Japan Metaverse: City of Kochi Unveils ‘Tourism Boost’ Plans

Japan Metaverse: City of Kochi Enhances Tourism Plans with Start Lands Collaboration

Kochi, Japan, is taking a leap into the metaverse space by partnering with Start Lands, a Philippines-based company. The city government recently signed a deal with Start Lands to create a virtual representation of Kochi, with plans to launch the online platform by the summer of 2024.

Start Lands, founded by a Japanese developer known as KOUSEI, offers a virtual space where internet users can utilize free avatars for shopping and other activities. By collaborating with Start Lands, Kochi aims to promote regional revitalization using digital technology.

The comprehensive collaboration agreement aims to expand sales channels for local specialties, attract tourists, and encourage people to relocate to Kochi. Additionally, Kochi is exploring the potential use of the metaverse in the fields of education and welfare.

The signing ceremony, held on February 7, 2024, took place both in the physical realm and in the metaverse space, with the avatars of Kochi Mayor Ryugo Kuwana and KOUSEI present. Start Lands boasts approximately 20,000 users in Japan and abroad, as well as issuing NFTs.

Kochi, the largest city and capital of Kochi Prefecture, is known for its natural beauty, including mountains, rivers, and beaches. The move into the metaverse aligns with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s support for the country’s web3 and metaverse sectors, which he identified as growth engines for the economy.

This collaboration with Start Lands follows in the footsteps of Seoul, South Korea, which unveiled similar plans to launch a comprehensive metaverse platform in 2021. As more cities and countries explore the potential of the metaverse, tourism and regional development are poised to undergo significant transformations.