EMOCAL, a Project to Support Japanese Regions, Releases Music Using Local Sound Samples
The EMOCAL project aims to support small-town areas of Japan. As a new initiative in the project, specific soundscapes only found in certain areas of the country have been combined with music to create some unique tracks. A selection of musical artists have collaborated with the project to bring these songs to life!
EMOCAL was created by ZOWA’s original label, CatchyStuck. The project supports local regions and communities by using ASMR soundscape videos recorded in each region to convey their particular charms to all of Japan. The sounds recorded in each place are considered to be very valuable and are intended to serve two purposes: to bring tourism back after the pandemic and to provide fans of ASMR a way to experience these areas from afar.
Check out each of these unique ambient tracks created by four up-and-coming musicians! Each song is available on viviON’s ASMR platform ZOWA and on Spotify.
Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture / Ikkyuu x Hige Driver, I Love Ikkyuu
Beard Driver created this ambient track with sounds recorded inside of Ikkyuu, a ramen shop.
Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture / Miyuki no Hama x Powerless, Seiren
Powerless created this track, inspired by the sounds of waves crashing at Miyuki no Hama, a seaside recreation area 20 minutes from Odawara Station.
Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture / Wasabi Field x baker, On the silent hill
Utogi in Shizuoka city is surrounded by incredible nature. Known as the birthplace of wasabi cultivation, baker used sounds recorded in the area to create this ambient track.
Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture / Cape Tara x SeA0, Akushu
Cape Tara is a popular spot featuring an 800-meter-long sandbar at low tide. The sounds captured here were used by artist SeA0, and this track is sure to make you miss the water.
Official Site: https://catchystuck.jp/ambient/
Izu, the Setting for Laid-Back Camp, Now Offering Travel Plans
JR Tokai Tours has released a new travel plan for fans of Laid-Back Camp Season 2, which aired from January to March 2021. The tour will take place in the Izu area, which was heavily featured in episodes 10, 11, and 12. Guests can enjoy a travel plan with single lodging and original goods starting May 23 until June 29, 2022.
The slice-of-life series Laid-Back Camp is currently serialized in COMIC FUZ.
Set in Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures, Laid-Back Camp is a relaxing series following a group of high school girls going camping and enjoying their daily lives. The series is based on the author Afro’s personal experiences and interviews, and since serialization in 2015, the series has attracted fans from around the world. The original comic has sold over 7 million copies. In 2018, the first anime series premiered, inspiring a spin-off Room Camp in 2020 and a second season in 2021.
Four years after it was announced in 2018, a Laid-Back Camp animated film will arrive in theaters this summer.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Shelter Nanyo Hall in Yamagata for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
Last month, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed on the Gobi Stage at Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States. The singer has now returned to Japan for the second half of her ‘Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 CANDY WAVE,’ seeing the singer performing 30 shows across Japan. The tour will conclude with a solo performance at Budokan in October.
In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities and has been attracting major attention. Kyary’s newest collaboration in Yamagata has been announced ahead of her concert there on May 13!
The singer will be collaborating with Shelter Nanyo Hall in Nanyo, Yamagata, a small town of only around 30,000 people. The hall is the world’s largest wooden concert hall, made entirely from laminated local cedar. It uses the most advanced fire-resistant technology for wood in Japan and was certified as the world’s largest by Guinness World Records in December 2015. The multi-functional hall can seat over 1,400 people, and the property also features a Japanese-style tea room, meeting rooms, an open tree-growing space, and more.
“I want the local population to be incredibly proud of this magnificent wooden structure,” said Norihito Shimanuki, the hall’s director. “Through this concert hall, we’d like to promote Nanyo and Yamagata Prefecture both domestically and internationally.”
The collaboration logo for the newest partnership was inspired by the ‘KPP NANDA COLLECTION LIVE in HAWAII’ visual. The one-night-only concert was held in July 2014. Since the main focus of this team-up is ‘wood,’ the visual’s palm tree has been transformed into a cedar tree!
A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo. The shirt is available on the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website for two weeks only starting May 12. Support Japanese businesses and pick one up while you can!
Shelter Nanyo Hall Yamagata (Nanyo City Cultural Hall) x Local Power Japan Project
Price: ¥3,300 (Tax Included)
Available: May 12 – May 25, 23:59
Where to Buy:
LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project Online Shop
Shelter Nanyo Hall (Nanyo City Cultural Hall): https://nanyoshi-bunkakaikan.jp
Tour Details: https://kpp10.jp/japantour2022/
Official Site: https://localpowerjapan.com
*Please allow two weeks to one month after order for product to ship. All items are made-to-order.
