As Japan’s tourism industry recovers from the coronavirus pandemic and tourists flock to the country, the Mainichi has turned its focus to Japan’s 47 prefectures to uncover trivia mostly known only to locals. Today’s article mainly introduces Kagoshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan.
KAGOSHIMA — A city in southwestern Japan has turned troublesome volcanic ash into a hit by canning it, and sales of the souvenir have exploded thanks to social media hype.
Sakurajima Volcano in Kagoshima prefecture erupts almost every day. Although where the ash falls depends on the direction of the wind, it can be irritating to the eyes. It can also stain laundry, so many homes in the area have indoor drying racks.
Tarumizu City, located to the east of Sakurajima, decided to turn this problem into an opportunity. Since 2010, the Shiroyama Gakuen Center for the Mentally Disabled has been producing cans filled with 100cc of volcanic ash, each of which costs 110 yen (about 75 cents) including tax. According to Takuto Kubota, 29, a logistics worker at Shiroyama Gakuen, the ash that had accumulated on the roof of the city hall, nearby schools and supermarkets was collected, dried and put into jars. The text on the label roughly translates to “100 cc unwanted blessings from the sky”.
This product is sold as a souvenir of Kagoshima Prefecture, with a steady sales of about 300 cans per month. However, in the summer of 2022, information about the canned ash exploded on Twitter, and after the July Sakurajima eruption alert level was temporarily raised to level 5, the highest level requiring an evacuation, the canned ash immediately became popular . On the 24th of the same year.
The six Shiroyama Gakuen residents who participated in the project were unable to work at full capacity to prevent coronavirus infection, and the product was often out of stock at the four sales stores.
A staff member at Road Station Roadside Station commented with a wry smile: “We’ve had a lot of inquiries about this, even though to us locals it’s just annoying volcanic ash.” Apparently, science teachers as well as beauty The , construction and food industries have all inquired about its use as classroom material.
At the same time, Kagoshima Prefecture also launched T-shirts, hoodies and tote bags inspired by special plastic bags that collect volcanic ash in August 2022, with 98 sold by the end of the year. “We hope to use the merchandise to promote ‘magma city’ that coexists with the volcano,” said Yumie Arimitsu, director of the city’s public relations strategy office.