Led by Chairman Kanai Hironobu, Arima Hot Springs Tourism Association, which signed an MOU with Hsinchu County Government in 2014, visited Hsinchu County on April 12th. The delegation went to several scenic spots in Neiwan and had an exchange forum with local hot spring operators. Hsinchu County Magistrate Chiu Ching-chun was delighted to see the upgrade of hot spring industries in both Taiwan and Japan. In the exchange forum, Enbound Inc., the creator of “Onsen Musume”or “Hot Spring Girl,” also proposed creating Hsinchu County’s own Onsen Musume character. The county government invited Neiwan Shopping District Development Association, hot spring operators, and travel agencies to the forum, hoping to adopt all the unique elements of Hsinchu County and raise another burst of upsurge.
Chairman Kanai Hironobu indicated that to promote the tourism during 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the hot spring industry and anime industry in Japan have started to create Onsen Musume characters on behalf of different regions. About three thousand hot spring operators have successfully given birth to roughly a hundred hot spring girls, and relevant products are also launched to make the trend even more prevailing. Arima Onsen, also known as Arima Hot Spring, is one of the three oldest hot springs in Japan. Enbound Inc. has created two Onsen Musume characters for Arima. The two characters promote not only Arima Hot Spring but also the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Cooperation between Hsinchu County and Enbound Inc. is now under discussion. Magistrate Chiu shows support to the proposal, which will be put into practice by Transportation and Tourism Department.
The Chairman of Enbound Inc., Hashimoto Ryu, shared how they created Onsen Musume, including the image building and character voice. Onsen Musume has become today’s classic in terms of the combination of hot springs and anime. The relevant products range from uniforms of flight attendants, souvenirs, professional baseball to regional limited-edition goods. This time, they brought and shared Tansan Senbei, soda drinks, and bathrobes with the image of Arima’s two hot spring girls—Rinka Arima and Fuuka Arima in the exchange forum.
Magistrate Chiu appreciated Arima Hot Springs Association for introducing the latest trend to Hsinchu County and gave the delegation Hakka floral shirts in return. He indicated that similar to Japan, Hsinchu County develops its tourism by integrating Neiwan Railway Line, Taiwan Comic Dream Factory, Neiwan Shopping District, and the hot spring. The marketing of Arima Onsen, Onsen Musume, and 2020 Tokyo Olympics also impressed him. Magistrate Chiu hopes that Hsinchu County is able to create its own character that integrates local elements including Hakka, aborigines, railways, and comics.