Japanese town seeks to woo New Yorkers
A Japanese town often overlooked by tourists, partly due to its north coast location, has launched an exclusive New York club to raise its profile.
Club Kanazawa held a reception in New York on February 1 and has since launched a website to introduce Kanazawa to the residents of the Big Apple.
"Our goal is to plant a seed of interest," said Kenji Yoshii, president of the Cooperative Association for Promotion of Kanazawa. "Nowhere else in Japan can you find the combination of art and traditional crafts," he added.
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Club Kanazawa aims to revolutionize the concept of luxury travel by introducing private memberships and concierge services for visitors.
According to their "Shun" (seasonal) business model, "All barriers, be they linguistic, metaphorical, or physical, will be eliminated, allowing direct access to the city’s artists, cuisine, performing arts, and more."
"New York is really one of the centers of the world to the arts and people who appreciate the arts," says Evelyn Teploff-Mugii, a designer and New York native who lives in Kanazawa.
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Club Kanazawa hopes to enlist 10,000 members by 2015 and triple the number of visitors to the town.
Kanazawa is famous for its "maki-e" lacquerware which is sprinkled with gold or silver powder for decoration, as well as other traditional crafts that saw UNESCO add it to its Creative Cities Network in 2009.