Lesley Aeschliman

The 2015 J-Pop Summit Announces Interactive Pop Travel Attractions

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The 2015 J-Pop Summit, the Japanese pop culture event held annually in San Francisco, offers a fun and interactive experience of what it’s like to travel to Japan as it announces the Pop Travel Area. The 2015 J-Pop Summit takes places August 8 and 9, 2015 at the historic Fort Mason Center in San Francisco’s Marina district.

Ryokan pavilion at 2015 J-Pop FestivalThroughout the weekend, J-Pop Summit attendees to Fort Mason can enjoy a colorful assortment of Japanese pop-influenced culture, fashion, pop art, live music, technology, and travel that will be complemented by celebrity Guests of Honor, anime programming, cosplay and J-Pop idol contests, and a wide assortment of vendors and other programming. Tickets and V.I.P Passes are available now at: www.J-POP.com.

The Pop Travel Area builds on ongoing interest to spotlight new and interesting sides of Japanese travel that often overlooked by Western travelers. It was developed in cooperation with the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and features a “Ryokan Pavilion,” presented by 2015 J-Pop Summit sponsor, Global Daily, showcasing the unique experience “Ryokan” traditional Japanese inns offer visitors.

The kimono cosplay duo, Yanakiku, which was a festival favorite from last year’s J-Pop Summit, return to serve as the cultural ambassadors of the Ryokan Pavilion. With their cute, pop-inspired look and sound, mixed with Japanese traditional accents, Yanakiku is a wonderful complement to the travel-themed attractions. Inside this pavilion, J-Pop Summit attendees can get detailed information about a variety of Japanese tours and activities and also make reservations to visit a Ryokan.

Ryokans are traditional inns found widely across Japan and have been a central part of Japanese culture for centuries. In the West they are comparable to a bed and breakfast, but Ryokans usually also offer dinner (and breakfast) and are located near “onsen” hot springs and other sightseeing spots and are popular getaway locations for tourists throughout the year. Ryokans are also patterned on classical Japanese houses and often contain “tatami” woven mat flooring accented by “shoji” screens (sliding paper doors), “zabuton” (sitting cushions), and floor sleeping on “futon” (sleeping quilts).

The Ryokan Pavilion will feature interactive mini-theater displays about several award winning Japanese Ryokans that each display the warm spirit of “omotenashi,” or hospitality, in a distinct way. These establishments preserve the essence of Japanese tradition in their architecture, food, guest appointments, and local attractions.

Attendees are invited to don “yakuta” (traditional Japanese robes) and “geta” (Japanese wooden sandals) that will be provided to enhance the Ryokan experience. Several “mini-theatres” will recreate Ryokan stays at a selection of award winning establishments through a combination of HD video projection and life-sized scale model rooms. Visitors can immerse themselves with the smell of incense and stunning virtual tours actual Ryokan inns, local hot springs, and the breathtaking seasonal scenery of Japan.

Other areas of the expansive Pop Travel Area will feature additional travel-themed displays by JNTO, the Japan National Tourism Organization, which will offer visitor’s information and first-hand advice about traveling to Japan, as well as the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Japanese travel agencies such as Nippon Travel Agency and H.I.S. Additional Pop Travel attractions will include JNTO’s photo booth featuring beautiful depictions of Japanese scenery, a deco-nail art pop-up salon by Juno Quartz, and an appearance by the Japanese local mascots, Yuru-Kyara. Visitors are invited to learn more about Japan’s latest pop and travel trends and also explore special limited edition J-Pop-themed travel packages.

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