Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA 2022! A Gathering of the Fascinating Cultures of Niigata!
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Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA 2022!
Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA was held at Toki Messe Niigata Convention Center's exhibition hall in Niigata Prefecture on November 5 (Sat.) and 6 (Sun.), 2022.
The expo is a gathering of cutting-edge information in all fields related to 'Cool Japan' and is held in Niigata Prefecture.
The event allows exhibitors with a variety of products and business solutions to interact with visitors from various industries, professions, and positions.
With approximately 175 booths, it's a major gathering of 'Cool Japan' contens from all across the country.
This year's Cool Japan Expo in NIIGATA also brought together all manner of genres, from modern cultures, such as anime and video games, to traditional crafts that Japan has long preserved.
We, the staff of COOL JAPAN VIDEOS, personally attended the event, and in this article, I'll go over the live atmosphere of the event with lots of photos!
In the last part of the article, I'll introduce some of the delicious foods and sightseeing spots you can find in Niigata that I enjoyed between interviews, so I hope you stick with me until the end.
What is 'Cool Japan'?
'Cool Japan' is a term used in the "Cool Japan Strategy," a brand strategy to achieve economic growth in Japan by capturing international attention through the dissemination of information about the cool things that Japan has to offer, as well as overseas expansion, and inbound tourism promotion.
The Main Genres of Exhibits at Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA
Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA had a large number of booths from a variety of different genres on display.
・Wine and other spirits
・Agricultural, forestry, and fishery products
・Household goods, interior design, health care, etc.
・Entertainment, lodging, tourism, transportation, hands-on experiences, etc.
・Cosmetics, hair care, etc.
・Manufacturing, craftsmen, etc.
・Clothes, watches, accessories, etc.
・Artists, creators, venture companies, etc.
・Food, beverage, etc.
Tsubame-Sanjo Booth at Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA: World-Class Traditional Crafts and Metalworking Products
At the Tsubame-Sanjo booth "Tsubame Sanjo Factories," 15 companies from the Tsubame-Sanjo area (Gyokusendo (玉川堂), Marunao (マルナオ), Tojiro (藤次郎), Tadafusa (庖丁工房タダフサ, Hocho-Kobo Tadafusa), Mura no Kajiya (村の鍛治屋), Fujinos (フジノス), Yamazaki Kinzoku Kogyo (山崎金属工業), OHIZUMIBUSSAN (大泉物産), TSUBAME BUSSAN (燕物産), Dots and Lines (ドッツアンドラインズ), MGNET, MARUTO HASEGAWA KOSAKUJO (マルト長谷川工作所), As it is, Nakano Kagaku (中野科学), PLUS Y'S (プラスワイズ), and Guardians of the Artisans all gathered at the event.
The Tsubame and Sanjo areas of Niigata Prefecture are famous for metalworking, and their products have many overseas fans due to their high quality and functionality.
The history of hardware in the Tsubame-Sanjo area of Niigata dates back many years, and the area has flourished as a metalworking and manufacturing town since around the early Edo period (1600 AD).
Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA featured a variety of metal products, such as kitchen knives, glasses, spoons, etc., and their beauty is simply astonishing.
Traditional crafts in the Tsubame and Sanjo areas of Niigata Prefecture have also been introduced in articles by COOL JAPAN VIDEOS.
Be sure to take a look at them as well.
Video article 4:19
Tsubame-Tsuiki Copperware - A Traditional Craft From Niigata Prefecture That's Been Passed Down for More Than 200 Years! Watch as a Plain Iron Plate Becomes a Beautiful Teapot Through Masterful Craftsmanship!
Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA allowed visitors to see the refined skills of artisans at the Niigata Prefecture Traditional Crafts booth
At the Niigata Prefecture Traditional Crafts booth, visitors were able to see engravers, maki-e artisans, kazari-shi metalworkers, and other craftsmen performing their work from up close.
I couldn't take my eyes off the delicate craftsmanship of the artisans!
Beautiful Koi Fish Decorating the Event Site of Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA
At the opening of the exhibition, beautiful koi of all colors swam in a special booth lit up with lights.
The large variety of koi, measuring approximately 90 centimeters long and weighing about 25 kilograms, were a sight to behold.
Koi (colored carp) were created through crossbreeding, and the patterns of today's koi emerged in the late Edo period (1800s A.D.).
Today, the high-class ornamental fish, also referred to as "living art" or "swimming jewels," has become very popular outside of Japan, especially among wealthy people in Europe and the United States.
Overseas exports have increased nearly five-fold in the past 20 years.
The birthplace of these globally popular koi, is right here in Niigata.
