The photo album
Cities & prefectures
The city of Kobe had pride of honor this year at Japan Expo through the exhibit Kobe: the charm of city sightseeing. Set in West Japan, Kobe has over 1.53 million inhabitants and welcomes a million tourists every year. Japan opened its doors to the world in 1868, which contributed to the development of this harbor city, the wealth of which partly comes from the sea. Kobe is famous for its food and its very pure water coming from the mountain Rokko-san, one of the best for producing sake.
Kyoto also had a large booth showing the charms of the city through many activities. The actors of the troupe TOEI TSURUGIKAI offered you an impressive show of chanbara while 2 geisha presented the charms of Kyoto with an exclusive show. The booth stage also hosted a dance performance with kimono by the troupe Kyokomachi Odorikotai and you could also try on a kimono.
Prefectures also attended Japan Expo and had booths to present themselves, such Tottori, a region full of ancient natural landscapes and a kingdom of manga, which gave birth to Jirô TANIGUCHI (A Distant Neighborhood, A Zoo in Winter…), Shigeru MIZUKI (GeGeGe no Kitarô) and Gosho AOYAMA (Case Closed).
There were also booths for the prefecture of Okinawa, which has hundreds of islands with beautiful beaches, and the city of Takamatsu who have a singular beauty and culture.
Another way to discover Japan
April 14 and 16’s earthquakes left hurtful aftereffects in the surroundings of Kumamoto. To help Kumamoto and show your support, badges were sold at the festival. Kumamon, the mascot of Kumamoto, was also on stage to talk about the earthquakes and answer your question about the current situation.
4 other mascots came too to promote their cities with funny dances and musical demonstrations with UMI☆KUUN and d’EGU-SPLOSION on stage: Kirarin, the firefly squid of Namerikawa, Merugyu-kun & Merumomo, the oxen of Oyabe, Nishiko-kun, the fairy of Nishi-Kokubunji, and Shinjo-kun, the last river otter of Susaki.
Mascots weren’t the only one promoting their cities. The gotochi idols of Welcome to Japan were on the Saiko ! stage for lively shows.
If many Japanese came all the way to Japan Expo to promote their country, French people, living in Japan or back from a trip, shared their experience with you. And who knows, maybe they’ve helped you get ready for your own trip!
A panel organized by the JNTO, the Japanese National Tourism Office, invited speakers who studied in Japan to tell you about their experience. Afterwards, you could visit the JNTO’s booth to get more information to get ready to fly away to the land of the rising sun.
To go further, you could attend the exhibit Japanese castles, a stroll back in time inspired by Julien and Denis MENTZER’s book, Japon, châteaux et sac à dos ("Japan, castles, and backpacks"). You could discover the architecture, the function and history of Japanese castles through a series of photos, explanations, and videos.