*A portion of shirt sales will be donated to local development and social programs.
Banyan Tree Rooftop Bar Opens on Japan’s Southernmost Island
30.March.2022 | SPOT
The Banyan Tree Rooftop Bar, located at Hoshino Resort Risonare Kohamajima on Japan’s southernmost island, is holding a special stargazing event until April 20, 2022. Visitors can enjoy a cocktail as they gaze at the countless twinkling stars overhead.
Kohama Island is located within the Yaeyama Islands. With a warm climate, it’s comfortable to spend long hours outside, even at night. Kohamajima was also the first island in Japan to be protected by the IDA (International Darkness Association), meaning that no bright manmade lights can interfere with stargazing. Visitors can see 84 of 88 constellations!
Enjoy a Boundless Starry Sky
The Banyan Tree Terrace will bring guests together to feel the sea breeze and taste colorful mojitos as they enjoy the pleasant weather. Why not spend a relaxing time in a fantastic space lit with faintly glowing candles as you stargaze?
Taste Colorful Mojitos
A limited number of colorful mojitos will be available at a bar counter set up on the terrace for this event only. You can also enjoy Okinawan original mojitos with made with Okinawa lime, brown sugar instead of sugar, non-alcoholic mojitos for children, and tropical fruit mojitos with pineapple and passion fruit.
Munch on Snacks Perfect to Pair with Cocktails
Guests can also enjoy a snack set with salty nuts perfect for enjoying with alcohol!
Banyan Tree Rooftop Bar
Open: March 1 – April 20, 2022
Location: Banyan Tree Terrace
Official Site: https://risonare.com/kohamajima/
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Popular Shimane Manju for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is staying active in 2022. In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the “LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project” was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities, and has been attracting major attention. Kyary’s tour made it to Shimane on March 12, and the details of her next collaboration have been revealed!
Kyary will be teaming up with Nakaura Foods and their delicious local delicacy Dojou Sukui Manju. Known as the representative treat of the San’in region, the name is a reference to the mask worn during local performances of the Yasugibushi folk song. The steamed buns were developed by Nakaura Foods in 1967 and have been loved by locals ever since. In the 2000s, the company began experimenting with new flavors by teaming up with other local creators.
The company’s logo is being reimagined for the project, inspired by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s 2013 Furisodeshon music video.
The name of the popular product has also been changed to Kyary Sukui Manju! Each box has a pop design and would make a perfect souvenir for Kyary fans.
A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo. A special LINE collaboration is also underway, and 50 people who order the new Kyary-themed treats from the official Nakaura Foods online store will be entered to win a shirt!
Dojou Sukui Manju (Shimane) x LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
Sales Period: March 12 – April 8, 2022
Where to Buy:
Nakaura Foods Official Online Store
Nakaura Foods Stores in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture and Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture
Where to Purchase: LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project Online Shop
Available until March 25 at 23:59
Commemorative Kyary Sukui Manju T-shirt Gift Campaign
Application Period: April 8, 2022
How to Enter:
- Add Nakaura Foods as a friend on LINE and get the campaign keyword.
- Enter the keyword when purchasing Kyary Sukui Manju from the Nakaura Foods online store.
- 50 winners will be selected by drawing to receive a special collaborative T-shirt!
Booking.com Reveals 4 Best Lodgings with Outdoor Baths for Snow Viewing
16.March.2022 | SPOT
Booking.com Japan has revealed its top four picks for the Japanese accommodations with the best outdoor baths and snow views!
Zao Kokusai Hotel (Zao Onsen, Yamagata Prefecture)
Located 900 meters above sea level and surrounded by the gorgeous natural beauty of the Zao mountains, this resort has long been renowned for its spectacular view of seasonal scenery. During winter, guests can enjoy a fully spring-fed open-air bath while gazing at the snow-capped mountains. The milky white waters of the Zao Hot Springs have high sulfur content which will improve the texture of your skin. The resort also has a bath large enough to accommodate up to seven people at a time and a private bath for families or lovers.
Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa (Date, Hokkaido)
The Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa is surrounded by nature and contains one of the largest open-air baths in Japan, along with 20 unique fragrant baths for guests to enjoy. In winter, the surrounding trees seem to glisten with snow, and visitors are sure to find plenty of peace and relaxation while lounging beneath the grey skies.
Akakura Kanko Hotel (Myoko, Niigata Prefecture)
This highland resort sits on a 1,000-meter peak, offering unmatched views of Niigata Prefecture. The natural hot spring flows from the inside of Mt. Myoko, with healing waters perfect for soaking in during the cold winter months. The large baths are also equipped with a sauna and deck, and those wanting to view the scenery from their room can enjoy guest accommodations with private baths as well!
