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Ibaraki Airport considers name change to Tokyo Ibaraki Airport despite not being in Tokyo

By SoraNews24

A common situation when visiting or living in other countries is having to talk about where you come from. Unless you happen to be from one of the handful of major metropolises in the world, chances are people abroad will never have heard of your particular hometown.

One way around this is to simply lie, claim you come from the most nearby urban center, and hope for no follow-up questions. Admittedly that’s not an ideal solution and can backfire in a number of ways, but it’s nevertheless exactly the marketing tactic being considered by Ibaraki Airport.

On May 28, it was announced that the facility in Omitama City, Ibaraki Prefecture may be given the nickname Tokyo Ibaraki Airport if approved by the governor of Ibaraki.  This might not sound strange until you realize the airport is not in Tokyo at all.

Anyone landing in Tokyo Ibaraki Airport ought to expect an over two-hour journey before reaching Tokyo Station. Relatively speaking, that is somewhat convenient access to Tokyo and since this airport specializes in low-cost flights, it’s probably worth considering. Still, disappointment likely lies in store for anyone landing there under the impression that they’d be arriving right in the heart of Tokyo.

Originally a military air base, its runways were expanded to accommodate civilian flights in 2010. Many questioned the move, considering it would be in direct competition with the likes of Narita and Haneda, both highly regarded airports at home and abroad. Now, it is hoped that by adding “Tokyo” to the name, Ibaraki Airport’s brand awareness will be raised outside of Japan, allowing them to compete with those heavyweights.

It’s not such a crazy idea, since Tokyo Disneyland isn’t in Tokyo either. It’s technically in Chiba Prefecture, but I imagine people probably put more stock in geographical accuracy when it comes to airports than amusement parks.

The nickname is only expected to be used for overseas promotion rather than domestically, where the inaccuracy is more glaringly obvious, as shown in comments about the news.


“That’s a Chiba move, like Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo German Village.”

“At least Chiba is next to Tokyo Bay, so they can kind of get away with it.”

“I can imagine someone landing there and saying, ‘Boy, Tokyo is a lot more rural than I expected.'”

“That’s… I don’t know about that.”

“Oh, they have to stop that. It’s embarrassing.”

“Isn’t this technically fraud?”

“I think a lot of people are going to get lost.”

For what it’s worth, Ibaraki is a lovely prefecture with many claims to fame, such as being the only Japanese prefecture without monkeys and being the leading producer of smelly fermented soy beans known as natto. So, at least anyone getting misled there can still find much to do and enjoy.

The name would probably be effective at getting people’s attention as an alternative entry-point to Tokyo, but the pros and cons of such a move ought to be carefully weighed before the governor of Ibaraki makes his decision this month. We here at TokyoSoraNews24 will keep abreast of the situation as it develops.

Source: Asahi ShimbunHamusoku

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Tokyo’s Haneda Airport becomes fourth airport in the world to be awarded coveted 5-Star rating

-- Japan travel bucket list: top places to visit in each prefecture before you die【Part I】

-- Japan Self-Defense Forces enlist handsome anime boys to try to attract new human recruits

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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How about Shin-Chitose in Hokkaido too? Everyone went on a airport building spree and now can't attract the carriers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Smacks of desperation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ibaraki is a lovely prefecture

Yes, I live in the prefecture next door and do a lot of my shopping in Ibaraki. There are worse places.

the only Japanese prefecture without monkeys and being the leading producer of smelly fermented soy beans known as natto. So, at least anyone getting misled there can still find much to do and enjoy.

I find this puzzling. No monkeys to watch, and likely to be served smelly beans for breakfast if you stay the night?

Those are plusses?

As for the airport; it's more convenient for us than either Narita or Haneda, but we've only ever used it for domestic flights. Which I suppose is the problem, they want to attract the big boys.

At a time when more effort needs to be put into decentralisation, the name-change would be a bit sad. And pathetic.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

C'mon Ibaraki have more pride in yourself! Each prefecture has its own charms that are decidedly non-Tokyo and are great because of that!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

First Narita, now Ibaraki? Granted, I don't think Narita uses the word Tokyo so blatantly nowadays, but there was a time when foreign tourists would arrive at Narita and the first thing they say would be 'Where the F is Tokyo?'

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not a bad idea. Some of my daughter’s university foreign student friends on tight budgets find great deals by taking the train and flying out of Ibaraki to their destinations in Asia. When you have to squeeze every yen, you become resourceful. One Golden Week she did the same and was able to vacation and get tickets at great prices. This move will allow people to explore options they may not have known existed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Narita is out in the country and a surprise to arrive into.

Still, Heathrow in England (LHR) does the same-Japan is not unique in this regard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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