Japan Travel Newsletter

Discover A Culture That Is Always Blossoming

Featured HighlightSpringtime in Japan is nothing less than magical. From late March to mid-April or even early May, the country's iconic Sakura (cherry blossoms) capture the attention of visitors and locals alike as their beautiful pink flowers blanket the country in soft, colorful splendor.

Spring 2012 will be extra special as it marks the centennial anniversary of the city of Tokyo's Gift of Trees to Washington D.C., an enduring reminder of international friendship.

Check out our latest information about Cherry Blossoms and what Japan has to offer in 2012.

For more information >>

Limited Time Offer:
Special Rail Passes
  CUP NOODLES MUSEUM!   Japan Party Express
Facebook Sweepstakes

Great news for travelers visiting Tokyo and its neighbors this winter! As a part of Japan's Big Welcome Campaign, Japan Railways East and other railroad companies will offer special passes for tourists from abroad.
More Info >>


Are you a big fan of Ramen? Then why not try CUP NOODLES MUSEUM to learn the secret of cup noodle and to make one-of-a-kind ramen by yourself? A Japanese food company Nissin opened a unique museum for Ramen.
More Info >>


If you haven't heard , our Japan Party Express Facebook Sweepstakes is well underway. Enter now if you haven't done so for your chance to win a free trip to Japan with three of your friends. Hurry, it ends on December 30th 2011.
Enter now >>


japan JAPAN

Yes! Tokyo Festa Presents 2K540 Aki-Oka Artisan
2K540 Aki-Oka Artisan is a covered mall-type space home to dozens of chic shops and stores featuring one-of-a-kind crafted items located in the area beneath the elevated railway tracks that run between JR Akihabara station and Okachimachi Station (thus, Aki-Oka!).
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Kyoto Winter Special 2012
While Kyoto is a beautiful city in any season, it is in wintertime that it becomes magical. The sharp, crisp air lends clarity to the sights and sounds that one encounters, making a visit to the ancient capital truly unforgettable.
For More >>

Yokote, Kamakura Festival in Akita
Every year, from February 15th-16th, at various locations around Yokote City in Akita Prefecture, the Yokote Kamakura Festival is held. For More >>


Kyushu: Land of Hina Matsuri
Hina Matsuri, the Japanese Doll Festival, also known as Girls' Day, is held every year on March 3rd.
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U.S. U.S

Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show

Date:January 14 and 15, 2012
Place:Long Beach Convention Center
JNTO Booth Number: #603
For More >>


Los Angeles Times Travel Show

Travel Trade: January 27, 2012, Open to the Public: January 28-29, 2012
Place: Los Angeles Convention Center
JNTO will have a booth. See you there!
For More >>

The 2012 Boston Globe Travel Show

Dates: February 10-12, 2012
(3:30-5:30pm: Trade only)
Place: Seaport World Trade Center, Boston
The Consulate General of Japan and JNTO will once again have a booth (#660) in the Asia-Pacific section.
For More >>


Bay Area Travel and Adventure Show

Date: February 18 and 19, 2012
Place: Santa Clara Convention Center
JNTO Booth Number: #819
For More >>

Special Package Special Packages > Hotel Details Hotel Deals > Airline Specials Airline Specials >
Quiz Quiz > Useful Vocab Useful Vocab> Editor's Note Editor's Note >

Special Tour Packages

Delta Vacations: Japan Special Package
(Book by: Dec 31, 2011, Travel between: Mar 30, 2012) (Sample Price* from $1,357)

DELTA Soak in Japan's fascinating culture-both traditional and trendy-with a getaway to Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka. For a limited time, you'll save $500 on your Delta Vacations flight and minimum 4-night hotel getaway to Japan. Plus, you'll earn 1,000 bonus miles, in addition to credited flight miles, through the SkyMiles® program.

*Sample Price:This offer is available from hundreds of origin cities, but this price is based on travel between New York City (JFK) and Tokyo, staying at Shiba Park Hotel.

For more information, visit here!

Destination Japan / H.I.S. : Japan's Spring Beauty Great Rail Journey with Sheraton Hotels
(Mar 31 Apr 7, 2012) (from $2,300 - Land Only Price)

H.I.S. The 8 day-6 night tour tries to chase and catch the breathtaking scenery by hopping from Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and Tokyo using Japan's Rail system. The tour offers comfortable stays at Sheraton Hotels in every city. Don't miss taking advantage of $100.00 off by Jan. 27, 2012 with check/or cash payment! For more, please visit here!

Amnet: Experience the beauty in Sapporo
(Feb 5th 12th, 2012) (from $1,998)

Amnet Adventure to a true winter wonderland and experience tradition with the 63rd annual Snow Festival in Sapporo, Hokkaido! Attend the snow competitions and witness snow transform into larger-than-life sculptures of castles, Pokemon, and more! Indulge in the cuisine of Hokkaido--like warming up to butter corn ramen, Jingisukan lamb, and fresh crab! So what are you waiting for? There is still time to book, but time is running out so book with us now! For more, please visit here!

IACE Travel: Explore Japan! Awesome Travel Package Deals
(Travel must be completed by Feb. 29, 2012) (from $1,350*)

IACE Travel *The price includes airfare (Japan Airlines), 2 Night Stay at a hotel of Tokyu Hotel Chain and one way airport transfer.

For more, please visit here!

Kintetsu International (KIE): Exclusive China Airlines Special Package to Osaka
(2 Nights, from $999)

Kie Kintetsu International (KIE), in partnership with China Airlines and Tokyu Hotels, is proud to announce a special discount package to Japan for the beginning of 2012. KIE is offering this special deal to include roundtrip air from New York to Osaka's Kansai Airport along with 2-night hotel accommodations in Osaka.
For more, visit here.