Satoyama Jujo (Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture)
Winning a design award for its facilities, Satoyama Jujo has a different feel when compared to most hotels and ryokan. Booking.com recommends it for travelers looking for new experiences! In the open-air bath, visitors can relax while enjoying a panoramic view of Mt. Makihata, one of Japan’s 100 most famous peaks. Guests can also enjoy the starry skies at night. This is a perfect location for couples!
Each season in Japan offers uniquely beautiful scenery. How would you like to enjoy winter in one of these luxurious baths?
Three Japanese Tourism Instagram Accounts to Follow for Travel Inspiration
07.March.2022 | SPOT
The pandemic has changed our lives forever. People have spent the last two years missing travel as they spend more and more time at home, and while many are ready to travel again, it can be difficult to know if it’s the right time to return to normalcy. To make the situation a little easier, many local tourism associations in Japan are posting images on Instagram to inspire people to give traveling another try. These three Instagram accounts are our personal favorites, and once Japan opens to tourists again, you won’t want to miss visiting these areas!
[Official Kumamoto Tourism Association] Motto, motto, Kumamoto!
Discover the charms of Kumamoto on this local Instagram account featuring photos from four unique local photographers. Many will know the area as the home of the character Kumamon. The images capture the daily lives of Kumamoto residents and include local food and gorgeous scenery. The postings also include the location of the photo and comments from the photographers, making things feel more personal.
[Official Hokkaido Tourism Association] GoodDay Hokkaido
Hokkaido is an area rich in gourmet seafood and dairy, but its spectacular landscapes are reason enough to visit. GoodDay Hokkaido shows off both the common and uncommon elements of Hokkaido life, often introducing little-known areas. Each photo is vividly colored, and followers can see different seasons at every time of day as they scroll through the feed. See the best images from Japan’s northernmost island each and every day on your smartphone!
[Ome / Okutama] Umetama
Umetama is an account that introduces places of interest in Ome and Okutama, two of Tokyo’s most scenic towns. Each can be reached in about an hour by train from Shinjuku Station. Visitors can enjoy a gorgeous day trip from the Tokyo center, with the area featuring plenty of campsites and hiking trails. There are tons of stargazing spots, and visitors are often surprised that such incredible nature is so close to Japan’s hectic capital. Those with kids will find plenty to do here, so start taking notes while you scroll through the Umetama page!
More and more young people are finding the appeal of Ome and Okutama, and the area has become the perfect relaxation spot for those seeking refuge from their busy lives. In addition, the craft beer bar Ome Beer, located near Ome Station, sells local alcohol, including Okutama’s popular craft beer ‘Vertere.’ See the lesser-known side of Tokyo on this picturesque account.
Remember how wonderful it is to travel? Hopefully, Japan opens for tourism again soon, and you can visit all of these gorgeous locales.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Mentaiko Manufacturer Fukuya for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is having a busy year. The artist will perform at this year’s Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, and released her first full-length album in three years ‘Candy Racer’ in October 2021. On January 16, Kyary embarked on the largest tour of her career, ‘Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 CANDY WAVE,’ which will see the singer performing 30 shows across Japan.
In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the “LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project” was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities. The 30 stops on the new tour include many that Kyary has not visited before, and were chosen based on the singer’s desire to perform for fans who may not typically be able to attend one of her shows. On March 5, Kyary will perform in Fukuoka, and will also be collaborating with Fukuya, the oldest mentaiko producer in Japan. Fukuya has been selling the pollock roe product since 1949.
The company’s logo has been reimagined, paying homage to the artwork associated with Kyary’s 2016 song Sai & Co.
Fukuya’s most popular product, pickled cod roe in oil, will be sold in an original collaborative package with new Kyary-inspired branding. Mentaiko and dried mentaiko will be packed in two unique packages that can be stacked to form one image. A message from Kyary is also included. These will be available at select Fukuya locations and online for a limited time, as well as at the March 5 concert in limited quantities.
A T-shirt with a collaboration logo and design has also been unveiled featuring the new color scheme and Kyary’s 10th-anniversary logo. This shirt will only be available on the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website for two weeks and at certain Fukuya stores starting March 8.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu x Fukuya
Fukuya (Fukuoka) x LPJP
Orders Accepted until March 31, 2022
Fukuya x LPJP Collaboration T-shirt
Sales open until March 15, 2022
Where to Buy:
Participating Locations: Nakasu/Kawabata/Fukuoka Airport/Hakata Station DEITOS/Hakata Station Underground Shopping Center/Dazaifu/HAKU HAKU
Buy Online: https://store-localpowerjapan.com/
Official Site: https://localpowerjapan.com
Japan’s manhole covers are known around the world for their intricate designs and unique local motifs. Used to promote towns and destinations, a new apparel brand has taken notice of these neat pieces of culture, releasing t-shirts to continue boosting communities around Japan.
