January 2014

2014 Japan Showcase Seminar Dates Announced! See below for details.

I am very pleased to announce that we have welcomed the ten millionth visitor to Japan this year on Friday, 20 December at Narita International Airport.

In 2003, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), together with the Japan Tourism Agency, launched the Visit Japan Campaign with the aim of achieving 10 million visitors from overseas.

As JNTO's mission is to realize a "tourism-based" nation with expanded inbound tourism, it is our great pleasure to achieve our dream to have reached the goal today.

We wish to offer our heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has helped us by sending visitors to Japan. The hard times in recent years have made achieving this long-awaited 10 million goal all the more special to us. We would, of course, also like to thank the 10 million people who have visited Japan this year! We hope you have enjoyed your holidays and will be back to visit us again soon.

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games now just over 6 years away, we look forward to further developing Japan's tourism infrastructure and welcoming many more visitors to Japan in the coming years.

Ryoichi Matsuyama President,
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)

Friday, December 20, 2013

New JNTO Website: Japan Tours and Activities

The Japan National Tourism Organization has developed a new website for tour and activity seekers to make it easier for people to find their perfect activity fit in Japan. Find everything from 1-3 day tours and special activities that are easily fit into any Japan Trip. See the new Website for all of the offerings.

New Webpage: Special deals and Events in Japan

JNTO has put together a new webpage to make it easier for visitors to find out what is going on during the period they plan to travel. This new page puts both special offers and major events in the same easy to use calendar so with only a few clicks visitors can see what's available when they are in Japan.

JNTO 2014 Desktop Calendar available for Download

This year's calendar is themed around the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites around Japan. Download your copies today to brighten up your computer desktop.

JNTO Educational Trip to Japan Brochure (PDF)

Now available for download is JNTO's new guide for Educational Tourism with advice, institution examples and trip information.

Outdoor Japan launches new Japan Snow Guide mobile App

Outdoor Japan Media and MapMotion launch Japan Snow Guide mobile app, the new comprehensive English-language guide to Japan's snow resorts and winter sports in Japan. Inside the app, users will find information on Japan's top resorts, objective resort spotlights, original editorial on featured destinations and activities, event listings, real-time accommodation booking in resort areas, weather conditions, highlighted local services and regular lift ticket giveaways and other promotions during the season. Available for free on the iPhone & iPad from the App Store, or visit the Website for more details.
Japan Snow Guide & Outdoor Japan Traveler 50th Issue

In conjunction with the new mobile app (listed above) Outdoor Japan Media is also pleased to announce the 50th issue of Outdoor Japan Travel and the 2014 Japan Snow Guide are now available for free web viewing. For those that don't know, Outdoor Japan Traveler is a great bilingual travel Magazine focused on all of the outdoor activities that can be done around Japan. Check out the special 50th issue to see what's great about being outdoors in Japan's winter, there are articles on everything from Humpback Whale Watching to Local Craft Beer. The 2014 Japan Snow Guide is the ultimate guide to all of the best skiing in Japan. Check them out free of charge at the links above.
7 Bank Resumes MasterCard Services (PDF)

Seven Bank, Ltd. announces that users of overseas-issued MasterCardR brand cash cards and credit cards will once again be able to withdraw Japanese yen or perform balance inquiries at Seven Bank ATMs as of Friday, January 10, 2014.
Adachi, Best Japanese Garden in Japan

For the 11th straight time the gardens at the Adachi Museum of Art in Shimane were chosen as the best Japanese Garden in Japan by US based Sukiya Living Magazine. Please see the blog entry by Shimane Tourism for all of the information and beautiful pictures of the award winning gardens.
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!

Most people know about the huge annual Sapporo Snow Festival with its massive sculptures made of snow or the breathtaking Kobe Luminarie that swatch the city in millions of lights. However, there are many more winter festivals around Japan to awe travelers. Here are just a few.

Sendai Pageant of Starlight

Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. One of Sendai's most beautiful sights in fall becomes a stunning winter time stroll. Sendai, also known as the City of Trees for its abundance of foliage, covers hundreds of trees in lights to create romantic tunnels in its many parks and public spaces. Walking these paths with snow falling around you is a great time for all.

Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination

Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture. Nabana no Sato is a beautiful garden park filled with blossoms most of the year. In the winter the workers turn the sleeping gardens into a winter wonderland with millions of lights strung up in beautiful shapes and structures. Of the most popular are a replica of Mt. Fuji and a tunnel of lights created using the arbors for climbing plants.

Yuki Hatago (Inns made of Snow) Mt. Gassan, Yamagata

Gassan Shizu Area, Yamagata Prefecture. Towards the end of winter when the snows are piled high on Mt. Gassan the locals take part in a unique event. They build inns carved out of piled and compacted snow. Students and workers carve out the designed buildings for all to enjoy. Inside these inns visitors can enjoy hot drinks and friendly gatherings. You can see pictures of the process and finished products on the official gallery page.

I hope everyone is looking forward to Spring!

