This photo taken yesterday at Narita Airport when arriving back to Tokyo from Singapore. Its as if our Mirai-chan is welcoming us back to Japan - which is exactly what she will be doing officially from now.
Yep - our Mirai Suenaga is now officially a mascot for Japan in a collaboration with Japan Tourism ^o^
I've been working with the Japanese government for a few years now and this year I was appointed as a member of METI's (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) "Creative Industries Internationalization Committee" (CIIC).
Soon after our first meeting - we started to formulate our first collaboration. This photo taken at the JNTO offices in Ginza.
Announced at AFA13 and Culture Japan Night Singapore, our first collaboration will be a series of printed maps of Japan. As you know, our Culture Japan mascot character Mirai Suenaga was born and bred in Japan - through the map she will guide you to her favourite spots throughout the Land of the Rising Sun.
This photo shows the WIP version of the map so far which is subject to change - some of it (esp the food) are just placeholders.
If there is something you feel should be on the map then please leave a note below!
The Japanese government and I will be distributing these free printed maps globally starting this December.
Following this map of Japan will be the Greater Tokyo Version.
JNTO and I are going through a list of ideas of how Mirai-chan can contribute to the amount of inbound visitors to Japan. As it stands - Japan is still very low on the list of countries that folks want to visit and we want to change that.
There are many misconceptions of Japan which may be contributing factors - things like "Japan is expensive" "Japan is radioactive" to "its difficult to get around in japan" etc. Are there any other reasons that you hear around you as to why folks don't particularly fancy Japan as a place to visit?
If you have any good ideas then do share in the comments - if your answers are of Ninja level then you should be working for us ^^