TOKYO——You may have heard of Kizuna Ai, the virtual YouTuber whose introduction to the world at the end of 2016 became an instant hit. Her channel now boasts more than 1.5 million subscribers, and, despite not being a living human, her whole image and personality are crafted to seem like she is a real person, just in a different world. She is often cheerful, very expressive, and is always out to prove that she’s not just a picture on a screen. Her videos are also subtitled in English, which means that almost everyone can enjoy her funny antics.
Having amassed such a huge following in just over a year, Kizuna Ai has been selected as the ambassador for the new campaign of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)’s New York branch. “Come to Japan” is aimed at U.S. citizens, since, while Japan is a popular destination for people from Asia, for various reasons Westerners are less inclined to travel there.
Kizuna Ai has dutifully (and excitedly) accepted the nomination and has already released her first “Come to Japan” promotional video. The topic? Food, of course!
In the video, Kizuna Ai “receives information” from JNTO, but since she is not a human and hasn’t experienced Japanese food herself, she appears to be learning about it at the same time as we are, which makes for a nice change of pace from ordinary documentaries.
▼ There are lots of cute moments like this where her excitement gets the better of her.
Her video talks about three types of Japanese food: sushi, ramen, and Japanese sweets. But it’s not just about what they are; she also goes into detail about what kinds of each type of food there are, how best to eat them, and some fun facts about them, so even veterans of Japanese food might learn something from the video.
▼ There are even quizzes! Can you get them right?