Colorful, illuminated triangles cover the snowy ground, creating a dazzling display
during the Sairinka festival in Obihiro, Hokkaido. The event goes from January 23rd to February 28th.

©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/©JNTO


February 2010   

Sensoji, founded in 628, is the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo.
Every New Year, over one million people visit Sensoji to participate
in Hatsumode,the first visit to a shrine or temple for the New Year.
©Yasufumi Nishi / ©JNTO

2010 Named "Japan MICE Year" to Emphasize Meetings

Japan Tourism Agency announced the inauguration in early December, 2009.

Kyoto Develops MICE Strategy to Attract Meetings

Expansion of the Kyoto International Convention Center has been proposed.

"Meet Japan 2010" Inspection Cities Selected

JNTO's annual hosted buyers program will take participants to 6 cities.

Hotel Updates

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, The Westin Sendai, and The St. Regis Osaka to open in 2010.

Large Asia Incentive Increase in 2009

Incentive tours from China and Asia are on a sharp increase.

2010 Named "Japan MICE Year" to Emphasize Meetings

Japan Tourism Agency announced the inauguration in early December, 2009.

The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) has coined 2010 as "Japan MICE Year" to attract more meetings, conventions, incentive travel, events and exhibitions to Japan under the umbrella of JNTO's 2010 Visit Japan Year campaign.

The JNTO “Japan MICE
Year 2010" logo and tagline.


JTA launched the Japan MICE Year logo and tagline at the opening ceremony of the 19th International Meetings Exhibition held at the Tokyo International Forum December 8th – 9th. The logo symbolizes the shaking of hands and portrays the destination as an intersection and amalgamation of East and West, not to mention an ideal international MICE venue.

Japan MICE Year will see a major campaign to attract international conference business, and JTA will be expected to reveal its action plan in March of 2010. JNTO, in cooperation with JTA, will continuously introduce and promote Japan's many attractions which make it Asia's #1 destination for international conference organizers, meeting planners, and incentive tour coordinators

MICE is a term largely used in Asia to refer to the meetings industry. MICE is an acronym standing for "Meetings, Incentives, Conventions/Conferences and Exhibitions/Events."

Stay tuned to JNTO at for more updates and information about Japan MICE Year and Visit Japan Year.

Kyoto Develops MICE Strategy to Attract Meetings

Expansion of the Kyoto International Convention Center has been proposed.

In order to strengthen its ability to attract international meetings and corporate incentive trips,
Kyoto has decided to establish its first council on "City MICE Strategy."

The Main Hall of the Kyoto International Conference Center, which is scheduled for a major renovation in conjunction with the "City MICE Strategy".
©Kyoto International Conference Center

Concluding that they could expect participants in such trips to have a greater financial ripple effect and advance the character of the city more than general tourists, officials are looking to include an expansion of the Kyoto International Conference Center, as well as maintenance of the Okazaki area, to their enticement strategy. Furthermore, Japan as a whole established a MICE promotion action plan in July in order to strengthen its ability to attract international meetings.

According to the city, high quality service is demanded for corporate executive meetings and incentive trips, but the amount of expenditure is greater than that for general tourists. The average expenditure amount for one tourist with lodging is estimated to be around 30,000 yen, but there are cases of MICE customers' spending to be nearly 10 times that amount.

Currently, the Kyoto International Conference Center has a capacity of 2000, with an exhibition space of about 45,00,000 m2. However, compared to the world's leading convention halls which have upwards of 5000 capacity and 150,000,000 m2, it is fairly small. Upgrading the facility space and capacity will help Kyoto keep up with competition both within and outside Japan.

Kyoto is one of Japan's most culturally and historically rich cities. Located in the western part of Honshu, it was the capital of Japan for over 1200 years and remains Japan's cultural center with 20% of Japan's National Treasures and 17 properties listed as “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (UNESCO World Heritage)." Tourists both native and foreign frequent Kyoto to visit the centuries-old temples and shrines, sample the traditional cuisine, and hope for a glimpse of a geiko (Kyoto term for geisha).

In addition to the other subsidy plans and support packages from Yokohama, Tokyo, Kitakyushu and other cities announced in our July newsletter, Kyoto's new MICE strategy plan will work to address the needs and concerns of those who have held or are hoping to hold meetings in Japan in the future and increase MICE tourism to the Land of the Rising Sun.

For more information, visit the Kyoto Convention Bureau's English website at:


"Meet Japan 2010" Inspection Cities Selected

JNTO’s annual hosted buyers program will take participants to 6 cities in Japan.

"Meet Japan 2010" is the Hosted Buyers Program where JNTO invites a dozen of association executives and international meeting planners to visit Japan during the week from Thursday, February 25th to Thursday, March 4th, 2010 in order to promote Japan as an international convention destination.

Now the six convention cities that will be inspected during Meet Japan 2010 have been selected: Chiba, Matsumoto, Kanazawa, Gifu, Kobe and Matsue. The participants will be divided into three groups, and each group will have its own agenda to visit two of the cities. The groups and city pairings are: Matsue - Gifu, Kobe - Chiba, and Matsumoto - Kanazawa. Participants will take part in a 3 night, 4 day study tour to gather information about the convention and accommodation facilities, support programs and tourist attractions at each location. On the 5th day, they will congregate in Kanazawa for business sessions with local convention bureaus to learn first-hand about the unique charm of Japan's diverse convention cities.

Kanazawa is a 400-year-old castle city that used to be the seat of power for a great feudal lord. It is particularly famous for its castle, historical samurai residences and Kenroku-en Garden, one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in the entire country. The local arts and crafts, sake breweries and plentiful seafood are also sure to delight visitors of all backgrounds.

