Aomori Brand Story Vol. 4 Aomori Brand Presentation

The 7 groups which passed through the initial screening made suggestions for the theme of “We have to promote to the world!
Aomori ‘Winter’ hands-on experience plan”.
The total 3 groups including the group which was selected as the Winner,
and the 2 groups which got the Award of Excellence received the cash prizes – the cash prizes will be utilized to put their suggestions into practice.

Winner
“Aomori Illumination Winter Park”
Qlock Up Co., Ltd.

Mr. Koichi Nakamura
Winner      “Aomori Illumination Winter Park”    Qlock Up Co., Ltd.
<Mr. Koichi Nakamura>
“AOMORI Illumination Winter Park” was selected as the Winner out of many wonderful projects. What I suggested was the quickest and the most effective way which can lead all the presented projects to success and branding Aomori.
The way is – all the residents in Aomori prefecture become PR managers by being proud of Aomori feeling “I LOVE AOMORI!!” just like New York. It’s the future that everyone loves and promotes Aomori by saying “We have amazingly great food like this!” or “There are so much fun things in here. You have to come!”.
So, how can we make the local residents feel proud of Aomori that way?
I believe the key is raising “happiness” of the people who live and visit there. I think relative approach may be effective, and we should offer the inspiring experience with delicious food or entertainment which can’t be experienced in other prefectures.
“Illumination Winter Park” which appears only in winter at the square beside Warasse is one of the ideas for people to have the inspiring experience. We regard the chilly weather positively which can be taken as a disadvantage, and let people enjoy the freezing weather. I would like to contribute to make Aomori winter more exciting by collaborating with the ongoing winter events in Aomori.
However, being selected as the winner is just the beginning, and we have to clear so many hurdles to make them happen. We obviously need continuous support from all of you. Thank you.

Our upcoming activities will be reported through the PENT HOUSE page on Facebook – PENT HOUSE is a cafe and dinging restaurant which our company own.

https://www.facebook.com/penthouse.aomori/

Award of Excellence
“Aomori is not all about Tuna! Hands-on Fishing Experience & Winter Delicacy Tour”
Aomori Kaisan

Mr. Kosuke KawamuraAward of Excellence
“Aomori is not all about Tuna! Hands-on Fishing Experience & Winter Delicacy Tour” Aomori Kaisan
<Mr. Kosuke Kawamura>
Aomori is surrounded by the ocean on three sides. With the characteristic shape of the land, I believe Aomori Prefecture is nationally well known.
The projects you can “directly feel real Aomori” such as the Snowstorm Tour have been held for a long time.
I assume things which Aomori locals take for granted may be so new and exciting for tourists, and those projects can be held for a long time.
This time, I came up with the tour idea that people would be able to “directly feel real Aomori” on the sea.
The highlight is getting on fishing vessels in midwinter, and experience the severe winter sea of Aomori.
Being chilled to the bone might become one of the unforgettable memories in their trip.
This project may also support increasing the income of fishermen, which is becoming the problem in recent years.
I’ll be starting to work on the project to carry out the winter tour in 2018 by using the cash prize. Thank you.

Award of Excellence
“A Journey Experiencing the Heavenly Bodies and Food Culture at Shirahama Beach”
Shirahama Nyobo

Ms. Wakako ImagawaAward of Excellence “A Journey Experiencing the Heavenly Bodies and Food Culture at Shirahama Beach” Shirahama Nyobo
<Ms. Wakako Imagawa>
“Shirahama Nyobo” is a rest house owned by the women who live by the sea. Right in front of it is Shirahama Port, which is one of the fishing ports in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture.  
In summer, the place becomes lively with people who visit the area to walk around or to go to the beach.
Hachinohe is the area you can enjoy seafood such as sea urchin, sea squirt and flatfish – and we have to say, Shirahama Nyobo always serves outstanding seafood.
When you taste them, you can also sense the local lifestyle in this region.
We strongly recommend everyone to visit there and meet Ms. Kumiko Isojima (such a beautiful lady!) who is the storekeeper of “Shirahama Nyobo” and local people who get together there as well to experience the authentic seafood culture in Hachinohe.
We’ve organized a tour to offer tourists a chance to experience these things.
The tour name is “A Journey Experiencing the Heavenly Bodies and Food Culture at Shirahama Beach”.
We would like people to feel the contrast between the dynamic winter ocean and the quiet seaside life.
We want to make this activity bring a lot of discoveries and creativities to everyone including Shirahama Nyobo, visitors and us while organizing the tour. We hope you’ll be looking forward to it. 
From Imagawa who actually doesn’t live in Shirahama, isn’t anyone’s nyobo(wife), but is just in charge of the tour planning

“Win(ter)-Win(ter) Strategy with Heavy Snow in Aomori”
The Young Members of Shimokita

Mr. Ryuichiro Sakai“Win(ter)-Win(ter) Strategy with Heavy Snow in Aomori” The Young Members of Shimokita
<Mr. Ryuichiro Sakai>
We believe that our suggestion which is the sled obstacle race for adults can become one of the events which both local people and tourists are able to have fun.
We would like to organize an obstacle race by collaborating with ski resorts.
The current issue we have to solve is that the areas given for sledding can be used for the race freely, but tend to have gentle slopes and you can’t really increase speed. When it comes to the areas for skiing, there are steep slopes but we have to get a permission for sledding – so we hope ski resorts would support us for this project.
After our presentation, we were asked if we would manage to let big people get on a sled. We thought it was a constructive question. We hope the project would attract attention from local people.
We also appreciate the great opportunity to give a presentation in front of so many audiences.
Other groups’ presentations were stimulating to us, and we realized many attractive things can be found all over the prefecture.
Through this event, we built up the network of the participants and would like to support all of the projects.

