When we arrived at our convention hotel in Osaka, our
convention registration packets were waiting for us. These contained our badges,
convention programs, transportation guide, and other essentials. They also
contained coupons for the gift bags that we would have to pick up at the
convention site, along with my Voting Delegate credentials and the tickets I had
ordered for the “Park Festa” event. When we attended the Opening Ceremonies, we
saw many convention-goers carrying the
attractive gift bags they had already collected. Most of these were
Japanese, since their gift bags were being distributed at the Osaka Dome
(delegates from other countries had to pick theirs up at the Convention Center).
Like many other aspects of the convention, the gift bags
indicated a tremendous amount of thoughtful planning and effort in preparation.
Made of navy cotton broadcloth, they are fully lined, with a zipper closure and
patch pockets inside and out. Although the bags are not unique, several different prints had been used for
the trim, so that those in any given party received bags that were slightly
different, and each bag included a paper luggage tag that could be used to
The contents of the bag were an amusing potpourri of useful
and intriguing items, as follows:
A folding paper fan from Tasaki jewelry company, with a photo of
the “Niagara Falls” Akoya pearl necklace, accompanied by an advertising sheet from Tasaki.
The fans definitely came in handy, as it was quite warm in Osaka and in many
of the convention venues.
Folding paper opera glasses advertising Shiseido Uno.
These were also useful, but even if they had not been, the enclosed
instructions provided amusement.
A package of Pocky snacks.
I have seen these described as pretzel sticks, but to me they seemed more
like breadsticks. In any case, they are candy-coated. Although they come in
a variety of flavors, the original flavor was chocolate, and I gather that
is what most people got. Chocolate would probably have been pretty good.
Ours were strawberry, and the best I can say is that they came in handy when
we were starving!
A plastic container of
Kaoru Buresu Kea (Breath Refreshner Capsule), “Fragrance Breath Care,” green
apple flavor. These are sort of like TicTac except that they are tiny gel balls.
Kokuyo plastic eraser. My experience with Japanese
polymer erasers is that they erase surprisingly well, but I was not sure how functional this one would be
given the strange shape, which was a rectangular solid with cubic
taken out of the sides in a sort of checkerboard pattern. As it turned out,
when I became addicted to sudoku puzzles and started using it, it proved to
be surprisingly useful.
Osaka map showing convention venues and hotels. This would have been even more
useful if I had actually used it. Unfortunately, we received so many Osaka
maps that I tended to shuffle through all of them without actually looking
A clear plastic folder from Octon. This was useful for
keeping the map in.
A flyer for the
Sagawa Art Museum, with two art
postcards and two ticket coupons.
Kansai brochures and map, Osaka North Area Map
A coupon for free rail passes:
when we collected these, we also received a
Welcome! Kansai Guide Book and Guide Map from
Yokoso! (Welcome!) Japan, as well as a brass