Japan Convention Bureau Japan National Tourism Organization March 2013 Newsletter 

Japan Study Tours for Meet Japan 2013 a Great Success!

The Meet Japan 2013 program was held from March 1st to March 7th, 2013, and wrapped up earlier this month with a resounding success. During the study tours, the JNTO introduced participating international association representatives to a variety of convention cities which could potentially host their future international conferences. Participants were divided up into the following five study tour courses, matching each association with destinations that could best serve their meetings: 1) Kobe & Hamamatsu, 2) Takamatsu & Matsue, 3) Okinawa & Kanazawa, 4) Sapporo & Matsumoto, and 5) Yokohama & Chiba.

At the close of the Meet Japan program, all participants and the JNTO convention bureau partners met back in Tokyo for the Japan Trade Mart. The goal of the trade mart was to allow the Meet Japan hosted buyers to meet with representatives from international convention cities that they were not able to visit during their respective tours. During the trade mart, they could discuss the requirements of hosting their conference with each of the convention bureaus face to face, and were given the opportunity to match buyer requests to supplier qualifications.

Kobe Hamamatsu
Kobe is the fifth-largest city in Japan, and has been known as a cosmopolitan port city. Kobe is the site of Japan's first golf course, Kobe Golf Club, and has been hosting the annual jazz festival "Kobe Jazz Street" every October at jazz clubs and hotels since 1981. Kobe is most famous for its Kobe beef and the Arima Onsen (or "hot springs"). Notable buildings include the Ikuta Shrine as well as the Kobe Port Tower. More Info >> Hamamatsu is known the world-over as the home of motorcycle manufacturers Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, as well as musical instrument companies like Yamaha and Kawai. Participants visited ACT City, which was used as a venue for the International Conference for Universal Design, and several of the nearby hotels that cater to meeting participants. They also had a chance to take in the local scenery from high above when they visited the Okusayama Mountain Observatory. More Info >>
Takamatsu Matsue
Takamatsu is located in central Kagawa Prefecture, and is the largest city on the island of Shikoku. It's a port city located on the Seto Inland Sea, and is the closest port to Honshu from Shikoku island. The castle tower formerly used as the symbol of the city was destroyed during the Meiji Period. In 2004, construction of the Symbol Tower, the new symbol of Takamatsu, was completed. The Symbol Tower is located in the Sunport area of the city. Another major attraction in Takamatsu is Ritsurin Garden, a garden created in the Edo period. Other sites include Yashima-ji and Shikoku Mura. More Info >> Matsue is located on the western end of Japan's main island, and is surrounded by beautiful lakes, rivers and canals. It also is home to one of Japan's few remaining feudal castles. While in Matsue, participants visited Kunibiki Messe, the city's main meeting and convention centre. They stayed over at a traditional Japanese inn, known as a ryokan, and also had a chance to see the famous castle which was a samurai's residence, as well as various hotels and other facilities. As an international conference city, Matsue has hosted the Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting with an attendee number of 400 delegates. More Info >>
Okinawa Kanazawa
Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture of Japan, consisting of hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain stretching over 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long. Okinawa prefecture is Japan's only region with a subtropical climate offering amazing coastal scenery. In Okinawa, you can partake in recreation on the golf courses, participate in teambuilding activities on the beach, and visit breweries, the Pineapple Park, or the Churaumi Aquarium. More Info >> Kanazawa is known as "Little Kyoto", as it's home to a rich traditional Japanese culture, with its own geisha tradition, samurai village, temples and traditional local craftsmen. While in Kanazawa, participants saw several convention-ready hotels, the Ishikawa Music Hall, and had a special dinner at Tsubajin (a traditional Japanese meal with Geiko attraction). The group also visited Kenrokuen-garden, one of Japan's most famous gardens, and Kanazawa Castle Park. More Info >>
Sapporo Matsumoto
Sapporo is the fourth-largest city in Japan by population, and is the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture. Sapporo is known for having hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, the first ever held in Asia, and also for the city's annual Yuki Matsuri, internationally referred to as the "Sapporo Snow Festival," which draws more than 2 million tourists from around the world. The city is also home to the Sapporo Brewery and the "Hidamari" Glass Pyramid. More Info >> Matsumoto is surrounded by mountains, and is acclaimed for its beautiful views. Matsumoto has several historic features - such as Matsumoto Castle, Kaichi school, and Temari (traditional Japanese handball). Matsumoto is attractive to visitors not only because of its traditional culture, but also its calm climate and its products. Matsumoto soba noodles are very popular, and just north of Matsumoto is the world's largest wasabi farm. More Info >>
Yokohama Chiba
Yokohama is located on the Tokyo bay just south of Tokyo, and is the second largest city in Japan by population. Popular attractions include the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, Yamashita Park, and the Yokohama Chinatown. There are also various points of interest in the futuristic Minato Mirai 21 harborside redevelopment. Some highlights are the Landmark Tower, Queen's Square Yokohama, and the Cosmo Clock 21, which was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world when it was built in 1989, and also doubles as "the world's biggest clock". Nearby is the Pacifico Yokohama, the giant convention center complex which can host meetings and events of many sizes. More Info >> Chiba Prefecture is located in the eastern portion of the greater Tokyo area, and is the site of Japan's largest exhibition centre, Makuhari Messe, where they have hosted exhibitions such as CEATEC Japan and the International Congress of Oriental Medicine. Chiba has a beautiful coastline dotted with small resort villages. During the participants' visit, they saw how Chiba has one of Japan's widest variety of venues and activities, from Tokyo Disney World to the Chiba Folk Museum, to Naritasan Shinshoji Temple. They also had the opportunity to visit the Makuhari Messe area, with its large exhibition hall and convention facilities.
More Info >>
Japan Convention Bureau
Jaoan. Endless Discovery.
Mr. Gil Cardon, Convention Manager
Japan National Tourism Organization
11 West 42nd Street, 19th floor
New York, NY 10036
Tel: 212-757-5641, ext. 21
Fax: 212-307-6754
Email: cardon@jntonyc.org
Website: www.japantravelinfo.com

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 organizers. 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.
© 2013 Japan National Tourism Organization