“Recharge Yourself by Soaking in the Various Entertainments in Aomori! Aomori Hot Spring Cure”
Aomori Tsukari Tai

Aomori Tsukari Tai“Recharge Yourself by Soaking in the Various Entertainments in Aomori! Aomori Hot Spring Cure” Aomori Tsukari Tai
The presentation venue was filled with a vibrant atmosphere and was very lively which showed me all the participants’ passion towards Aomori.
Our team participated from Tokyo. We tried our best for the presentation, but the result was unsatisfying. I would like the awarded groups to promote Aomori to the world, and publicize the charms of Aomori more and more.
We’d love to participate again next year to contribute to upgrade Aomori Brand.

All Members of Aomori Tsukari Tai

“The Farm Stay and Local Cuisine Experience for Foreign Tourists”
Aomori Flavors

Ms. Sumiko Richardson Yamauchi“The Farm Stay and Local Cuisine Experience for Foreign Tourists” Aomori Flavors
<Ms. Sumiko Richardson Yamauchi>
We thought we’d like to publicize “Aomori Brand” to the world which includes the life in winter, food and sake in winter, and bringing our hearts closer together in winter – and applied to the presentation as the project of “The Farm Stay and Local Cuisine Experience for Foreign Tourists”.
We believe that “Food is the best communication tool which can connect local regions to the world”. With making food as the major part, we’d like to do the business which is about connecting the foreign tourists to Japan to the people who cultivate and support the local food culture in the local region.

Ms. Sumiko Richardson Yamauchi:http://sumikiest.wixsite.com/globaltable
Naoko Nagisa:http://www.food-communication.jp/

“A Foreigner Folk Singer, Lady Maud’s Strategy for Empowering Aomori”
Team / Minyo Tsugaru

Mr. Masaharu Ohida“A Foreigner Folk Singer, Lady Maud’s Strategy for Empowering Aomori” Team / Minyo Tsugaru
<Mr. Masaharu Ohida>
It was our first time applying for the brand forum.
Our team consists of 3 folk singers including Ms. Maud Archambault, a Canadian woman who receives attention as the first foreigner who became the professional folk singer in Japan and me, the former chief editor of the monthly folk song magazine. So there are 4 of us in total.
The application theme was “Good to Visit”.
Our suggestion is: drawing tourists from inside and outside of Japan to the country by making Maud “Aomori Tourism (or Cultural) Ambassador”. She is good at singing dynamic and unique Tsugaru folk songs such as “Tsugaru Aiya Bushi” and “Kuroishi Yosare Bushi”, so she can express and promote the charms of Aomori Prefecture.
Maud is receiving a great deal of attraction including media such as newspapers and TV – because she is said to be “The unique foreigner who is like a Japanese person more than Japanese”, because she can even wear Kimono by herself perfectly, and can even sew summer kimono.
She also appeared in the governmental official magazine “We Are Tomodachi Spring 2016 for “Friends of Japan” which features people from other countries playing active roles in Japan, and in “We are Tomodachi Special Number” for the G7 Iseshima Summit. She will play an active role as the folk singer with international sensibility who can introduce Japanese culture to the world. She may even be selected to play a major part in Tokyo Olympic.
Foreigners may not be rare or special in Japan any more, but still foreigners can be influential as for tourism. In that sense, I thought taking advantage of a foreigner folk singer would have an immediate effect.
Next year we’ll mark Nitabo’s 160th anniversary of birth. Nitabo (Nitaro Akimoto) is a founder of Tsugaru Shamisen. Tsugaru Shamisen is known with the powerful, shredding and improvisation styles expressed as “Jazz in Japan”. At present, not only Japanese young people, but also many foreigners are leaning Tsugaru Shamisen.
I know some foreign ladies from Taiwan and France who are working at folk song bars in Asakusa, and are leaning Tsugaru Shamisen. There is a musician like Mr. Kevin Kmetz who lives in Misawa and teaches Tsugaru Shamisen who also made his Hollywood debut by taking part in the fantasy animated film “Kubo and the Two Strings”, by playing shamisen. The film was about the adventurous trip of a young boy who wields a magical shamisen.
The blue forest became the world heritage site, the four seasons are colored by abundant nature and the agricultural products have been improved – brand values for “Good to Buy / Good to Eat” have been upgraded and are spreading inside and outside of the country. However, as for the culture, diffusion of information hasn’t been active not only to the world, but also within the country. The themes “Good to Visit”, “Good to See” and “Good to Listen to” are still far from success.
On the other hand, like Mr. Kmetz, and Ms. Carin Laffite who is from France, and is actively working as a waitress in the traditional Japanese restaurant Suimeiso after graduating from Hirosaki University. Some foreigners are inspired by the culture and humaneness in Tsugaru, and are living in Aomori as their second hometown.
We’ll keep working on “Strategy for Empowering Aomori” based on the experience we had this time.
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