French Tourists to Himeji Increasing Rapidly
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MImJdSjThkM (top image too)
Guiding pamphlets of Himeji Castle in French has been rising about three times in seven years
French tourists visiting Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture, are increasing rapidly. In addition to Himeji Castle which is the famous world cultural heritage and national treasure, people like it because it is not so crowded as a big city such as Tokyo. And it has also the advantage of location not far from Hiroshima, which is popular city among French people. So the city began rethinking its sightseeing strategy which had been biased to Asia.
I’ve heard that there is no country-specific statistics of foreign tourists to the city but it is probably that all foreign tourists have been increasing, not only French. There is a wonderful national treasure called “Himeji Castle” which is also a world heritage, so the city has a big power to attract tourists. And after the restoration of the castle tower in recent years, I think the castle is more attractive than before.
Distribution of French pamphlets in Himeji Castle seems to increase rapidly from 7,392 copies in 2009 to 22,064 copies in 2016. During that time, a big reconstruction had been done from October 2009 to March 2015, and it was over. After that, French travel agencies may have put the focus on sightseeing tours on Himeji.
Also, it may be great that Himeji Caste is the highest ranked three star in the Michelin Green Guide Japon with each sightseeing spot.
Next time will “Anime Otaku” go to Himeji from all over the world?
Let’s take a “cosplay(costume play)” shot at Himeji Castle. “Himeji Sub Karu(sub cultural) ☆ Festival” on the theme of manga, animation, idol etc. will be held on the main venue on Otemae Park in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture on February 4. It will be for the first time to take snap shots of cosplayers at historical places such as world cultural heritage and national treasures, Himeji Castle and Keikoen. The organizer said “I want you to reproduce your favorite one scene with animation and movies.”
What happens to a mixed fusion of history and sub culture ? Continuing these events, we may be able to call Anime Otaku not only from France but from all over the world (laugh). I’ve heard that there is the company which has top share in the sales of cosplay wigs in the Taisho Town near Himeji City.
There is also local idol girls group called KRD 8 named after Kuroda Kanbei, a famous samurai in 16th century. It seems that there is the niece of a famous comedian Tomonori Jinai among them.