Koi from Niigata have also been introduced in articles by COOL JAPAN VIDEOS.
Be sure to take a look at them as well.
Video article 4:19
Koi Are Often Called "Swimming Jewels" and "Swimming Art" in Japan... A Look at the Secrets of These Beautiful Aquarium Fish, Including the Different Varieties and Their Characteristics!
Enjoying Some Sake, Wine, and Whiskey From Niigata...
Niigata is a major rice-producing region, which means you know it has great sake!
There were many booths run by various sake breweries, and enjoying the various tastings was a dream for sake lovers!
I was in the midst of covering the event, but couldn't help but do a little tasting myself.
Niigata's local spirits include more than just sake! Local beer, wine, whiskey, and gin were also on display at the event.
After finishing my work, I enjoyed some drinks along with some delicious delicacies of Niigata! And a bit more sake...
Delicious Niigata Delicacies at Food and Beverage Booths at Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA
The food and beverage booths were lined with shops offering hegi soba, Italian cuisine, ramen, and more.
All of the shops attracted many customers, who were eager to taste the delicious flavors of Niigata.
I enjoyed a bowl of rice topped with half-cooked salmon roe and totomame-don from Sushi Tokiwa!
This was sooo good!
The salmon roe totally melts in your mouth.
I've never had such a delicious salmon roe bowl before, and I'm not exaggerating!
On the second day, I tried a delicious bowl of ramen from the ramen restaurant Suzu to Rin (鈴と凛) topped with mouthwatering slice of char siu.
It was a tasty shrimp broth and the strong aroma of the seashore had my stomach growling for seconds!
Many Very Popular Entertainers Performed on Stage!
The stage set up at the event site was filled with popular entertainers.
Saturday, November 5, 2022
・RYUTist & courtesea
・Shinobu Enami x Furumachi Geigi
・Jonnobi Community Corp.
・Nangu & NiigataNeesan
Sunday, November 6, 2022
・The Sato Brothers
・Hinata & Rafvery
I saw the popular TV personality OURIN and NGT48 right before my eyes♪
Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA – Venue Information
Date & Time: November 5 (Sat.) & 6 (Sun.), 2022 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (2 days)
Venue: Toki Messe Niigata Convention Center Exhibition Hall
Address: Bandaijima 6-1, Chuo-ku, Niigata City 950-0078
Access by train: Approximately 20 minutes from Niigata Station on foot.
Official Website: https://cje-niigata.jp/en/
Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA – Event Information
Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA was an event that brought together tradition, culture, sake, gastronomy, entertainment, and other aspects of 'Cool Japan' that can be found in Niigata.
The venue was filled with the passion for sharing the attractive culture of Niigata with both other parts of Japan and with people around the world.
I had a chance to talk with many of the exhibitors, and although everyone was from a different field, they all shared the same desire to inform more people about the products, goods, and cultures that they have proudly developed.
It was chilly in Niigata as it's nearing winter, but the venue was nice and warm! It was such an awesome two-day event.
On a final note, here are some photos from the event that I couldn't cover in this article.
I Also Enjoyed Sightseeing in Niigata and Some Delicious Local Fish!
In between work, I had a chance to do a little sightseeing and enjoy some delicious local fish.
This was my first visit to Niigata, so everything during these two days was fresh and exciting!
Niigata is all about sake and fish, so I decided to enjoy some delicious sushi and sake!
I couldn't get enough of the fresh, mouthwatering fish!
I haven't been able to eat out much in the past few years due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but it was totally worth the wait!
For lunch on the second day, I had a nodoguro-don (blackthroat seaperch over rice) at Sushi Marui in Niigata City.
The bowl of rice topped with a generous helping of seared seaperch was a flavor you could never experience in Tokyo! I highly recommend trying it if you visit Niigata.
When I went for a leisurely drive in Niigata City, I stopped by the Sea of Japan, where I was able to see Sado Island in the distance because the weather was so nice.
On the way home, I saw many people visiting Niigata Gokoku Shrine for Shichi-Go-San.
Near the Cool Japan EXPO in NIIGATA venue, there's also a photogenic "What's NiiGATA" monument!
You can buy souvenirs at Minato Marche Pier Bandai! This is a good place to visit when sightseeing in Niigata, as you can enjoy shopping, as well as a variety of different restaurants. You can also buy fresh fish here.
The new coronavirus has prevented me from traveling and sightseeing for nearly three years, but going on a trip like this allowed me to spend some much needed time away in an atmosphere far removed from my daily life.
Although I was not able to do any "proper" sightseeing, I'm sure I'll be coming back to Niigata after seeing how much it has to offer.
I'm definitely looking forward to it!