In anticipation that next month would see Japanese tourist arrivals surpass 2 million this year, the Tourism Bureau and the Taiwan Visitors’ Association on Wednesday said that they had asked Japanese table tennis star Ai Fukuhara to appear in a promotional video for next year.
The announcement was made at an event in Tokyo that Fukuhara attended, along with Deputy Representative to Japan Peter Tsai (蔡明耀), Tourism Bureau Tokyo Office Director Chen Yi-ping (鄭憶萍) and Tourism Bureau mascot OhBear.
Tsai presented Fukuhara with an official certificate of appreciation for promoting and sharing Taiwan on social media.
Photo: Taipei Times
The video, themed “Meet Colors Taiwan,” used various colors to represent food, beverages and tourist attractions in Taiwan.
Dressed in a beige-colored dress, Fukuhara said that it reflected the color of Taiwanese bubble tea, which she said had become popular in Japan.
Asked which color she most associated with Taiwan, Fukuhara said purple, saying that it suggests “elegance” and reminded her of taro.
Taiwanese taro is soft and puffy, which is different from Japanese taro, which is gummier, she said.
Fukuhara said that she loved all Taiwanese snacks made with taro, such as taro tapioca, deep-fried taro balls, taro-topped shaved ice with condensed milk and taro cake.
“If taro had no calories, I would have taro every day,” Fukuhara said.
Asked about her life with her Taiwanese husband, Chiang Hung-chieh (江宏傑), a fellow Olympic table tennis player, Fukuhara said that she felt happiest when the whole family was out enjoying delicacies together, such as hot pot.
As for her dream tourist spot in Taiwan, she said she always wanted to visit New Taipei City’s Jioufen (九份), as it is reminiscent of a scene in Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film Spirited Away.
In addition to sharing her experiences of living in Taiwan, Fukuhara also attended a session where a Kuo Yuan Ye pastry chef, stationed at Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi, taught her how to make a peanut-flavored cake.
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