Toyama Airport's New Name, "Toyama Kitokito Airport," Incorporates Local Dialect

Toyama Airport's New Name,

Toyama Airport in Toyama Prefecture.

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Toyama Airport in Toyama, Toyama Prefecture decided on November 9 to adopt a new nickname: "Toyama Kitokito Airport."

The prefecture decided to use the occasion of the airport's 50th anniversary to form a closer bond with the prefecture's citizens and attract more travelers by adopting the nickname. The Hometown Education Promotion Council then considered specific ideas. Toyama Governor Takakazu Ishii announced the new name at a meeting of the council on November 9.

"Kitokito" is a word in the local dialect of Toyama meaning "fresh." The word is often associated with the prefecture and frequently appears in the local tourism industry's promotional campaigns. The governor said, "About two-thirds of the council thought using 'kitokito' would be a good idea." Other proposals that made the final round included "Toyama Raicho Airport" (referring to a ptarmigan, the prefecture's official bird), as well as "Toyama Alpen Airport" and "Toyama Alps Airport," associating the airport with the nearby Tateyama Mountains.

More than 25 airports across Japan have adopted nicknames and official names related to local history, famous people, animals and the like, but Toyama is the first to incorporate the use of a word from a local dialect. The prefectural government and the airport's administrators plan to familiarize the general public with the new name through promotional events, including those celebrating the airport's 50th anniversary.