June 2013


Japan awaits you with events to make your heart race, and un-spoilt nature to soothe your soul.

Summer in Japan offers enjoyment for all, with colorful matsuri festivals in every region and huge, artistic firework displays that make the night sky their canvas.

There are all sorts of activities and events on offer, each designed to make it possible for visitors to fully experience and appreciate the beauty of Japan, from her mountains to her seas. Gently unwind on a beach resort in Okinawa, where the azure of the sky is matched only by the deep blue of the sea. Or visit Hokkaido, where stunning scenery abounds.

Summer is the season in which Japanese traditional cuisine delights with a refreshing elegance. It is also the time of year when many a bargain awaits shoppers in the Summer Sales. I would like everyone in the world to come and experience for themselves what Japan in the summer has to offer.

Using the Web and Social Networking Services (SNS), it is our role at the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) to introduce Japan to the people of the world, and to highlight Japan's uniquely attractive qualities, which can be enjoyed in safety and in comfort. In April of this year, we launched our "Discover the Spirit of Japan" Website. The site contains lots of films and information about Japanese culture and the Japanese people, so please do take a look. I am sure it will give you an even better idea of what makes Japan so attractive as a destination.


Every day, visitors from all over the world experience the renowned hospitality of the Japanese, and are able to thoroughly enjoy all Japan has to offer.

It is my sincere wish that you will visit Japan. You can be sure of a very warm welcome.

Ryoichi Matsuyama President,
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)

May 14, 2013



New Site Content: Safety Tips for Travelers

The Japan Tourism Organization is proud to release new website content aimed at helping travelers navigate Japan during times of trouble. The new Safety Tips for Travelers webpage has details on who to call and what to do during emergencies. Information on what to do if an earthquake happens, or who to contact for a medical emergency are just a few of the information items provided in this easy to use new page. There are even saveable/printable communication cards to help bridge any language gaps during high stress situations. Please browse the new site and bookmark it in case of emergency.


Sightseeing of Mt. Fuji

JNTO has released a new webpage just in time for the summer climbing season. As many of you may know Mt. Fuji is only officially open to Climbers in the months of July and August, however you can sightsee many areas surrounding Mt. Fuji throughout the year! Take a look at the new JNTO page all about sightseeing on and around Mt. Fuji.


Narita & Denver: New Sister Airport Agreement

Narita International Airport Corporation (NAA) and Denver International Airport (DIA) have signed a new sister airport agreement to strengthen ties and promote growth in both areas. Activities will include regular meetings, personnel exchanges and other joint programs to grow the global network of airports. This agreement also comes just as United Airlines has begun direct service from Denver to Narita with the new 787 Dreamliner. To see all the details about this new agreement please see the press release.


787 Dreamliner Back in Service

After a long wait the Boeing 787 Dreamliners are now ready for action once again. There are multiple routes available from the US to Narita on these plush new planes. Japan Airlines restarted services for the Boston to Narita line & recommenced service on the San Diego to Narita line from June 1, 2013. All Nippon Airways will commence their new San Jose to Narita route starting July 10, 2013. United Airlines launched their Denver to Narita route on June 10, 2013.


Changes to Seven Bank ATM Services

Popular ATM services offered by Seven Bank, Ltd. (located in 7-11 stores across Japan) has temporarily discontinued service for all MasterCard Brand Cards. This is because of changes made by MasterCard and affects both debit/cash cards and credit cards. Seven Bank is in the process of negotiating the changes with MasterCard and will restore ATM services as soon as possible. Please see the press release for more information and details of services offered for other card brands.


Changes to the JR East Pass

East Japan Railway Company is revamping its 5-day JR East Rail Pass. Now visitors can use the new Flexible 5-day pass for travel on any 5 days during your chosen 14 day period. The revamped pass is valid for unlimited travel on all JR East Lines in the specified free area in Ordinary Cars with reserved seats, including valid Bullet trains. Overseas and In Japan sales begin for the new pass on July 1, 2013. For the pass details, please view the press release or for more information on JR East Lines please visit their website. Also, don't miss their special limited time Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket.


Japan Restaurant Week 2013

Gurunavi Inc. and the Japan Restaurant Week Committee present Japan Restaurant Week 2013 Summer Premium event. This event is a great chance for locals and visitors alike to try some of the best gourmet food that Japan has to offer at great set rate prices. Japan Restaurant Week is usually held twice a year and encompasses eateries in 6 areas across the country. The Summer Premium specials will be held from Friday, July 19 to Wednesday, August 7, a very long 20 day week! You can all the restaurants and their menus on the Japan Restaurant Week website. Make your reservations soon!


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!


Join the modern day Japanese pilgrims at special power spots around the country.

Omiwa Shrine in Nara - associated with sake making among other things

Power Spots around Japan have recently been popular destinations for Japanese travelers. Each power spot has a story or history associated with it that makes for a great way to explore a different side of Japanese culture. Here we'll list just a few power spots that can be integrated into a tour of Japan.

Tenmangu Shrines - Dedicated to a kami (god) of learning, who is the spirit of a scholar from the Heian era Michizane Sugawara. Many students travel to these shrines to pray for good results on tests and in school.

The main shrine Dazaifu Tenmangu is in Fukuoka above the place where Michizane was buried. There are many other associate shrines across Japan, the largest being Kyoto's Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Tokyo's Yushima Tenmangu.

