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2015 J-Pop Summit Announces Pop Travel Attractions w/ Ryokan Japanese Inn Pavilion

YANAKIKUThe 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 Saturday and Sunday August 8th & 9th at the historic Fort Mason Center in San Francisco’s Marina district.

Throughout 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

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 & 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.

Japanese Ryokans featured in the Ryokan Pavilion include:

Hakone-Ginyu (Kanagawa prefecture)

Hakone Ginyu is located in the heart of Miyanoshita in Hakone, an area famous for its hot springs and the Hakone lakes. Rooms are designed for maximum comfort and relaxation and each one has its own private indoor and outdoor bathing areas where guests may enjoy the therapeutic properties of the Hakone’s natural hot spring water.


Hakone-Kinnotake (Kanagawa prefecture)

The concept of this Ryokan is based on the legendary Japanese fairy tale, “Kaguya hime,” that was written by a mysterious unknown author. The story tells about a beautiful woman and the five men that tried to win her affection, only to lose her to a dashing young prince. This inn evokes the setting of that classic fairy tale surrounding visitors with the lush natural greenery of Hakone.


Ama no yado Maruzen (Mie prefecture)

Maruzen is located by the ocean in Toba City, in Mie, Japan. The establishment’s name comes from the fact that its owner is an Ama (traditional Japanese woman pearl diver). An array of fresh seafood from the ocean right in front of the Ryokan is served to guests daily. More information is available at: This Ryokan also supports the movement to make Ama pearl divers listed as a World Heritage tradition.


Hirashin (Kyoto prefecture)

Springtime, resplendent with snowy cherry blossoms. Summers tinted with the magical colors of the Gion Festival. The harvest moon and crimson leaves of autumn, and a powdery swirl of dancing snow in the wistful chill of winter. …Enjoy the passing of the seasons in the heart of Kyoto at Hirashin. Its location also makes a convenient choice for sightseeing, business, shopping, and more.


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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