Cool Japan Awards 2019

The Cool Japan Awards 2019 recognized 53 winners and was held on May 27th 2019 at the Kyoto Gyoen National Garden. Along with the ceremony, an exhibit of the winners was also on display.

Name Cool Japan Awards 2019
Summary The Cool Japan Association accepted applicants from the public which were judges by a special panel which included 100 foreigners. Applicants which were voted to be “Cool Japan” will be announced and on display.
Ceremony Time 2019 May 27, 1:00pm~
Event Date 2019 May 26 & 27
Location Ceremony: Kyoto Gyoen National Park
Venue: Site of Kan'in-no-miya Residence Lecture Hall
Exhibitions: Cool Japan NY Brooklyun K’s Gallery (Jan. 2020), Paris (Jan. 2020)
Host Cool Japan Association
Production & Operation Cool Japan Awards Executive Office
Official Outbound Partner
Judges special judges and 100 foreigner judges
Special Guests
(no particular order)
Yoshihiro Seki (Senior Vice Minister of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)
In 1989, started working for Sumitomi Bank (currently Mitsui Sumitomo Bank). In 2005, took office for the first time after winning an election in Hyogo. In 2012, sworn in as Deputy Secretary General of the Party. In 2014, took position in the minister’s office of the Ministry of Ecenomy, Trade, and Industry. In 2015, became a visiting professor at Kobe University. In 2016, Senior Vice Minister of the Ministry of the Environment. In 2017, won 4th term election, 5th term as Deputy Secretary General of the Party, Environment Department head, among other positions. In 2018, sworn in as Senior Vice Minister of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Atsushi Takashina (Japan Tourism Agency)
Toshio Torii (Ministry of the Environment)
Jun Takamoto (Cabinet Office)
Naoyoshi Noguchi (JETRO)
Toshihiro Nishimura (Kyoto Prefectural Government)
Mitsuhiro Matsuno (Kyoto City)
Keynote Speakers Alex Kerr (Researcher of Oriental Culture, Special Adviser to the Cool Japan Association)
Director of Chiori Trust. Born in 1952 and first came to Japan in 1964. Graduated from Yale University with a degree in Japanese Studies before getting a master’s degree in Chinese Studies at Oxford University. Since 1977, Alex has lived in Kameoka City, Kyoto while working primarily as a writer. From 2004 to 2010, he managed an old Kyoto townhouse that he restored into an accommodation facility. Since then, he was worked as a consultant while trying to preserve and protect the tradition Japanese houses throughout Japan, especially the countryside. Over the years, he has experience repairing dozens of homes.
Author: Lost Japan (1993), Dogs & Demons (2002), Nippon Keikan-ron (2014), Kanko Bokoku-ron (2019), and more
Mike Harris (President of Canyons, Special Adviser to the Cool Japan Association)
Born in New Zealand in 1973. Studies accounting and Japanese language at university. Mike first came to Japan during his university days, then moved to Minakami, Gunma after graduating where he worked for an outdoor activity company. In the company, he created a canyoning department and pioneered canyoning tours throughout Japan. In 2004, he left the company to establish his own company, named Canyons. Outside of work, he personally searches for canyons that no one has ever descended, because that is a true canyon adventure.

Cool Japan Awards 2019

The Cool Japan Awards 2019 looks to get a global response through discovering, certifying, and promoting both tangible and intangible things that can be branded as “Cool Japan.” Heading towards the 2020 Olympics, inbound continues to be a pushed, leading to the addition of another category of awards. The National Park Category focuses on the 34 national parks of Japan and the protected nature and culture of each park.

About the National Park Category

While inbound tourism continues to increase and foreigners look for new content, we look to share the 34 national parks of Japan with them. The national parks of Japan and their vast nature and attraction have caught the eyes of foreigners. Following the Snow Monkeys of Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, which were recognized at the Cool Japan Awards 2017, the National Park Category aims to find and promote great places among the national parks.

2019 Winners

Inbound Category

Sakura Yabusame
Award Recipient: Towada Joba Club

Hirosaki Sakura Festival
Award Recipient: Hirosaki City, Hirosaki Chamber of Commerce, Hirosaki Tourism Convention Association, Hirosaki Buppan Association

Award Recipient: Yamagata Design Co.

Botanical Garden Art Biotop "Water Garden"
Award Recipient: Nikishimo Co.

