By Our Correspondent | Opening Doorz Editorial | September 06, 2017
Usain Bolt who has enjoyed a career which has not only made him a legendary athlete, but also one of the greatest sportsmen of all time, travelled all the way to Kyoto in order to celebrate the opening of a new milestone for the Swiss luxury Watch Brand in Japan.
“I am very proud to open our boutique in one of the prestigious cities in Japan: Kyoto, and am delighted to have our dear friend, Usain here with us to celebrate. Hublot has always pursued to be innovative by pushing the boundaries of conventional design and watch-making. This is possible only because we have a solid foundation of long tradition and rich history. At Hublot, we always look to the future, and this is why tradition and innovation create new history. Enjoy this new big bang in Kyoto,” said Ricardo Guadalupe(Hublot CEO)
Hublot opened its new boutique in Kyoto on August 26, 2017. Built in the traditional architectural style of Machiya, common in the mid-Edo period. While maintaining its traditions, the ancient capital Kyoto continues to give birth to new culture and values. Similarly, Hublot continues to evolve in the traditional watch industry under the brand’s innovative concept of “The Art of Fusion”. The fusion between Kyoto and Hublot has just begun in the beautiful Gion streets.
The grand opening event started with the Champion appearing with children, followed by Hublot’s announcement to donate 1.5 million JPY (about 13,100CHF) to Gion. Bolt and Hublot then created a charity run, whereby Hublot agreed to add 500,000 JPY to the donation if total record of 5 children’s time beats Bolt’s 100m record with 9.58secs. Usain Bolt gave the children valuable advice on how to run faster before they sprinted towards the finish line in the presence of Maiko (apprentice geiko).
The 14.8 sec result was close but regrettably was not able to break the legend’s record. Nevertheless, Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe spontaneously changed the amount to 2 million JPY, as he was impressed and wanted to praise the children for their efforts. The cheque was presented to Gion Minamigawa Chiku Machizukuri Kyogikai, a non-profit organization which maintains the historical scenery in the Gion area and preserves traditional Japanese culture to next generations.
Usain Bolt and Ricardo Guadalupe, alongside Mr. Tatsuya Yoshimoto (President of Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Store), and Miwa Sakai (Hublot’s Asia Pacific Regional Director), performed Kagami-biraki ceremony. The traditional Japanese ceremony involves opening a specially designed sake barrel with a wooden mallet to invoke good fortune.
In the evening, Hublot hosted a gala dinner to celebrate the opening of the Hublot Boutique Kyoto at Shogunzuka Seiryuden, located on the mountaintop of Higashiyama (east mountainous area) where an entire view of Kyoto city can be enjoyed. More than 150 VIP guests attended a gala dinner, and the crowd went wild when Usain Bolt appeared to greet them. A raffle was held and Usain Bolt’s signed valuable items were presented to the lucky winners. At the end of the evening, a live fusion performance of Wadaiko (Japanese drums) and Noh (classical Japanese musical drama) entertained the guests.
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