Rock Hall to open Tokyo location later this year

Rock Hall to open Tokyo location later this year
The Rock Hall already has tour guides in Japanese for tourists who visit Cleveland. (Source: WOIO)
The Rock Hall already has tour guides in Japanese for tourists who visit Cleveland. (Source: WOIO)

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has entered into a license agreement to create a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Japan.

The inaugural exhibition will open in Tokyo in September 2017.

A permanent space will open at a later date, featuring content as well as traveling exhibits from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

"Rock and roll is a universal language and this is an incredible opportunity for us to collaborate with the Japan Project Production Committee to deliver an exciting experience internationally," said Greg Harris, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Music lovers visit the Rock Hall in Cleveland from all over the country and the world.

Cleveland 19 caught up with the tribute band The Iron Maidens outside of the museum -- they were visiting from Los Angeles.

"We just played at the Beachland Ballroom and we really wanted to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," said Kirsten Rosenberg. "We were not disappointed, impressed all the way!"

"My very best friend Ginger lives in Japan and I bought (a Joan Jett T-shirt) for her -- it will make this a little less special because she can get this herself now, but she'll be thrilled, absolutely thrilled," joked band member Linda McDonald.

The idea started after the Rock Hall broadcast its Hall of Fame inductions in Japan, and it took off from there.

"You really see this huge demand for western culture over there. Rock & Roll, blue jeans, the touch points of American culture are really hot commodities over there," said Todd Mesek, with the Rock Hall.

He says they're still continuing to transform here in Cleveland while they expand to Japan. They are now hosting live music, interactive exhibits and a new cafe with high end local food.

"No risk for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it gives us an opportunity to expand our brand, to reach overseas and to take our mission to engage and inspire to a whole new market," Mesek said.

Japan is the second-largest music market in the world, so officials say it's the perfect place to expand.

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