Flying in Japan? Your flight may soon be arriving at “Hatsune Miku Airport”

Virtual idol queen might get an entire airport named after her in one of Japan’s largest cities.

Most air travelers to Sapporo, the prefectural capital of Hokkaido, arrive at New Chitose Airport. Even if you don’t speak Japanese, it’s a pretty cool name for an airport, with “New” giving it an adventurous ring, and if you know that “Chitose” means millennium, it takes on a futuristic quality too.

But you know what would sound even cooler and more futuristic than arriving at New Chitose Airport? Arriving at Hatsune Miku Airport.

Japan’s first, and most popular, Vocaloid idol has long been an ambassador for Sapporo, with her alternate Snow Miku version serving as a spokescharacter for the Sapporo Snow Festival (and her parent company, Crypton Future Media, a sponsor for the annual event). However, Miku wouldn’t be taking over New Chitose, but instead attaching her name to Sapporo Okadama Airport.

▼ The first step, naturally, would be to change the building’s accent color to match Miku’s hair.

Unlike New Chitose, which is located in the cities of Chitose and Tomakomai (to the southeast of Sapporo), Okadama Airport actually is located within Sapporo proper. However, with a much older terminal, fewer amenities, and currently only in-prefecture routes, Okadama gets far less attention and travel traffic than New Chitose. The airport’s management is currently looking for ways to boost its profile and passenger numbers, and one idea being considered is renaming the facility to Hatsune Miku Airport, ushering in cross-promotional opportunities, pop culture goodwill, and greater recognition among potential air travelers.

That’s not the only option Okadama is weighing, though. Other proposed initiatives include extending the airport’s modest-length runway to accommodate larger planes, especially those flown by major …continue reading