All Japan Tours
Classic Japan - Takayama Spring Festival & Cherry Blossom Tour & Grand Tour of Japan (Reverse) - Takayama Spring Festival & Cherry Blossom Special Tour 21 days - Commissionable. IACE Travel
Luxury Train Journey in Kyushu 8 Days - 8% Commission.
Japan Deluxe Tour
Tokyo Anime Fair & Essence of Spring Tour & Takayama Festival Tour - Commission 10% of Land Price, FAM rates available.
JapanQuest Journeys
Japan Luxury Hotel and Ryokan Collection & The Spiritual Japan Tour - 10% Commission.
2014 Spring Takayama Festival Tour & 8 Day luxury Train Journey in Kyushu - Commissionable.
Best of Japan 6 Days, Tokyo & Kyoto
Mountain Hiking Holidays
Shikoku Temple Trek - 10% commission; hiking tour on Shikoku now with added fall departure.
Orient Flexi-Pax Tours
Family Fun Japan & Japan - The New Golden Route - 15% commission: booked by 2/28/2014 for travel through 12/31/2014.
Pacific Delight Tours
6 Day Touch of Japan Escapade Experience - Agent Commission 10%
SITA Tours
Japan's Scenic Vistas & Affordable Japan - $100 off per couple when booked by Feb 28, 2014.
Super Value Tours
9 Day Hokkaido & Tohoku & 9 Day West Japan - Increased Commission for 2014, inquire within!

Grand Park Otaru
Special Travel Industry Rate - Grand Park Otaru offer special room rates to our valued friends in the travel industry. Share the special rate with all of your travel industry colleagues! Room & Breakfast Rate (per person) 3,500yen double occupancy, 7,000yen a night single occupancy from October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 (exclusion dates apply). Includes free drink at the newly opened "Sushi Bar" and complimentary upgrade to an Ocean View Room. Contact the following for more details: Phone 81-134-21-3111 Fax: 81-134-21-3322 Email: rsvn.gpot@parkhotelgroup.com
Hotel New Otani Tokyo
[Executive House ZEN] from JPY36,000 per room, per night (subject to 10% service charge and taxes)
A luxury hotel of 87 smartly appointed rooms located on the 11th and 12th floors of "The Main" building. The fundamental design of sophisticated decor is guided by the spirit of ZEN.
*Exclusive check in & out at the Executive Lounge *24-hour hotline support in addition to exclusive concierge service *Drinks & light meals served in buffet style 4 times a day
Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo
Celebrating our 5th anniversary!
Since Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo opened its doors in 2009 March, we have continuously strived to deliver unforgettable experiences with our Asian hospitality from the heart. We would like to say a big "Thank you" to all our guests for their continuous supports in this past 5 years and we have prepared a series of promotions and celebrations throughout the months to come. Not to forget, one of the best celebration will be to continuously surprise and delight our guests in every moment of their stay! Please look out for more details and kindly contact the hotel for more information.

All Nippon Airways
All Nippon Airways ANA, Japan's leading 5-start airline, is expanding its Haneda, Tokyo network starting from the 2014 summer flight schedule (March 30, 2014). Haneda Airport is easily accessible from the central Tokyo area and the new flight schedule, combined with ANA's existing domestic network, will make it easier and more convenient for passengers to connect within Japan and to other destinations in Asia. The new and additional services include the routes to/from: Vancouver, London, Paris, Jakarta, Hanoi, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok, Munich and Dusseldorf.

2013-2014 Japan Showcase Seminar Dates Announced!

The Japan Showcase will provide a great opportunity to network with various travel suppliers, and to learn more about their products and services. The suppliers will include representatives of hotels, airlines, tour operators, and local government offices of popular destinations. Suppliers at individual showcases will be announced at a later date.

Los Angeles February 6, 2014 San Jose February 4, 2014
Minneapolis February 20, 2014 Denver February 18, 2014

For inquiries, please contact:
JNTO Los Angeles Office
info@jnto-lax.org 213-623-1952
Other Upcoming Local Events
Ohana Festival - Honolulu, HI
The New Year's 'Ohana Festival provides fun, food, and culture for the entire family. Please Join the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii in lovely Honolulu for the annual Ohana Festival. Many events will happen throughout the day at the festival. JNTO will also be exhibiting at the Manoa Grand Ballroom so stop by and say hi! When: January 19th (Sun), 2014
Place: 2454 South Beretania Street Honolulu, HI 96826
The Seattle Golf & Travel Show
The Seattle Golf & Travel Show is the largest consumer golf & travel show on the west coast with over 200 exhibitors, travel destinations, manufacturer's representatives and demonstrators.
Come visit Japan Booth and meet the Japan Specialists for the updated travel information on Japan. Also if you are a golfer or outdoors person there are a ton of great activities to do at the show! Hop down to the Century Field Event Center and join us! (More information will follow soon!)
JNTO is scheduled to introduce a Destination mini seminar on stage, so please check the website for exact time and day! When: February 28 - March 2, 2014
Place: CenturyLink Field Event Center at 800 Occidental Ave S. Ste 100 Seattle, WA 98134
Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show 2014
L.A.'s Favorite Travel Show is Now The Nation's Largest. Come visit the Japan booth (#201) and meet the Japan Specialists for updated travel information on Japan (More information will follow soon!) JNTO is scheduled to introduce a Taste of Japan with the travel destination on stage, so please check the website for exact time and day! For more information, please Click here. When: February 8-9, 2014
Place: Long Beach Convention Center at 300 East Ocean Boulevard Long Beach, CA 90802 For more information on directions and parking Click here.
20th Annual Honolulu Festival
The Honolulu Festival is Hawaii's premier cultural event and JNTO will be exhibiting with a booth (# TBA) , please meet the Japan Specialists for updated travel information on Japan. (More information will follow soon!)
Date: March 8 - 9, 2014
Place: Honolulu, Hawaii (Island of Oahu)
Venue: Hawaii Convention Center at 1801 Kalakaua Avenue Honolulu, HI 96815
For more information please Click Here

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

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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