Inspiration of Japan

(This is part 3 of 3. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here)

On the last day of our series of activities as ANA Brand Ambassadors, we got to visit ANA HQ in Shiodome. (I missed the chance to ask the story about ANA Gundam…too bad.)

ANA Gundam

Here, we met with ANA  Inspiration of Japan (IOJ) Project team.

So, what is Inspiration of Japan?

Mr. Jin Kuze, who has designed IOJ has shown us his design concepts.

Below is the IOJ logo. See the orange bars at the top of each “I”?

At first sight, those orange bars look like they’re placed in equal space in between. But they’re not. See the second image.

Why did Mr. Kuze do this?

He told us about Japanese step stones in traditional Japanese gardens. They are usually used “as is” in their natural shapes and sizes and they are never put in even gaps. Do you know why?

It is to create a sense of adventure. Sense of non-routine. Because the stones are not in perfectly equal spaces, you need to pay attention to your steps… or you might trip. This creates a sense of adventure in what would be a mandane, boring task of merely “walking”. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Mr. Kuze told us this “Invitation to the extraordinary” is a very Japanese concept of hospitality. Think of the Japanese tea house, where you create a completely different world with seasonal flower, calligraphy scroll on the wall, etc. in the small room.

This seasonal flower concept is integrated in the tray mat for the in-flight meals on IOJ. The flower will change every season.

These details are so subtle you probably won’t even notice them until you read about it but I think that is the very essence of Japanese culture. It’s so not in-your-face.

As I wrote in Part 1 of this series, the services on IOJ was exceptional. Yet there was nothing pushy about it. And that, is the Inspiration of Japan.