Hotel Deals

 ISHIN HOTELS GROUP Special Gift for JNTO Newsletter Readers!
(Jan.2, 2012 Feb. 29, 2012)
Receive a special gift by mentioning "JNTO" when you make an online reservation!

With great access to beautiful historical sights, shopping and dining, ISHIN HOTELS GROUP has 19 hotels nationwide to further enrich your stay.

Make a reservation through Ishin's official website. Don't forget to choose "Best Available Rate" and write down "JNTO" in the memo column to get a special gift from the hotels!

For reservation, please visit Ishin Hotels Group.

Airline Specials

All Nippon Airways (ANA)
ANA (All Nippon Airways) introduced the in-flight service and products named "Inspiration of Japan" onto its San Francisco=Narita route December 6 and will launch the service onto the LAX=NRT route as well January 21, 2012.

Operating with the Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, the "Inspiration of Japan" flight offers ANA BUSINESS STAGGERED, the Business class seats arranged in perfectly staggered layout in order to secure personal space, adding 50% more room compared to conventional layout. You can also enjoy the 160- fully digital entertainment channels with the 17-inch widescreen LCD touch-panel, the largest in its class.

Fore more information, visit ANA website.

Relocation of the Tourism Information Center (TIC TOKYO)

Come January 2nd, the Tourism Information Center (TIC TOKYO) in Tokyo will be relocating its offices to the Marunouchi area of Tokyo. Its new address is: 1st Floor, Shin-Tokyo Bldg., 3-3-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

TIC Tokyo was created for Japan's international visitors who were interested in travelling within Japan as a place where they could easily obtain information about navigating their travels.

The new location is close to both Tokyo and Yurakucho stations, and many train and subway lines. It also acts as a hub for several popular tourist destinations, such as the Imperial Palace and Marunouchi Nakadori Ave., a well-known fashion street, popular with tourists and Japanese alike. This central location makes it easier for tourists to get to where they are going faster and more conveniently than ever.

TIC also has a second floor, which provides fun and easy access to all sorts of helpful information. Computers with free of charge web access, a special library with travel and tourism related materials. Art gallery spaces, places to hold workshops and seminars are also available, all aimed at welcoming international tourists. It offers a relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy browsing through the information.

For more information, visit here.

Travel on a Shoestring - Sightseeing in Japan for Free

Japan is famous for its temples, shrines, museums, parks and other attractions, many of which don't cost a single yen to enjoy.

In Tokyo, your first stop should be the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's 45th-floor observatory, offering surreal views over the metropolis and, on clear days, of Mt. Fuji. Also in the TMG is the Tokyo Tourist Information Center, with information on free tours led by volunteers who can provide an insider's view of their city. There are tours of the TMG that take in the observation floor and Assembly Hall; if you pre-register, you can also join tours of bustling Shinjuku, including a visit to Isetan department store with its famous food floors. Ueno Park and Asakusa, two must-sees, also offer free tours; all you need do is show up.

Read More>>


Quiz: What is the name of the illumination events held in Kyoto in December and March?

Hint: : It is a part of Kyoto Winter Special.

Prize: Three lucky winners will be chosen from among all correct answers submitted to receive a mouse pad with a beautiful maiko (geisha) picture.

How to enter: You can enter up to January 20, 2012, at

Useful Japanese Vocabulary: Fukubukuro

Does standing on a long line in the freezing cold of a January morning to buy a bag of mystery goodies sound strange to you? Well, it doesn't to the Japanese. The New Year's holiday custom where retailers sell sealed bags of random contents called fukubukuro for about half the price of the items inside was started in the late Meiji Period (1868-1912) to sell left-over items from the previous year. Fuku means good fortune, and fukuro (which becomes bukuro) means bag. It was such a big hit that soon other retailers started, and now one can't think of New Year's holiday in Japan without fukubukuro. In the U.S., the custom has also spread to a Honolulu shopping center, many Sanrio stores, and in 2004, the Apple store in San Francisco also began "lucky bag" sales! At the Chinese New Year in Taiwan and Hong Kong, the bags are also sold, using the Japanese word, fukubukuro.

The prices of the bags vary, and some are highly extravagant. Some bags are "luckier" than others; retailers might randomly slip in extra items worth far more than the other items in the bag. While it is this randomness that makes the purchase of fukubukuro so much fun, recently some stores are selling their bags after disclosing the contents.

Fukubukuro can also be purchased on line; but please remember that many store sell out early! How lucky will you be?

Fukubukuro can be purchased at most major department stores and shopping malls.

For shopping information while traveling in Japan, please visit:

Shopping Guide

Japan Big Welcome Campaign

Kansai Mega Sale

Editor's Note

Thank you very much for reading Japan Travel Newsletter December Issue.

Have you already created your own "Party Express Train" on our Vist Japan Facebook page? If not, you are missing out on a once in a lifetime opportunity to invite your friends to join you on a dream trip to Japan. Also encourage your friends to create their own "Trains" with you as one of their guests!

2011 was a tough year for us. Japan experienced a many hardships following the earthquake. The good news is that American tourists have started to come back to Japan much earlier than we could have expected! In November 2011, 53,100 people visited Japan from the U.S., representing a nominal 10.1% decrease compared to the previous November. We truly appreciate the continued support for our country that each of you have shown us.

I wish all of our friends a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Japan National Tourism Organization,
New York Office
Japan National Tourism Organization,
Los Angeles Office
11 West 42nd Street
19th Floor
New York, NY 10036

email: visitjapan@jntonyc.org
URL: www.japantravelinfo.com
  Little Tokyo Plaza, 340 E. 2nd Street Suite 302
Los Angeles, CA 90012

email: info@jnto-lax.org
URL: www.japantravelinfo.com

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