In most cases, local governments are in charge of designing manhole covers. The Japan Underground team travels around the country in a van, finding the most inspiring manhole covers and negotiating with local governments to use the designs. They are then posted daily on social media.
Hokkaido Collection (Otaru / Ishikari / Wakkanai / Kushiro / Sapporo)
Tohoku Collection (Aomori City / Akita City / Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture / Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Prefecture / Higashine, Yamagata Prefecture / Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture)
Hokuriku Collection (Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture / Ojiya / Namerikawa, Toyama Prefecture / Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture / Fukui City / Katsuyama)
In July 2021, the group began their travels to sell the new products, starting in Hokkaido and continuing to the Tohoku and Hokuriku regions. In the future, they will continue to the Kanto, Chubu, Kansei, Shikoku, Chugoku, and Kyushu regions, adapting at least one manhole cover design from each municipality per prefecture. The goal is to reach Okinawa in September 2022.
Manhole Cover T-shirts
Price: ¥4,200 (Tax Included)
Online Shop: https://japanunderground.shop
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Announces ‘LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project’ to Support Rural Areas
20.January.2022 | Uncategorized
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is back in the news. The artist will perform at this year’s Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, and recently released her first full-length album in three years ‘Candy Racer’ in October 2021. On January 16, Kyary embarked on the largest tour of her career, ‘Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 CANDY WAVE,’ which will see the singer performing 30 shows across Japan.
In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the “LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project” was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities. The 30 stops on the new tour include many that Kyary has not visited before, and were chosen based on the singer’s desire to perform for fans who may not typically be able to attend one of her shows.
This initiative aims to bring attention and support to local industries and to inspire more tourism to rural areas.
This project is a new attempt to enliven local communities by collaborating with companies that have roots in the rural locations where these concerts will be held. These company’s logos have been reimagined, paying homage to the artwork associated with Kyary’s previous song releases. T-shirts designed with each of these collaborative logos will be on sale for a limited time, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the local community for development and social contributions.
For the encore of the first live show, Kyary wore a collaboration logo T-shirt inspired by Suzuhiro Kamaboko, a company in Kanagawa Prefecture. The artist also introduced the project and its aim to the excited audience. More collaborations will be announced through July 2021.
Check out the ‘LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project’ website for more details!
Comment from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
“This tour is to commemorate my tenth anniversary, and as I travel all over Japan to express my gratitude to those who have supported me over the past decade, I also want to do something for everyone else. I’m happy to support these local companies and I’d like to work with them to revitalize the entire country. We’ll be engaging in all sorts of collaborations around Japan, so look forward to it!”
January 16, Kanagawa Performance: Suzuhiro Kamaboko
Suzuhiro Kamaboko, a long-established fish paste store in Odawara that has been in business for 156 years, has agreed to take part in the project. Their normally navy blue brand logo has received a major makeover in colorful pink, green, and purple hues.
The T-shirts featuring the new collaboration logo on the front and the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th anniversary logo and ‘LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project’ logo on the back are now available for purchase!
*Otono Kuni (From 4th Album ‘Japamyu,’ 2018)
Streaming Links: https://lnk.to/otonokuni
January 29, Gunma Performance: Oginoya Kamameshi
Oginoya, the largest Ekiben shop in Japan, was established 136 years ago in Yokokawa, Gunma Prefecture.
Their main dish, Touge no Kamameshi,’ has been sold for over 60 years and often makes appearances at events all over Japan. The company’s logo has been reborn through the lens of Kyary’s popular song Tsukematsukeru. A special kamameshi dish will also be prepared for the project, and will be sold in limited quantities at the Gunma concert venue on January 29, Kyary’s birthday!
*Tsukematsukeru (1st Single, 2012)
Streaming Links: https://lnk.to/tsukematsukeru
May 20, Fukushima Performance: Kourakuen
Kyary will appear in commercials for Kourakuen as part of the project. The company started as a small diner in Aizuwakamatsu and is now is a national chain of ramen restaurants serving over 54 million people a year! The new logo and collaboration details will be revealed at a later date, so keep an eye out!