Zeniarai Benten Shrine - Tucked away in a mountain and only accessible by a small cave path. The Ugafuku Kami is enshrined here. It is a very small shrine but popular with pilgrims who come to multiply their money. Legend has it that if you wash money in the spring at the shrine you will be rewarded by the Kami by having it double. This tradition dates back to about 1257 when a ruler from Kamakura visited the shrine.

Kiyomasa's Well (Meiji Shrine) - Located in the Imperial Gardens at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo is a relatively new power spot called Kiyomasa's Well. The well was supposedly dug by Kato Kiyomasa a daimyo lord during the 16th century renowned for his water engineering. (Though there is no proof he made the well historical rumor says he had a mansion in the area.) The modern story goes that an aspiring comedic talent took a picture of the well and used it as his cell phone wallpaper. After doing this he got his big break on Japanese TV so the rumors began to circulate that if you took a picture of the well and used it on your phone that you too would experience success in your work.

Summer is fading, enjoy it while it lasts!

Adventures in Japan
Beyond Tokyo & Tokyo on a Budget - 10% commission.

All Japan Tours
The Golden Triangle of Japan - Autumn Leaves Special & Japan in Depth (Reverse) - Takayama Autumn Festival 2013 - commissionable.

Autumn in Japan Tour - 10% commission.

Asia Transpacific Journeys
Quintessential Japan & Japan - Your Journey, Your way™

Geographic Expeditions
Japan: A Cultural Feast / November 3-14, 2013. Due to the strengthening of the dollar against the yen, we have just reduced rates by over $1700 per person. Land costs are commissionable at 10%.

Highlights of Japan & Wonders of Japan - Get up to 15% commission.

Goway Travel
Essential Japan with Free Dinner Cruise.

Japan Deluxe Tour
Golden Route with Hiroshima Tour & Takayama Grand Tour - 10% commission of land tour price. FAM rate available.

JapanQuest Journeys
Remote and Untouched Japan & The Great Outdoors - Great Summer Journeys to Japan. 10% commission.

Orient Flexi-Pax Tours
Tokyo, Kyoto + Mt. Fuji & Japan - The New Golden Route - Extra 5% commission when booked by 8/15/2013 for travel through 10/31/2013.

Pacific Delight Tours
6 Day Touch of Japan - *Land only. Commission 10% or higher.

PacSet Tours
Gamer Heaven & Japan Holiday - $200 commission.

Samurai Tours
Late Summer and Early Fall Best of Japan - 10% Commission and discounted 5%

SITA Tours
Japan's Scenic Vistas & Affordable Japan - In celebration of SITA's 80th anniversary, all SITA Registered Agents will earn an $80 appreciation bonus (in card form) on every booking made between Apr 1, 2013 & Mar 31, 2014.

Super Value Tours
10-day Japan Classics & Kyushu in a Week from $3499, 5-stars on yelp.com. Commissionable.

Swain Tours
Nostalgic Japan & A Japanese Journey

Visits to the Japanese Countryside
Sado Island, Takayama, Matsumoto & Shopping Kyoto's Temple Flea Markets and Hot Springs Soaks - 10% commission for group of 7-8

New Otani Hotels
Located in the heart of the bustling city, Hotel New Otani Osaka opens the outdoor pool with its great view of Osaka Castle from July 5th - September 16th this year. The blue of the pool water and the panoramic view will surely sooth your body and would. Unwind in the sun and in the soft sound of the back-ground music. Become a New Otani Club (NOC) member and enjoy this special site free! Be sure to inquire about our special Summer Promotion Rates & 10% commissions by contacting our Global Marketing Team. Rates start from 15,000yen a night.


The Capitol Hotel Tokyu
Summer Promotion 2 night Stay - The Capitol Hotel Tokyu is currently promoting a special rate for stays more than 2 nights, which is available on GDS. Discount rate: 30% off from the best available rate. Commission rate: 10%. Applicable period of stay: 16th June 2013 - 30th September 2013. End of sales: 31st July 2013.

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu
2-10-3 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81-3-3503-0109 Fax: +81-3-3503-0309

Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines offers [AIR KUMAMON] on the International Flights
Japan Airlines (JAL) will serve [AIR KUMAMON], the 9th installment of the popular [AIR SERIES] in-flight meal for Premium Economy and Economy class on select North American and European routes starting June 1, 2013. JAL has cooperated with various well-known Japanese restaurants and food chains to offer passengers the most innovative line-up of in-flight meals [AIR SERIES]. This is the first time that JAL collaborates with the local government in Japan. [AIR KUMAMON], using the package design of [KUMAMON] which is one of the most popular characters in Japan and from Kumamoto Prefecture located in center of Kyushu. The main dish, [TAIPIEN]*1 which is very well-liked local cuisine supervised by Chef Hayama from [Kourantei], an old Chinese restaurant in Kumamoto city.

Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines offers non-stop service 4 times a week from Los Angeles to Narita Round-Trip. Departure days from Los Angeles are on Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun, Prices start at USD908 (Inclusive of fuel surcharge and taxes.)Travel is valid from 16Jul-09Dec13 & 25Dec-09Jun13. Please visit Malaysia Airlines website at www.malaysiaairlines.com or Malaysia Airlines 24HR Reservation line at 1800-552-9264 or you may contact your local travel agent for more information.

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