IRIS, the Korean drama filmed in Akita prefecture Spring 2009, will be on air in Japan from March 6th. The drama has achieved the highest audience rating in Korea as 39%, which have been bringing large groups of Korean tourists to Akita. It has been boosting the inbound tourism and energizing us to the unexpected level.
A group of IRIS production contributors visited Akita earlier this week to meet and reunite with the participants and volunteers who promoted the filming in Akita. The group was lead by Jung Taewon, CEO of Taewon Entertainment and Yang Yoon-ho, director of IRIS along with many others.
February 2nd, the IRIS production group attended to a naming ceremony of IRIS Gerende in Tazawako Ski Area. Tazawako Ski Area is where the main characters played by Lee Byoung-hun and Kim Tae-hee have enjoyed a romantic get-away. Tazawako Ski Area has re-named a ski slope after IRIS to commemorate this special occasion of friendship between Japan and Korea.
(Ginrei House, IRIS photo panels and snow suit worn by Lee Byoung-hun on display)
(Many news reporters and writers gathered for this special occasion.)
(Mr. Wakasugi, CEO of Tazawako Ski Area, explaining where the ski slope, IRIS Gelande is.)
(A view from IRIS Gelande)
(The snow condition is the best! Tazawako Ski Area is known for this.)
In picture above are CEOs of Tazawako Ski Area and Taewon Entertainment, Sei'ichi Wakasugi and Jung Tae-won. In a highlight of the ceremony they have enjoyed sliding down the renowned slope in the best condition! The slope has a great view of Lake Tazawa in Ou mountain range.
Later this evening the group joined the local contributors at Hotel Ischia on Tazawako lakeshore for a celebratory dinner party. A 20-minutes promotional video subtitled in Japanese was screened to the audience, followed by a Q & A of the producers.
(Again, Ischia's gorgeous meal awaits...)
(Kyoko Sato, Ischia's O-kami and CEO of Taenoyu
toasting to the continuing success of the film and tourism of Akita.)
(... and the party goes on.)
Hotel Ischia was also one of the locations IRIS was filmed. Not to mention that it is the hotel where the casts stayed for three weeks. The room where the bed scene was shot (cut out due to the content) is now on view as an IRIS special room for the overnight and restaurant guests. The hotel is affiliated with Taenoyu Onsen in Nyuto Onsen Area and Miyako-Wasure in Natsuse Onsen Area. Ischia stands in a great location with a magnificent view of the lake and has an atmosphere of a European resort hotel. They provide shuttle bus service to the overnight guests to Taenoyu, known for a modern Japanese style, so you can enjoy both feelings at the same time.
Thanks to IRIS, we are having an increasing number of guests traveling from overseas. After it is broadcasted in 16 different countries, we expect even more guests from different parts of the world. We hope you all enjoy the experiences in Onsen and beautiful scenery in Tazawako.