Naomi Watanabe Introduces Charm of Ibaraki Pref. to Tourists from Taiwan

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Naomi Watanabe interacts with a sea lion during an event to promote attractive spots in Ibaraki Prefecture at Aqua World Ibaraki Prefecture Oarai Aquarium on Feb. 24.

OARAI, Ibaraki — TV personality and Ibaraki Prefecture native Naomi Watanabe participated in an event held at Aqua World Ibaraki Prefecture Oarai Aquarium on Feb. 24 to promote locations in the prefecture to tourists from Taiwan.

About 550 people, including tourists from Taiwan, attended the event held at the aquarium’s Ocean Theater. During a talk, Watanabe, 36, introduced landmarks such as Fukuroda Falls and the Ushiku Daibutsu Buddha statue, as well as specialties such as melons and dried sweet potatoes. She mingled with visitors during a quiz game after the talk and was also interacting with a sea lion.

The Ibaraki prefectural government has been making efforts in recent years to expand exports of local products and promoting tourism to Taiwan as a promising sales destination. In February last year, Watanabe, who serves as a Taiwan Ibaraki promotional ambassador, and Ibaraki Gov. Kazuhiko Oigawa participated in the Ibaraki grand trade fair in Taipei, which showcased prefectural products and tourist attractions.

“I was able to enjoy hearing about famous spots in Ibaraki Prefecture,” a visitor from Taipei said. “I definitely want to come back again.”

Watanabe said, “As a promotional ambassador, I’d like to further promote Ibaraki so that people from Taiwan can enjoy the charms of Ibaraki.”