Snow Miku Brings Windfall to Hokkaido
posted on by Eric Stimson
Crypton Future Media, the company behind Hatsune Miku, is based in Sapporo, the largest city on Japan's snowy northern island Hokkaido. Sapporo is known for its annual Snow Festival, which brings visitors from around Japan and the world to celebrate the season with ice sculptures and winter-themed events. Crypton contributes by promoting "Snow Miku," a winter-themed version of Hatsune Miku.
The economic benefits for Hokkaido are enormous. Snow Miku-related goods, services and events bring the island over 100 million yen in revenue, with about 40 different companies participating in the promotion.
As an example, Takahashi, Hokkaido's largest karaoke chain, has a Snow Miku promotion lasting until March 31. Its customers can enjoy a Snow Miku Menu and buy Snow Miku key rings and notebooks. At its central Sapporo location, Thriller Karaoke, an entire room has been covered with Snow Miku illustrations; it's seen about 300 groups visit so far this year.
Daihatsu Hokkaido has developed Mira Cocoa Plus Snow Miku Limited Edition, a Snow Miku-themed car. Its rear emblem, steering wheel, upholstery and gas tank cover have Snow Miku silhouettes and color schemes, and the car itself is pale blue to evoke a previous incarnation of Snow Miku (although it also comes in lavender). Since its launch in September, Daihatsu has sold about 30 vehicles, several to customers from other islands. It has also reported an uptick in customers in their 20s and 30s in its stores.
New Chitose Airport, which serves Sapporo, also has a Snow Miku Sky Town in its terminal — a museum, cafe, and store, all featuring Snow Miku. A panoramic theater showcases 360° views of Hokkaido's spectacular mountain scenery.
The Snow Miku highlight of the Snow Festival, though, is Snow Miku 2015, a festival within a festival spotlighting Sapporo's famous mascot. With oodles of merchandise, virtual reality booths, body art, festive decorations and Hatsune Miku concerts, it's got everything Miku fanatics could want.
For more information and pictures, see here. Snow Miku 2015 runs until February 11.
[Via Doshin, Takahashi, Daihatsu, Snow Miku Sky Town and Weekly Ascii+]