I saw the above picture last week, and thought perhaps it was part of Tokyo and Japan’s drive to get more tourists to Tokyo, maybe linked to the ‘Yokosou Japan’ initiative we see on a lot of things at the moment. Personally, I think that’s a good idea, as Tokyo has a lot to offer, and it’s nice to see the tourist officials seeing Tokyo as more than temples and encouraging people to hit Akihabara, small izakayas, street markets etc., which as we know are more a part of the real everyday Tokyo feel.
Before I get too carried away though, there is another side. That website is only in Japanese (except the slogans), and has an annoying flash banner to it. It’s actually for some kind of ‘love Tokyo’ brand effort that seems popular right now aimed specifically around one apartment development. Indeed our apartment building has a similar advert on some trains, though quite a bit more down market, about Tokyo style and Tokyo life, which is odd for a building which looks like a grey version of the monolith from 2001.
For some reason though it got me thinking about the current tourist efforts in Tokyo – true there do seem to be more visitors, and a huge increase in places to change money, but it seems they (the Tokyo tourist folk) want Japanese people to stop going abroad and come to Tokyo instead. Forget that it’s cheaper to go to Seoul for a long weekend than it is to come to Tokyo from Osaka and stay. New Tokyo, but Old thinking. Sigh. Still, Japan and Tokyo in particular is a great place to visit. If I see the other associated posters, I’ll post them too, some are actually quite good – one has a picture of the ‘under-the-arches’ yakitoriya’s in Yurakucho with a note (paraphrased from memory) ‘why go to a London pub?’. Actually, that’s fair comment – the yakitori and atmosphere there is excellent. And the beer’s cheaper. So in general, a nice image (homage to New York though it is) I wonder whether they can really push it domestically and abroad.