April 2013


Discover the Spirit of Japan

The Japan Tourism Agency has produced a new video website to showcase the Spirit of Japan. Many new videos have been produced to feature regions and the distinct culture of the Japanese people. The varied videos give everyone a glimpse of what they can see and do to have a unique experience that can only be had in Japan. Please feel free to show these videos to your clients while helping them plan their own journey. Please see the JTA Discover the Spirit of Japan site for all of the videos.


Keikyu Haneda Access: Spring Campaign

Keikyu Corporation, the top provider of transit access from Haneda Airport to the Tokyo and Yokohama areas, is proud to announce that between Monday, April 15 and Sunday, June 30, it will be conducting a "Keikyu Haneda Access: Spring Campaign" for foreign travelers visiting Japan through Haneda Airport. Through this campaign, foreigners traveling to Japan through Haneda Airport who either purchase a convenient special deal ticket eligible under this campaign or charge their PASMO, Suica or other transit-affiliated IT card at the Keikyu Tourist Information Center will receive a novelty gift free of charge. Visit the Keikyu Tourism Information Center in Haneda International Airport to participate.


Haneda Airport Wins First Place Award

The annual World Airport Award Rankings have been released for 2013. Haneda International Airport has grasped the top spot as the World's Cleanest Airport! The international terminal was newly renovated only a few years ago and as such is bright open and welcoming to all visitors. The Haneda International Airport was formerly only a domestic terminal but now welcome international travelers to Tokyo and offers great domestic connections for flights around Japan. Not to be left out Narita International Airport also ranks in the top 5 for cleanest airports and both Haneda and Narita take top 5 spots in other categories. Please see the World Airport Awards for all of the winners and details.


Tokyo Shuttle & Metro Pass now available

From April 1, 2013 Keisei Bus in cooperation with Tokyo Metro started selling a Tokyo Shuttle and Metro Pass Set which includes a ticket for the Tokyo Shuttle (an express bus connecting Narita Airport to Tokyo) and a Tokyo Metro 1-day Open Ticket which is good for one day of unlimited rides on all Tokyo Metro lines. This convenient Tokyo Shuttle and Metro Pass allows you to use the Tokyo Metro as well as the express bus linking Narita Airport to Tokyo for a great price, and enables you to start using the Tokyo Metro lines as soon as you arrive in Tokyo without having to purchase another ticket. If you arrive at Narita Airport and are planning on traveling into Tokyo, we hope that you will take the opportunity to use this great value Tokyo Shuttle & Metro Pass Set and enjoy easy access to Tokyo. Tickets can be purchased at the Keisei Bus Ticket counter in Narita Airport Terminals 1 & 2.


Changes to the JR East Pass Sales

Please be advised that East Japan Railway Company (henceforth "JR East") is going to re-launch the JR EAST PASS product lineup, effective as of July 1, 2013. Therefore, we would like to hereby notify you to cease overseas sales of existing JR EAST PASS products on March 31, 2013. We are currently determining the type(s) and distribution methods of the new products, and will send a separate notification to you once the details are confirmed. A limited-time product, JR EAST PASS SPECIAL (Flexible 3-Day), is on sale overseas and online until June 14, 2013. Please refer to the official press release (PDF) for further information.


Tokyo Disney Resort® 30th Anniversary Celebration

"Tokyo Disney Resort® 30th: The Happiness Year" begins on April 15, 2013 and continues through March 20, 2014 to mark this milestone anniversary for the Resort. During the 340 days of celebration, the Disney characters, the Cast Members and all Guests visiting the Resort will be able to share a whole new level of happiness. Guests will find new entertainment, a new Tokyo Disneyland® attraction, commemorative merchandise, special menus, delightful decorations and more. Kicking off "The Happiness Year" on April 15 will be the new Tokyo Disneyland daytime parade, "Happiness Is Here." The Disney characters show various types of happiness in this colorful, exhilarating parade that is 500 meters long. All the Guests are sure to have smiles on their faces as they watch the spectacular new parade.


Great Resources List
Please use these resources to vamp up your webpages and advertisements or help your clients!
JNTO Free Photo library Make your free account for High Quality images, use on websites or print materials!
JNTO Youtube Channel Embed the videos on your website or link to your clients.
JNTO Brochure Archive Print the pdfs as many times as you need!
JNTO Accommodation Search Find hotels or ryokan across Japan.
Meetings & Incentives Planner Find all the latest on MICE planning for Japan here!


