All Nippon Airways stepped up its “We Are Japan” campaign yesterday with the opening of a pop-up restaurant at Yashin Ocean House in London’s South Kensington.

The airline is using food and culture to promote the destination, and its “Culinary Journeys” restaurant, organsied with food blog Luxeat, brought together three of Japan’s top chefs for the first time: Kouji Kimura, who has two Michelin stars, Kentaro Nakahara, and Shuji Niitome.

We Are Japan was launched to promote Japanense culture as the country builds up to hosting the Olympics, taking place in Tokyo from 24 July to 9 August 2020.

Speaking at the official opening yesterday, Nanako Murakami, manager, EMEA marketing & PR, ANA, said: “The country is definitely excited. When we last held the Olympics, in the 1960s, it really propelled Japan’s profile in the world.” 

Murakami added that the Olympics would also represent a new challenge for the country, and act as a “trigger” for the Japenese to better undertand the interests of visitors, and that the mega-event would also help “to open up” the country.

“For us, as an airline, [the Olympics] gives us a huge opportunity. We’re in the business of moving people, but it’s also about connecting people. [Sport] is a great social leveller, and it’s really inspiring.”  

We Are Japan is created around seven pillars – eat, drink, see, stay, do, discover, go – and future campaign content will “feature photography, exclusive film and expert insight with the aim to create a deeper appreciation of Japan and its culture”, ANA said.

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