Award Recipient: Ouchijuku Tourism Association

Unexplored Stations of the Iida Express Line
Award Recipient: Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai)

Kusatsu Onsen Yubatake
Award Recipient: Kusatsu Town

Shibuya Scramble Intersection
Award Recipient: Shibuya Ward, Shibuya Ward Tourism Association

Shimizu Stream Square (Nomizo Waterfall and Kameiwa Cave)
Award Recipient: Kimitsu City市

Enoura Observatory
Award Recipient: Odawara Art Foundation

Okuoi Kojo Station
Award Recipient: Oigawa Railway

Mikatagoko 5 Lakes, Rainbow Line Summit Park Observatory
Award Recipient: Rainbow Line Co., Mihama Town, Wakasa Town

Gyugin Honten Matsusaka Wagyu Beef
Award Recipient: Gyugin Honten

Night View from Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park
Award Recipient: Kintetsu Railway, Ikoma City

Hozugawa River Rafting
Award Recipient: Hozugawa Yusen Sightseeing Boat Association

Kannon Cave Statues & Yuragawa Railway
Award Recipient: Maizuru City, Willer Trains

Herabuna Fishing and Traditional Bamboo Rods
Award Recipient: Koyasanroku Tourism Bureau

Shopping District Hotel, Koo Otsuhyakucho
Award Recipient: Jiyujin

Yamajiro and Mizujiro in West Omi
Award Recipient: Takashima City

Shinshoji Zen Museum and Gardens
Award Recipient: Shinshoji Temple

Setouchi Cominca Stays
Award Recipient: Setouchi Brand Corporation

Townscape and Hot Spring Healing Culture of Tawarayama Hot Spring
Award Recipient: Nagato City

Oshima Tsumugi Silk Experience at Yumeori no Sato
Award Recipient: Yumeori no Sato

Outbound Category

Yubari Melon
Award Recipient: Yubari City, JA Yubari

Kumiko Tategu
Award Recipient: Inamata Kumiko tategu Shop

Award Recipient: Sekijima Mizuhiki

Family Robot
Award Recipient: Groove X

Yamakawa Rattan
Award Recipient: Yamakawa Rattan Japan Co.

Edo Kara Paper
Award Recipient: Tokyo Matsuya Co., Ltd.

Hayabusa & Hayabusa 2
Award Recipient: JAXA

Award Recipient: Hida Sangyo Co., Ltd.社

Shike Silk Paper & Products
Award Recipient: Matsui Silk Weaving Co., Ltd.

Karaori (Nishijin-ori Noh Shozoku)
Award Recipient: Yamaguchi Orimono

Lacquerware Lighting: Michikaze, Shizuku, Komorebi
Award Recipient: KISHU+

Lake Biwa Pearls
Award Recipient: Jinbo Pearls

WoodBoard KUKU
Award Recipient: Naka Lumber

Misto mirror (Nami)
Award Recipient: Tominaga Joiner Ltd.

Washlet Neorest
Award Recipient: TOTO Ltd.

Rice Shochu of Torikai Shuzo」
Award Recipient: Torikai Shuzo

Nagasaki Hasami Porcelain
Award Recipient: Tokyo Saikai Co., Ltd.

Sengan-en and Satsuma Kiriko

National Park Category

Lake Kussharo Lakeside Hot Spring and Campground
Award Recipient: Teshikaga Town / Akan-Mashu National Park

View of Lake Shikotsu from the mouth of Bifue River
Award Recipient: Chitosei City / Shikotsu-Toya National Park

Hachimantai Dragon Eye
Award Recipient: Senboku City, Hachimantai Tourism Association / Towada-Hachimantai National Park

British Embassy Villa Memorial Park
Award Recipient: Tochigi Prefecture / Nikko National Park

Scenic View from Kappabashi Bridge in Kamikochi
Award Recipient: Matsumoto City / Chubusangaku National Park

Award Recipient: Oze Preservation Foundation / Oze National Park

Ama Hut Satoumi-an
Award Recipient: Shima City, Shima City Tourism Association / Ise-shima National Park

Night View from Mt. Maya
Award Recipient: Kobe City / Setonaikai National Park

Matengai Cliff and Candle Rock
Award Recipient: Nishinoshima Town & Okinoshima Town / Daisen-Oki National Park

Shiratani Unsuikyo and Yakusugi Land
Award Recipient: Yakushima Town / Yakushima National Park

Kurousagi house
Award Recipient: Amagi Town / Amamigunto National Park

Aharen Beach on Tokashiki Island
Award Recipient: Tokashiki Town / Keramashoto National Park