Is Japan cool? That’s the question Japan’s largest airline and its tourism board are asking New Yorkers at a special pop-up store near Port Authority Bus Terminal at the Times Square subway station. From now until December 21, New Yorkers can explore all aspects of Japanese culture through a joint venture between All Nippon Airways and the Japanese National Tourism Organization.
Located on the subway level of 42nd Street/Times Square subway station just outside the entrance to Port Authority, the ANA/JNTO pop-up has video monitors and interactive displays that show off the coolest parts of traveling in Japan, from ancient traditions to modern technology.
“Japan is a truly unique place. There’s nowhere else like it in the world, and we want to encourage our friends in New York to come and explore the country and our culture for themselves,” says Yuji Hikako, Senior Vice President, The Americas, ANA. “ANA is Japan’s largest airline and we’ve been bridging the Pacific for the last 28 years reflecting the grace and hospitality that Japan is famed for.”
Finding out what tourists – and potential tourists – think is appealing about Japan is a major initiative for the Japanese government. Japan has a “Cool Japan” strategy led by cabinet member Tomomi Inada, who outlined the government’s ambitious goals for attracting more tourists at a talk at Japan Society in January of this year.
ANA established the “Is Japan Cool?” program and website in 2012, but the company re-launched it on October 10 with a new look and focus on destination promotion for inbound travelers. It’s a resource for tourists and the curious to explore stories around old and new Japan with the aim to inspire them.
Visitors to the pop-up can see what Japan has to offer by watching slickly produced videos on iPads. The videos show a wide range of experiences from enjoying ramen to discovering the beauty of Okinawa to learning about Japan’s kawaii culture. Each category has examples that visitors can rank as being “cool.”
Stop by the pop-up and get inspired to explore Japan. US residents who vote for what they consider to be the coolest part of Japan in the pop-up or on the website will be entered into a sweepstake with a chance of winning a round-trip holiday to Japan, courtesy of ANA.
The “Is Japan Cool” pop-up store at Port Authority Bus Terminal is open from now until Sunday, December 21. Hours are Monday through Thursday from noon until 7:00 p.m., Fridays from noon until 8:00 p.m., and on weekends from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. The pop-up will be closed for Thanksgiving from November 24 through November 30.