While vaccination efforts continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 across the world, industries are still suffering under the pandemic's weight. This is very true with tourism, and Japan knows that sting well. Places like the Studio Ghibli Museum are suffering, and that is why the business has just launched a big fundraiser for itself.
According to a new report out of Japan, the Ghibli Museum is struggling to keep its doors open. This new hurdle comes on the heels of several extended closures and a slew of social restrictions put on guests. The museum is still open despite Japan's recent uptick in cases, but its dismal business has prompted Mitaka City to launched a donation campaign for the tourist spot.
According to Mitaka City, the fundraiser will be bolstered by a local Hometown Tax System. This initiative is expected to raise nearly $100,000 USD for the Ghibli Museum as it endures extended pandemic protocols. This money will keep the museum running in the face of diminishing profits but also give Studio Ghibli extra funds for maintenance throughout the year.
The fundraiser plans to use a special character from director Hayao Miyazaki to get things going. Poki will be used as the campaign's mascot as Studio Ghibli created the character just for Mitaka City. Whenever a person donates money to the museum's fund, they will be given various souvenirs printed with Poki all over. This give-and-get method has done so well previously that the Hometown Tax System was formalized, so hopes are high Ghibli Museum will reap its benefits soon.
As for COVID-19 in Japan, the virus is coming off its latest wave. The nation's seven-day average of new cases is just over 3,800. Japan just expanded its state of emergency mandates for eight metropolitan areas including Tokyo, but vaccination efforts are happening overseas albeit slowly. Tourism is Japan is still suffering given the nation's ongoing lockdowns, and the CDC recommends all travelers to avoid visiting Japan even if fully vaccinated.
Have you been able to visit the Ghibli Museum before? Do you hope to check it out someday? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.