The photo album
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Cities & prefectures
The city of Takamatsu had pride of honor this year at Japan Expo thanks to the exhibit Takamatsu, city of the arts. Capital of the Seto Inland Sea, Takamatsu is set in Kagawa prefecture. Little known from tourists, it’s full of treasures unveiled along this exhibit which presented photos and explanations. You have discovered this unique culture, the 6 islands surrounding the city and the culture of Henro, Shikoku’s pilgrimage. The path has been linking 88 temples for over 1,200 years. The exhibit also provided information about visiting the city and a booth allowed you to ask your questions, while tasting traditional candies served during tea ceremonies.
Kyoto also had a large booth showing the charms of the city through many activities. The craddle of Japanese traditions, Kyoto is also a modern city as you could see on the booth. An exclusive exhibit about the anime Uchouten-Kazoku was presented. The actors from the movie Uzumasa Limelight, a swashbuckler film born in Kyoto’s studios, performed on the booth stage, on top of their shows on the Ichigô and Sakura stages, and of the preview screening. The booth stage also hosted a dance performance with kimono by the troupe Kyo-Komachi odoriko tai and you could also try on a kimono to take a photo in sets of the city in the VIP Box. Kyoto’s booth was also full of souvenirs, traditional items sold on the booth.
Click here for more about Uzumasa Limelight
in our culture & tradition report
... and there in our martial art report
The Mangattan is a symbol of the city of Ishinomaki and of reconstruction after March 2011’s tsunami. A panel organized with Zoom Japon invited the museum representative to talk about this tribute to the "king of manga", Shôtarô ISHINOMORI, highlighting the role of the Mangattan in the reconstruction of the city which had been harshly struck by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. A booth and an exhibit invited you to go further and prepare your visit!
Prefectures also attended Japan Expo and had booths to present themselves, such as Okinawa and Tottori, a region full of ancient natural landscapes and 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).
Click here for more about manga
& anime in our special report
Another way to discover Japan
The Welcome to Japan Project showed you Japan through the "local idols" phenomenon, the gotochi idols such as they’re called in Japan. On top of a colorful show on the Karasu stage, the idols performed all day long and everyday on a dedicated stage set right inside the festival. They have also showed you the specialties, touristic sites and culture of their regions: Numazu, in Shizuoka prefecture, with Orange Port; Sendai, in Miyago prefecture, with Michinoku Sendai ORI☆ Hime Tai; Osaka, in Osaka prefecture, with Chaw Chaw; and Fukuoka, in Fukuoka prefecture, with Baseball☆Girls.
More popular every time he’s attending Japan Expo, Kumamon was back! Sweet as ever, Kumamoto’s mascot to buck you up before going back to the festival frenzy. Irresistible, Kumamon’s dancing enchanted kids and grown-ups alike. As usual, our favorite bear did what he knows best: make you smile.
The guests also revealed what they love best in Japan! Presented by the comic duo Jaru Jaru and the TV hostess Caroline SEGARRA, the show NEO JAPONISM~NOLIFE x ESPRIT JAPON x Japan in Motion unveiled the guests’ favorite places. A nice way to discover new places in Japan with BACK-ON, Baseball☆Girls, Bee Shuffle, Dempagumi.inc, Eir AOI, Rio HIIRAGI, Daiki ISE, Le Lien, Michinoku Sendai ORI ☆ Himetai, Orange Port, and Pink Babies.
Click here for more about "local idols"
in our J-music report
If many Japanese had come 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, they’ve helped you get ready for your own trip!
A panel organized by the JNTO, the Japanese National Tourism Office, had invited speakers who have traveled, studied, or worked 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 after the Takamatsu exhibit, Marie-Édith LAVAL shared her own experience of Shikoku’s pilgrimage. She also presented the book she wrote after her trip, Comme une Feuille de thé à Shikoku ("like a tea leaf in Shikoku").
Japanese culture gives much importance to seasons, and Denis and Julien MENTZER have chosen the two most beautiful seasons in the archipelago, koyo, fall, and hanami, spring, to make a documentary about Japanese castles: La Balade du Sakura ("Sakura’s walk"). The panel completed the screening with the lecturers giving you a few tips and ideas for your own trip.
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for more about the festival with pics!