Press Releases

The Visit Japan Campaign promotes Samurai Culture in the USA!

Samurai Parades in New York and Los Angeles Samurai Tours and Packages< Samurai Trip Sweepstakes Oh yes, and a Samurai Movie!<
December 1, 2003 ... The Samurai are coming ... Following the release on December 5 of Warner Brother's movie The Last Samurai, staring Tom Cruise, representatives from Kyoto City and Prefecture in Japan will present a Samurai performance and parade in Los Angeles' California Plaza (Little Tokyo) on December 16 and in New York's Herald Square on December 19 at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time on both days.
Spectators will witness trained samurai actors from Kyoto's famous Toei company's Uzumasa Samurai Movie Studio engaged in authentic-style sword fights. They will be acting out the old battle waged by the Shinsen-Gumi, one of the last Samurai groups of the Bakumatsu Period (1853-1868).
In addition, real live Maiko (Geisha in training) from Kyoto's Gion district will play the Jikata Shamisen (traditional stringed instrument, like a small banjo), and a sword lesson will be offered by top class "Tateshi" (sword masters), who actually appeared in The Last Samurai movie! More details on the events can be found at samurai.

This is your chance to witness old Kyoto in Los Angeles and New York, but if this only whets your appetite for more of traditional Japan, just wait!
There are now three new fully escorted Samurai and Ninja Tours and two Independent Samurai and Ninja Packages. In addition, JNTO has created its own suggested itinerary for those interested in the Samurai culture of Japan. The highlights are even great fun for kids � especially the Ninja Theme Park! View the independent itinerary link on our website at: traveltrade/ itinerary_pdf/ samurai.pdf
Fully Escorted Bushido "The Way of the Warrior" Tours
Ninja Spirit 2004 Escorted includes: five nights hotel accommodations, meet and greet at Narita Airport, motor coach transfer to Tokyo, dinner at a "ninja restaurant" in Tokyo, and escorted day trips. Visited sites/cities include: Edo Mura "Ninja" Village in Nikko, day trip by bullet and express trains to Nagoya and the Ninja Village in the old Samurai town of Iga- ueno, the Ninja Village in Koga, and Kyoto's Uzumasa Samurai Movie Studio (optional).
Land Price: $1235
Contact: Kintetsu International Travel Consultants, MIM Ichiban (Number 1) Department tel. 800-422-3481,

Samurai History with author Romulus Hillsborough (Ryoma: Life of a Renaissance Samurai, and Samurai Sketches: From the Bloody Final Years of the Shogun) visits the ancient cities of Kyoto, Kochi, and Hagi Two Departures: March 13-22, 2004 and March 14-23, 2004 (10 Days)
Price: $3,950 (including air from the West coast)
Contact: JTB USA San Francisco Office, tel. 800-882-3884. email:

Samurai Legacy: Japan will focus on ancient Samurai culture and the rare art of Yabusame or mounted archery at an annual shrine festival. In addition the tour will include a sumo tournament and instructions on zazen meditation by a Zen priest. Areas visited include: Tokyo, Kamakura, Takayama and Shirakawa-go, Hiroshima and Miyajima (with a museum housing one of the most impressive collections of samurai armor and weaponry in the world), Kurashiki, the Inland Sea, Himeji, and Kyoto.
Two Departures: May 1-15 and September 12-26, 2004 (15 Days)
Superior hotel and Ryokan (upscale traditional Japanese inn) accommodations
Land Price: $4,880 double occupancy (9-15 participants only)
Contact: Northridge, CA-based Asian Pacific Adventures; tel. 800-825-1680, email:;

Independent Bushido "The Way of the Warrior" Packages

Kintetsu International Travel Consultants has assembled several independent packages as follows:

1) Authentic Kyoto in 5 Days includes: round-trip airfare from various USA gateways, round-trip airport hotel transfer, three nights deluxe accommodations at the Westin Miyako Hotel, full day sightseeing tour of Kyoto, a special tour of "Chion-in" Temple, where portions of the Last Samurai Movie was shot. An authentic samurai style "Yu-dofu" dinner restaurant Junsei in Kyoto.

Price: $1,175 per person double occupancy
Contact: MIM Ichiban (Number 1) Department, tel. 800-422-3481,

2) Ninja Spirit 2004 On Your Own by Train includes a detailed train arrival and departure schedule to travel on your own to sites included in Kintetsu's Escorted Ninja tour above: Tokyo, Nikko, Iga-ueno, Nagoya, Koga, Kyoto (Nikko Eda-mura Village, Ninja Restaurant and Uzumasa Movie Studio are optional).

Land Price: $615 with point-to-point JR Tickets OR $770 with 7-day JR All-Japan Rail Pass
Contact: MIM Ichiban (Number 1) Department , tel. 800-422-3481,

Samurai Tour Sweepstakes!

Pick up the December 3rd issue of Time Out New York magazine, and look for Warner Brother's Last Samurai advertisement. Answer the question, "What's the most famous Zen garden in Kyoto (answer at, and you could be the lucky winner of a free five-night trip to Japan, courtesy of Kintetsu International and Prince Hotels!

Entire Online Magazine Issue Devoted To Japan

Playing along with Hollywood's Hoopla over Japan, the December issue of the online Dish Magazine,, is completely devoted to "everything Japanese." From a personal interview with Tom Cruise to a feature on Tokyo's coolest spas to "the dish" on where to shop, eat, drink, and sleep, and what Japanese beauty products to use, topped off by what Japanese car to drive. (How about Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution, Paul Walker's hero car in the Fast and the Furious or Toyota's Century that chauffeured Bill Murray around Tokyo in Lost in Translation?)

"Japan is the ideal place to travel to now," notes Kunio Kishimoto, Executive Director of the Japan National Tourist Organization. "It's one of the safest places in the world, it's NOT more expensive than London or Paris, and it's both familiar and exotic." But Tom Cruise, put it even more simply, as noted in the December 3rd issue of USA Today, "The samurai swords, the costumes, the amazing landscapes. There's just something about it all that is eternally cool."

For further information on what to see and do in Japan -- related to samurai culture otherwise -- please contact the Japan National Tourist Organization at 212-757-5640, or visit our websites: and For information on the Visit Japan Campaign visit

Information is provided as a courtesy to users of this website. Though the JNTO endeavors to ensure the information is accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own judgement and at their own risk. Neither the JNTO nor any holder of copyright to the information shall be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any loss or misunderstanding, either direct or indirect, that is incurred as a result of utilizing the information.

Japan Highlight



Fantastic insight into Japan's diverse history.



Satisfy the most discerning of palettes, as well as the strictest of budgets.

Pop Culture

Pop Culture

Explore everything Japanese pop culture has to offer.

Modern Art

Modern Art

Visualize Japan's treasured heritage and its cutting-edge future.

Ski in Japan

Ski in Japan

A diamond in the rough for ski enthusiasts and families worldwide.



Breathtaking cruises around Japan.


Affordable Tips

Make a trip to Japan enjoyable and affordable.


go: Tohoku

Experience the treasures of Northern Japan.


Discover the Undiscovered

Explore the undiscovered region in 7 days.


The Heart of Hokkaido

Discover the wild charms of Japan’s northern frontier.


For First Time Travelers

Explore Japan's Iconic Destinations.