Swans take flight to the rising sun at migratory grounds at the Asadokoro Shoreline, Hiranai-cho,
Aomori Prefecture,only a thirty minute excursion from Aomori City

©Aomori Prefecture/©JNTO
At 924 meters, volcanic Kaimondake stands tall at the southern point of the Satsuma Peninsula. Located in Kirishimayaku National Park, Ibusuki-shi, Kagoshima-ken, Kaimondake is also known as the Mt. Fuji of Satsuma. Kirishimayaku National Park gets over 10 million visitors a year.
©Kagoshima Prefectural Tourist Federation/ ©JNTO

New Shinkansen Bullet Train Service!

Shinkansen Line extensions to Aomori and in Kyushu mean faster than ever access to unique meeting and incentive venues!

Meet the JNTO New York MICE Division at SMU East in Manhattan!

Convention Manager Gil Cardon will be on site! Be sure to stop by with any questions you may have about your next meeting or incentive trip in Japan!


February 2011   

Shinkansen Bullet Train Line Extensions in Tohoku and Kyushu

New service means better than ever access to two of Japanís unique meeting
and incentive venue areas!

Japan opens 2011 with the completion of two massive extensions in Japan's world renowned Shinkansen bullet train network, one in Japan's Tohoku area in the north and one on Japan's third largest island of Kyushu in the south.

Shinkansen Map of Japan as of February 2011
©1996-2011 japan-guide.com All rights reserved. Courtesy Stefan Schauwecker.
As covered in our previous newsletters, improvements in transportation made 2010 a great year for Japan as a meeting and incentive destination for planners. Improvements included the introduction of the Keisei Narita Skyliner, the opening of the international terminal at Haneda (Tokyo International) Airport, and a continued expansion of venues such as the all new Capitol Hotel Tokyu. Not to be beat, 2011 is starting out with a blast of good news for planners in the form of the completion of two key extensions of Japan's famous Shinkansen (bullet train).

On one end, where it was once necessary to disembark and transfer to a limited express train, JR East's Tohoku Shinkansen has been extended from Hachinohe to Aomori City, which is positioned at the northern most tip of Japan's main island of Honshu. Resulting in a thirty-nine minute reduction in travel time from Tokyo, service on the extended line began on December 4th, 2010. Two new stations, Shin-Aomori Station and Shichinohe-Towada Station, have been constructed along the path of the new extension.

Shin-Aomori Station puts you right in the heart of Aomori-shi, home of the famous Aomori Nebuta Festival, held every August. Hakodate in Hokkaido can also be accessed from Shin-Aomori Station via the Seikan Rail Tunnel. Shichinohe-Towada Station serves as a base for access to Lake Towada, which has beautiful natural scenery that changes with the seasons. It is also a point of access for Oirase Gorge and Mt. Hakkoda, where you can enjoy mountain climbing in summer and skiing in winter. Additionally, Shimokita Peninsula, the northernmost part of Honshu, home to Shimokita Peninsula National Park and Osorezan, one of Japan's three famous Shinto "Reijyou," or spiritual grounds, is also readily accessible from Shichinohe-Towada Station.

Meanwhile, in Japan's southern island of Kyushu, on March 12, 2011, JR Kyushu will see the long awaited opening of service on the northern branch of the Kyushu Shinkansen. The northern branch will connect with the existing southern stretch, which runs the span of Kagoshima to Yatsushiro (completed in 2004), and from Yatsushiro to Fukuoka. This will result in the extension of Shinkansen service within Kyushu (from Kagoshima in the south to Fukuoka in the north), as well as connect the Kyushu Shinkansen directly to the Sanyo Shinkansen line. The Sanyo Shinkansen covers from Fukuoka to Osaka and links up with the Tokaido Shinkansen at Shin-Osaka Station. Most striking is that when this is put together with the Tohoku extension, it will be possible for the first time to travel from the southernmost point of mainland Kyushu, to the northernmost point of Honshu.

Shinkansen improvement means unprecedented access to and from some of Japan's most unique MICE cities including Aomori, Morioka, Fukuoka, and Kagoshima. Not only will it be more convenient for delegates to reach their meeting destinations, but it will also be easier to travel between regional cultural venues in the Tohoku or Kyushu areas. Improved service connections will provide opportunities to hold satellite meetings in other nearby cities to broaden the scope of the participants' experience, and develop an even deeper feel for Japan.

Finally, for those who may be aware of the Japan Rail Pass, and equally as much for those who have not, there is further great news. Travel on the parts of the Tohoku and Kyushu Shinkansen that have been extended are planned to be included in the Japan Rail Pass. Details and specific terms of use are expected to be posted to the JR East and JR Kyushu webpages in the upcoming months, so be sure to stay tuned in for upcoming savings!

Successful Meetings University East in New York

Attention planners participating in Successful Meetings
University East (SMU International) in New York, NY, March 22-24, 2011!

The JNTO MICE Team looks forward to seeing you at the upcoming SMU East event! If you would like to set up an appointment beforehand, please contact us directly by phone, email, or in person at the following:

Mr. Gil Cardon, Convention Manager
Japan Convention Bureau, New York Office
11 West 42nd Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10036, USA
Phone. +1-212-757-5641 ext. 21
Fax. +1-212-307-6754
E-mail. cardon@jntonyc.org

We look forward to seeing you soon!


For more Japan travel information, visit http://www.japantravelinfo.com

* 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.

© 2011 Japan National Tourism Organization


Japan Convention Bureau
Japan National Tourism Organization
Tel: 212-757-5641 ext. 21
Fax: 212-307-6754
Email: cardon@jntonyc.org