Hokkaido - Many people travel to Japan as a summer getaway and while there is so much to do and see on the main island of Japan (Honshu) it does get very hot and muggy. So how about taking a trip to the northern island of Hokkaido? Hokkaido is a great summer getaway, even for Japanese Travelers, due to its mild temperature, fantastic natural scenery and outdoor adventuring.

Sunflowers and Mt. Yotei

Hokkaido can be thought of as a "Mid-west" of Japan. Very different from other parts there are huge open fields and grand sized National Parks all over. Getting around hokkaido is a little different than the rest of japan. Because it is more rural it is actually recommended that you rent a car or combine car rentals with a JR Hokkaido Pass (which gives you a discount to Station Rental Cars!) Anyone with an international drivers license (provided in the US by AAA) can rent a car by the day or longer! For rules on driving in Japan please see the Japan Auto Federation's website (a sister agency to AAA). Here is a handy driving in Hokkaido guide (PDF). Hitchhiking is also very common in the summer months as a cheap method to travel, though travlers should be wary of bears and potential lack of car traffic on rural roads.

A popular summer activity to to go camping and hiking though the numerous National Parks. One of the most popular is the Shiretoko National Park that juts out into the Sea of Okhotsk. The park is actually a designated UNESCO Natural Heritage site. Camp grounds, water falls, flora and fauna aboud and make the arae a great place to connect to the outdoors. Camping is also very easy around Hokkaido with rental gear available from many outfitters and many campgrounds with cabins available too. Here is a list of some camp sites around the Island.

Hokkaido is also well know for its agriculture products and bi-products. Hokkaido milk is popular across Japan in dairy goods, candies and other yummy treats. There are also many beer and sake breweries around the island (Sapporo Beer anyone?) Recently wineries are becoming more and more popular as it was discovered that the climate in Hokkaido is great for growing many types of wine grapes. And of course you can't forget the delicious local seafood that can be enjoyed!

Not to be left out the cities of Hokkaido also offer great summer fun. Sapporo has many parks and interesting sights to see. You can visit the famous Asahiyama Zoo on the special JR Limited Express Asahiyama Zoo Train. Or you can relax at one of the many Michelin starred resorts or dine at a fabulous restaurant (Online Michelin Guide Hokkaido). If you want a more homey experience try a stay at one of the many Minshuku (guest houses), Youth Hostels or even the mountain huts set up for hikers!

For more information on traveling Hokkaido please see our JNTO Hokkaido Page and the Hokkaido Official Tourism Website.

Are you ready for the summer holiday?

All Japan Tours
The Golden Route Japan Tour Summer & Japan Enchantment - Gion Summer Festival Tour 2013 - commissionable.

Goway Travel
Tokyo and Kyoto Highlights & Japan in Depth - up to 15% commission.

IACE Travel
The Enchanting Eastern Hokkaido Tour 2013 & 8th Okinawa Youth Exchange Program (for middle and high school students) - commissionable.

Inside Japan Tours
Japan Island Hopping (Self-Guided) & Historic Mountain Trails (Small Group) - 10% commission for agents.

Japan Deluxe Tours
Golden Route with Hiroshima & Gion Festival with Hiroshima - 10% commission of land Price, FAM rates Available.

JapanQuest Journeys
Luxury Hotel and Ryokan Collection & Remote and Untouched Japan - commissionable.

Mountain Hiking Holidays
Shikoku Hiking planned for 2014, see the most recent trip here & here.

Orient Flexi Pax
Tokyo & Kyoto + Mt. Fuji & Japan & The New Golden Route - Extra 5% commission when booked by 5/31/2013 for travel through 9/30/2013

Supervalue Tours
10-day Japan Classics & Kyushu in a Week - Call 877-388-1777 for our guaranteed departures. Commissionable.

Visits to the Japanese Countryside
Sado Island, Takayama and Matsumoto & Hiking Kumano Kodo - 10% commission for 5-8 participants, 5% commission for up to 4 participants.

Hoshino Resorts
Fly with ANA, Stay with Hoshino Resorts - All Nippon Airlines and Hoshino Resorts team up with a domestic Japan flight and stay campaign for foreign travelers. Explore Japan using ANA's special Experience Japan Fares for domestic flights then stay at one of the many luxurious Hoshino Resorts. Each resort also offer special experiences to immerse visitors in the local culture and provide a unique stay for travelers. For example, relax after a day of sightseeing at the Hoshinoya Okinawa with Aqua Aerobics Under the Stars. Please visit the Hoshino Resorts website for more information.