If holding a conference in Japan is in your future, be sure to visit these beautiful Japanese cities, inspect the top-notch convention facilities and varied tourist attractions, and experience Japan's warm hospitality for yourself!

Snow-covered Kenroku-en Garden and Higashi Chaya, one of Kanazawa's old samurai districts, are sure to pique one's imagination.

©Kanazawa City

©Kanazawa City/©JNTO


For more information on the Meet Japan 2010 cities:

Matsue Convention Bureau

Gifu Convention and Visitors Bureau

Kobe Convention and Visitors Association

Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center

Matsumoto Tourism and Convention Association

Kanazawa Convention Bureau

Hotel Updates

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, The Westin Sendai, and The St. Regis Osaka to open in 2010.

Capitol Tokyu Hotel, which closed in 2006, will be reborn in the autumn of 2010 as the Capitol Hotel Tokyu in Akasaka,
the heart of downtown Tokyo. The newly reconstructed hotel will have 251 rooms available, as well as top notch meeting and banquet facilities and services.

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, a new luxury hotel which will be located in Akasaka, the heart of downtown Tokyo.
©Tokyu Hotels Co., Ltd.
Also, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which manages the Sheraton and Westin brands, has announced the opening of two new hotels in Japan in 2010. First off is the Westin Sendai on August 1st with 292 rooms in lush, green Sendai, also known as the "City of Trees", the largest city in the Tohoku region. Then, on October 1st, the St. Regis Osaka will open with 159 rooms in the "Kitchen of Japan" - the culinary, cultural city of Osaka. With the Starwood Preferred Planner Program, you can look forward to top-class service while staying in both Sendai and Osaka.

And to top it all off, the Prince Park Tower Tokyo has refurbished its Premium Lounge for 2010. Ranked 2nd in the world on the 2009 Expedia Insiders' Select list by Expedia, the world's largest online travel agency, the Prince Park Tower Tokyo has a fully redesigned Premium Lounge for you to enjoy. Located on the top floor of the hotel (32F), the Premium Lounge is freely available to guests staying on the Premium Floors (29-31). The area has been tripled to a spacious 333 m2 (3,700 ft2) with a panoramic view of the city and the glittering 333 meter-tall Tokyo Tower right across the street. Premium Floor guests have check-in/check-out access in the lounge and can enjoy a daily varied breakfast menu for an even more pleasant and comfortable stay.

Next to Shiba Park, which spreads out in front of the Prince Park Tower Tokyo, is the tofu restaurant Tokyo Shiba Toufuya Ukai. Possessing a ground area of 6,600 m2 (71,000 ft2) with a tranquil Japanese garden surrounded by century-old trees, the main building is a 200-year-old former sake brewery, where you can feast on tofu dishes and seasonal delicacies while looking out over its gorgeous garden. It is also a great place to party in a truly Japanese fashion!

Tokyo Shiba Toufuya Ukai (top) and the newly renovated Premium Lounge at Prince Park Tower Tokyo (bottom) both add a measure of elegance, sophistication and aesthetic pleasure to a visit to Tokyo.

©2008 Ukai Co., Ltd.

©Prince Hotels, Inc.

For more information:

The Westin Sendai - Opening August 1st, 2010

The St. Regis Osaka - Opening October 1st, 2010

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu - Opening fall 2010

The Prince Park Tower Tokyo

The Prince Park Tower Tokyo Premium Lounge

Tokyo Shiba Toufuya Ukai

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Preferred Planner Program

Large Asia Incentive Increase in 2009

Incentive tours from China and Asia are on a sharp increase.

2009 marked a large increase in incentive tour groups coming to Japan from other Asian countries, in particular from China.

The snow-capped scenery of Mt. Fuji and the soothing waters of natural hot springs in Hakone were two of the attractions Baidu employees enjoyed during their incentive trip in 2009.



In May, a delegation of 1000 people arrived in Japan from a Chinese pharmaceutical company. Then in October, a 1500 participant delegation from a Taiwanese corporation visited Sendai City and appreciated the beauty of its autumn foliage while BMW's 26 premium customers from Shanghai spent 4 days and 3 nights in Tokyo and Hokkaido. And in November, 120 visitors from China's major internet search engine, Baidu, enjoyed the hot springs of Hakone and the winter landscape around Mt. Fuji during an incentive trip.

In addition to the aforementioned tours from China, a 600-member group from a Malaysian insurance company visited the historical attractions of four cities in the Kansai region: Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe.

JNTO's first major overseas promotion in 2010 will be collaborating with AIME (Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo) in Melbourne, followed by holding a meeting and incentive seminar in Sydney to introduce to organizers exactly why Japan is such a special incentive destination. The dates are as follows:

AIME (Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo)
Date: March 2nd-3rd (Tuesday-Wednesday), 2010
Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Booth # : 3015

Japan Meeting & Incentive Seminar in Sydney
Date: March 4th (Thursday), 2010
Venue: Sydney (TBA)
Further information:
JNTO Sydney Office
Tel: +61 2 9279 2177


For more Japan travel information, visit

* Disclaimer:
The JNTO Newsletter is published as a complimentary service to our valued partners in the travel and convention sectors. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the official view of JNTO. While every sincere effort is made to ensure accuracy, readers should confirm prices and schedule information directly with the relevant organizer. All information is subject to change without notice. Neither 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.

© 2010 Japan National Tourism Organization


Japan Convention Bureau
Japan National Tourism Organization
Tel: 212-757-5641 ext. 21
Fax: 212-307-6754