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About the Project

Next time you come to Kyoto, look for people on the street wearing a badge featuring an image of Mt. Fuji, a hawk, or an eggplant. They are members of the AtchiKochi Project—Kyoto locals who are eager to help travelers from overseas with navigation.

The AtchiKochi Project is a volunteer initiative involving no payment or booking; you can start taking advantage of it the moment you arrive in Kyoto. All you have to do is remember that badges of Mt. Fuji, a hawk, and an eggplant mean the bearers are willing to help you explore Japan’s old capital. (To learn more about these symbols, see Why Mt. Fuji, a Hawk and an Eggplant?)

All members of the AtchiKochi Project would like you to spend less time wrestling with a map and more time contemplating at a rock garden or exploring local tastes at Nishiki Market.

We look forward to assisting you.

About the Badge Designs

The different designs of AtchiKochi badges indicate the bearer’s proficiency in both English and Kyoto geography, with Mt. Fuji as the highest rank.

Eager learners of English, Eggplants are particularly willing to help you explore the city. They will put a smile on your face.
Hawks are intermediate guides who are knowledgeable about the city and capable of providing you with good directions in English. They will make your day.
Mt. Fujis speak perfect English and know the old capital like the back of their hands. They will blow your mind.

Why Mt. Fuji, a Hawk and an Eggplant?

It is a common belief in Japan that the content of the dream you have on New Year’s Day foretells your fortune for the year. Mt. Fuji, hawks, and eggplants are considered particularly auspicious, with Mt. Fuji known as the luckiest.

One popular theory as to why this seemingly odd set of symbols is auspicious explains that Mt. Fuji is the highest and most venerated mountain in Japan, the hawk “seizes” its target, and the word for eggplant, nasu (茄子), is a homonym of the word for “to achieve” (成す) in Japanese.

Another theory is that Mt. Fuji, falconry, and the season’s first crop of eggplants were favorites of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founding shogun of the Edo period (1603–1867) to which this belief dates back.

As members of the AtchiKochi Project, we will try our best in assisting you so that it feels like a lucky day when you spot us on the street.

Support Us

If you are planning a trip to Kyoto, please remember to look out for us and let us help you navigate our city. In return, we kindly ask you to support our volunteer project by posting comments about your encounter or photos taken with AtchiKochi volunteers on Facebook, Twitter, and other online platforms.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/atchikochi
Twitter: @AtchiKochiPrj (Please tweet with hashtag #atchikochi)

If you do not have plans to visit Kyoto anytime soon but know someone who does, direct your friend’s attention to our project.

Thank you for your support.

Disclaimer

All participants in the AtchiKochi Project are volunteers, not professionally trained tour guides. Please understand that, despite our good intentions and efforts to give you the best directions possible, the information we provide may not be accurate. Neither PASS-N-MOVE, the operating body of the AtchiKochi Project, nor any of the volunteers acting on behalf of PASS-N-MOVE shall be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages arising from information provided by AtchiKochi Project participants. Please also note that PASS-N-MOVE assumes no responsibility for any interactions between providers and recipients of the service. The organization, however, welcomes your constructive criticism of the project (please use the contact form below). Thank you for your understanding.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments about the project, please let us know using the contact form below. You can also contact us via Facebook or Twitter (@AtchiKochiPrj).
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