Grand Park Otaru
Wholesome Hokkaido at Grand Park Otaru - From 7 May until 31 October, enjoy Hokkaido's finest at Grand Park Otaru with a special accommodation and dinner bundle package starting from just JPY 8,800 per person. Choose to stay in comfort at our guest rooms overlooking either sweeping mountain vistas or vast ocean views. For dinner, savor delectable dishes featuring Hokkaido's freshest and quality ingredients such as seafood from the waters off Otaru, vegetables and meat produce from a neighboring farm, and more!
For reservations or enquiries please call +81-134-21-3111 or email rsvn.gpot@parkhotelgroup.com


Ishin Hotels Group
Special JNTO Newsletter Offer - Ishin Hotels group is offering a 10% discount of BAR and/or BAR and breakfast as well as a special welcome gift for all bookings. Restrictions apply, non-commissionable. Reservations can be made through Ishin Hotels ID: JNTOpromo PW: Spring2013 - Ishin Hotels Group has 16 hotels across Japan in key locations such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe, Nagoya, Hakata, Narita and Okinawa. The hotels are all centrally located next to major subway stations, providing easy access across the respective city. They are all ideally located in the center of the shopping and entertainment areas, and close to many restaurants and bars. Owner of the famous b brand, these contemporary designed hotels all follow the concept of good breakfast, comfortable bed and a central location for your requirements. The b hotels offer complimentary tea and coffee in the lobby and complimentary internet access.


Prince Hotels Group
Prince Hotel Shinagawa - Until March 31, 2014 enjoy special BAR Rates (10% commissionable) from Prince Hotel Shinagawa which is located in the heart of Tokyo next to Shinagawa Station. There are special rates for all rooms but restrictions and blackout dates apply. Please contact 800-542-8686 for reservations or enquiries. Grand Prince Hiroshima - Don't forget that the Grand Prince Hiroshima offers complimentary welcome counter service for all guests from Hiroshima Station. The counter and assist with luggage transfers, shuttle service and other guest needs.


Japan Airlines

Here's A Smart Move. Fly direct to HND - Haneda, Tokyo Int'l Airport! - Conveniently located near central Tokyo. HND offers quick and easy access via train, bus or taxi. As written in the news section above Haneda International Airport has just won the Skytrax World Airport Award for cleanest airport! It also placed highly in many other categories so don't miss your chance to revel in HND's beautiful facility. Fly Japan Airlines daily to Haneda from San Francisco, New York* and Honolulu. (*Operated by American Airlines) Please the Japan Airlines Website for more information.

Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines oneworld Special Fares - Malaysia Airlines takes to the skies as a oneworld member. They offer non-stop service 4 times a week from Los Angeles to Narita. Departures from LAX are Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun. Special limited time round trip fares starting from USD $881 (inclusive of fuel surcharge & taxes) now available. Fares are valid for travel between 04/01/2013 to 06/09/2013 & 07/16/2013 to 12/09/2013. For more information or to reserve your special fare now please visit www.malaysiaairlines.com or call the 24hr reservation line at 1-800-522-9264.

Will your customers be able to find you when they click on that link from our website? If you have registered as a Japan Travel Specialist, the answer is yes. Just watch a few educational videos and take three short quizzes to become part of our JTS Program. See the website for details.
You can also contact our office for travel brochures and language handbooks. Please e-mail info@jnto-lax.org for more information.

JNTO is here to help! We can provide you with updated information, advice, brochures, and more to make yours a trip to remember. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office between 9AM and 5PM Pacific Standard Time. We look forward to assisting you!

JNTO Hotline: (213) 623-1952

To unsubscribe to this newsletter, please click here.

Information is provided in this Japan Travel Update as a courtesy to readers of this newsletter. Though JNTO endeavors to ensure the information is accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own judgment and at their own risk. Neither JNTO nor any holder of a 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.
Publisher: Japan National Tourism Organization, L.A. Office
340 E. 2nd Street, Suite 302, Los Angeles, CA 90012
email: info@jnto-lax.org
website: www.jnto.go.jp or www.japantravelinfo.com