LOCAL POWER JAPAN project
Maybe Baby (Written and Composed by Yasutaka Nakata)
Streaming Links: https://lnk.to/KPP_MaybeBaby
5th Full Album ‘Candy Racer’ (Produced by Yasutaka Nakata)
Buy the CD: https://nippon-columbia.lnk.to/CANDYRACER
Tour Details: https://kpp10.jp/japantour2022/
Lawson Ticket: https://l-tike.com/kpp10th/
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Explores Tomakomai, Hokkaido in New Tour Video
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is introducing potential travelers to the charms of Tomakomai, Hokkaido in a new two-part tourism video on her YouTube channel.
In the new videos, fans can see Kyary in a new light very unlike her onstage persona. Along with her tour guides, she travels for two days around this gorgeous city on Japan’s northernmost island.
The first video begins with her visit to a Red Eagles Hokkaido hockey game, quickly followed by tons of outdoor activities like canoeing and horseback riding. The singer enjoys plenty of local dishes and captures some spectacular views of Lake Utonai.
Who is the one who invited Kyary to Tomakomai anyway? Fans will have to watch to find out. Whether living in Japan or dreaming about visiting someday, these videos are sure to inspire a future trip.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu presents Around Japan
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s Tomakomai Tour ~A Beautiful Trip to Tomakomai~
Release Date: December 16, 2021 (Part 1) ／ December 23, 2021 (Part 2)
Where to Watch: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s Official YouTube Channel
VTuber Group Hololive Releases First Round of Limited-Edition Regional Goods
Japan is known for its distinct regions, and visitors to the country can find extremely unique souvenirs specific to certain towns or prefectures. Even globally-loved snacks have regional variants! Now, the popular VTuber group Hololive has decided to market a collection of limited-edition goods based on particular parts of Japan. Items from the first round will go on sale at participating shops on December 18, 2021.
Tokyo Edition: Sakura Miko, Tokino Sora, Momosuzu Nene, Tsunomaki Watame
Osaka Edition: Natsuiro Matsuri, Nakiri Ayame, Himemori Luna
Fukuoka Edition: Shirakami Fubuki, Inugami Korone, Houshou Marine
Fans can snag acrylic stands, keychains, and pins featuring their favorite VTubers representing Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. This is only the first round of goods, and the second round will be announced soon.
© 2016 COVER Corp.
Model Shibata Saki’s Trip to Mie Prefecture to Air on BS12 for 2 Consecutive Weeks
18.November.2021 | SPOT
On November 18 and November 25, national free broadcasting service BS12 will air ‘NEXT TRIP: A Luxury Resort Trip to Ise and Shima.’ The host for the excursion will be popular model Shibata Saki (nicknamed Shibasaki), who is a well-known figure to women of all ages.
NEXT TRIP is a new travel program that helps travelers figure out where to go next. The theme of the series is “Where should I go once the world settles down?” From visiting popular city spots to faraway resorts in Japan and abroad, the show aims to introduce people to locations they haven’t discovered yet, showcasing what the world has to offer. Those watching should keep a lookout for spectacular scenery, gourmet local food, outdoor activities, and so much more.
[Part 1] November 18, 2021, 9:00 – ‘NEXT TRIP: A Journey to Ise’
In this episode, Saki Shibata travels to Ise, Mie Prefecture, first visiting Ise Shrine to pay her respects. The shrine is one of the holiest and important sites in the Shinto faith and was said to be established in the year 4 BCE. After visiting the Inner Shrine on a bright and sunny morning, Shibata travels to the ancient Okage Yokocho street to find some souvenirs and enjoy a local cafe to enjoy Ise’s famous rice cakes and traditional Japanese sweets. For lunch, she visits a very retro western-style building. At the nearby Ise Ninja Kingdom, guests can wear ninja costumes, and Shibata does just that! As the day comes to an end, Shibata opts to stay at a luxurious ryokan, Ikyuu, and highlights the incredible dinner and other services the lodging offers.
Air Date: November 18, 2021 / 9:00-10:00
[Part 2] November 25, 2021, 9:00 – ‘NEXT TRIP: A Luxury Resort Trip to Ise and Shima’
The second part of the trip begins with cycling. Visiting the famous Married Couple Rocks on the coast of Futami, Shibata sets out for Shima. After enjoying the breathtaking view from the ‘Mailbox in the Sky’ on the Ise-Shima Skyline, she stays at a resort overlooking the Shima coast. Guests are welcome to take a leisurely stroll around the grounds and enjoy a luxury cruise or dinner. The sunset is something Saki Shibata will surely never forget.
Air Date: November 25, 2021 / 9:00-10:00
Where do you want to travel in Japan once the world settles down?