TOTTORI – An airport that was renamed after a popular comic book detective a few years ago has completed a revamp as it looks to lure more tourists to sparsely populated Tottori Prefecture.
The revamped airport, unveiled Saturday, now has more stores, including one stocked with goods based on the child sleuth “Detective Conan” (“Meitantei Konan”), the manga and anime character invented by Tottori native Gosho Aoyama.
The airport, which was recently privatized and expanded, was renamed Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport in 2015 to capitalize on Conan’s popularity in Asia and to showcase Tottori’s famed sand dunes amid Japan’s growing tourism boom.
Teppei Nishioka, a resident from the city of Tottori who frequents the airport, said he was impressed by the new objects in the facility’s showcases.
“Now that there are more shops, I think I would come more often,” said Nishioka, 31.
Aoyama was scheduled to fly in from Tokyo for the event but was not present at the ceremony because of an approaching typhoon.
Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport handles five flights a day to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, plus a handful of nonregular, chartered flights from China, South Korea, Taiwan and Russia.
Detective Conan is the story of a genius teenage detective who shrank into a young boy after being forced to take an experimental toxin and now cracks cases while enrolled in elementary school. He adopts the alias Conan Edogawa in a nod to the Sherlock Holmes writer Arthur Conan Doyle.
The comic has been running in a weekly magazine since 1994. It is also popular overseas has been translated in over two dozen languages, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, French, Spanish and English, under the title “Case Closed.”
After evolving into anime form in 1996, the series has expanded into feature films, video games and live action TV specials.