Take a Virtual Tour of Japan With This New 360-Degree VR Video

Imagine you’re a fresh piece of sushi whizzing around on the conveyor belt at a Tokyo restaurant. Or a sumo wrestler about to hurtle toward your opponent. Or a deer in Nara chomping on snacks handed out by tourists. Or a Pikachu stuffed toy being “clawed” out of an arcade game. These are just a few of the scenarios you’ll find yourself in when you watch the new 360-degree virtual reality video by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

Released on YouTube earlier this month, the video is called “Japan – Where Tradition Meets the Future (VR)” and was created as part of JNTO’s tourism promotion campaign, “Visit Japan.” With the concept of fusing together tradition, innovation and nature – which co-exist in the diverse culture of Japan – this highly entertaining video takes you on a virtual tour of the country, including 16 of its most unique attractions such as Tokyo Tower, Kyoto’s Sagano Bamboo Forest, and the torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine.

Making it even more fun is the fact that the “story” is told from the points of view of the people or animals or even food being featured. So not only do you get to feel like you’re immersed in a VR world of Japan, you get to feel, for example, like you’re a parfait on a tray being served at the kooky and crazy Kawaii Monster Cafe.

To make sure you get the best out of the 360-degree virtual reality experience, we recommend watching the video on the latest version of Chrome or Firefox, or via the YouTube app on your smartphone. Or even better, with a Google Cardboard…

As with JNTO’s 2016 tourism promotion video, this one was created by Enjin, a creative agency known for coming up with innovative methods of advertising. Along with the video release, an AR digital signage display is currently being exhibited at major stations and shopping malls in five countries across Europe – beginning in Madrid on January 18, and running through France, England, Italy and Germany until March 2018. An interactive screen allows passers-by to get a taste of Japan by playing virtual dress up. Participants can “try” on different outfits by simply hovering their hand over samurai, kabuki, or geisha icons.

For more info from JNTO, visit www.jnto.go.jp

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