftspeople up close, and try your hand at making your own original handicrafts (painting marbles).
(3) In Fukuoka, enjoy the coastal scenery while cycling along Shikanoshima Island in Hakata Bay and get a glimpse of the traditional townscape of villages that prospered from the fishing industry and the lifestyles of the local residents. In Kumamoto, take a guided tour of Suizenji Jojuen Garden, the symbol of Kumamoto also known as the “Land of Water.” In Kagoshima, enjoy cycling through the refreshing breeze from Kinko Bay while gazing at the majestic active volcano Sakurajima.
Creating Valuable Tourism Products that Utilize Ascetic Experiences at Sacred Sites along the Shikoku Pilgrimage
On the small, spiritual island of Shikoku, we are offering a unique chance to experience pilgrimage culture cultivated through the Shikoku Pilgrimage route and Shinto mountain worship culture unique to Shikoku, which is home to Mt. Ishizuchi (1,982m) and Mt. Tsurugi (1,955m), two of the highest mountains in western Japan. The tour features highly private and valuable experiences that can only be found in rural areas, such as small-group ascetic practice experiences in a special rented space, discussions with monks and priests, and individualized tours by local guides who know the region inside out.
(1) Tour with an athlete! Special tour and event
This is an extremely rare opportunity to experience the staff-only areas of the stadium and the legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics together with an athlete.
(2) Experience the lit-up stadium! Japan National Stadium night tour
Relax and enjoy food and drink in the extraordinary atmosphere of the Japan National Stadium at night.
(3) Take photos that can’t be taken anywhere else!
Take original photos at the Japan National Stadium with the ‘Machikame’ photography system, the latest in selfie technology.