Press Releases


For Immediate Release

Nori Akashi, Public Relations Manager
Japan National Tourist Organization
One Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 1250, New York, NY 10020
Tel: 212.757.5641, Ex. 19
Fax: 212.307.6754



New York City, New York – December 18, 2008. The perfect balance of century-old traditions and cutting-edge culture will cohabitate in 2009. Japan will host a variety of special events, including annual festivals, fashion, an international marathon and more! If you have been thinking about a trip to Japan, 2009 is the year to go.


Check out these events happening throughout 2009:


Yokoso! Japan Weeks 2009

After the ball drops at midnight, the celebrations begin during the winter season in Japan. From January 20 - 28, 2009, Yokoso! Japan Weeks provide tourists a perfect opportunity to see the sights of Japan. Major landmarks, accommodations and over 100 retailers offer a variety of discounts to visitors.


Ginza Kabuki (Theater)

Kabuki-za is the most renowned theater for “kabuki” - the traditional Japanese theatrical performance. From January 2009, the theater will present special kabuki performances before starting renovations in May 2010.  Originally opened in 1889 in the busy commercial district of Tokyo, Kabuki-za has been the epic stage of the Kabuki world throughout Japan.


The World Summit of Gastronomy 2009

Tokyo is hosting the first World Summit of Gastronomy from February 9 to 11, 2009.  Inviting the most prominent chefs from around the world, the event features the recent culinary trends and influence of Japanese fine cuisine.  Top chefs will host cooking demonstrations and focus on the relationship between food and nutritional science.


Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro 2009

In Kyoto’s Higashiyama area, you’ll find famous ancient temples. This winter, the city will be “Spotlighted” during Hanatouro, a festival of lanterns. This special event will bring tradition and romance to Kyoto’s famous landmarks.  The illumination takes place each evening between 6pm to 9:30pm, from March 13 to 22, 2009. (Japanese only)


Japanese Sake Fair in Niigata

A highly popular sake exhibition will take place in one of the largest sake manufacturing regions of Japan. Because they are the largest rice-producing region, the primary ingredient of sake, Niigata is famous for this high quality drink. Over 500 brands of Niigata sake will be presented to the public on March 14 and 15, 2009. (Japanese only)


Tokyo Marathon

This is the third annual international marathon race event in Tokyo, officially organized by Japan Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. On March 22, 2009, the race route incorporates the best way to see the capital city’s most popular landmarks. The past two races attracted over 26,000 runners from Japan and overseas.


Japan Fashion Week in Tokyo 2009

Fashion has been a huge part of Japanese culture for centuries. Japan Fashion Week showcases Japan’s artistic and innovative high-fashion scene each year. The 2009 Tokyo collection will be unveiled on the runway from March 23 to 29, 2009.


The Sacred Ritual at Zenkoji Temple

From April 5 to May 31, 2009, a sacred ritual will take place at the Zenkoji Temple, a 1400 year old temple in central Nagano, the 1998 Winter Olympic host city.  The temple will open a window of the three Buddha statues. This ritual takes place only once every seven years.  This temple is the largest wooden structure in Japan and is famous for housing the country’s oldest Buddhist statue from the 6th century. (Japanese only)


Hamamatsu International Mosaiculture 2009

Hamamatsu, the city near Mt. Fuji, will host a unique art exhibition of sculptures made of flowers and plants.  This is the fourth installment of Mosaiculture – Montreal in 2000 and 2003 and Shanghai in 2006.  The event takes place from September 19 to November 23, 2009.


The Tokyo Motor Show 2009

Japan’s auto industry has already raised global attention and reputation over the years. The Tokyo Motor Show is an important exhibition for not only people in the auto industry but also for those who have a passion for cars, designs, future technology and lifestyle.  The 2009 show is from October 23 to November 8, 2009.


Art Triennale and Biennale

The world’s largest art Triennale features beautiful geographic and cultural depictions of the Echigo-Tsumari area in the Niigata region.  Upon the great success of the past three events, the fourth installment opens July 26 and runs through September 13, 2009.

During the fall, a historic international port city of Kobe hosts a Biennale art show.  This year’s theme is “wa,” meaning a traditional Japanese element of harmony and peace. This art show is where Kobe’s art scene and potential talents are introduced to the world.  Kobe’s art Biennale is from October 3 to November 23, 2009.


This 2009 is filled with exciting events ranging from fashion to sake. A trip to Japan this year will surely include some once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Information is provided as a courtesy to users of this website. Though the JNTO endeavors to ensure the information is accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own judgement and at their own risk. Neither the 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.

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