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Japan Meeting & Incentive News    -May 2015-

What's up in Japan

New Brand Message for Japan Meetings and Events Adopted
To secure more Meetings and Events events for Japan, we are strengthening our promotional activities targeting overseas event organizers...

JNTO News

Visit Us at The Meetings Show UK and the M&IT Agency Challenge!
Japan offers a diverse and unique selection of world-class meeting venues and incentive experiences, with something new and exciting to discover on every visit...

Introducing Special Support Programme for Incentive Travel to Japan

Sapporo, Tokyo, Fukuoka Convention Bureaus Head to IT&CM China
From April 14 to April 16, 2015, the convention bureaus of Sapporo, Tokyo and Fukuoka, the hotel operator Kiroro Associates Co., Ltd.,...

4 Hours in Yamagata

Sightseeing in Yamagata
Frolic in a winter (or spring, or summer, or autumn) wonderland...

What's up in Japan

New Brand Message for Japan Meetings and Events Adopted

To secure more Meetings and Events events for Japan, we are strengthening our promotional activities targeting overseas event organizers while working to create a Japan-wide system for people in the Meetings and Events industry. This included the launch on April 24, 2014 of a newly created brand message.

This new message expresses the role of Japan's brand for meeting industry. It does not simply consider how Japan offers value—it also incorporates a mission of driving progress for everyone involved in meetings and events in Japan, and a vision of enhancing value and developing potential. The message is: "Japan's Imagination and Intelligence Propel Business into the Future."

A tagline has been created, which expresses the brand message in just a few words: "New ideas start here."

A new brand for Japan is taking the stage!

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JNTO NEWS

Visit Us at The Meetings Show UK and the M&IT Agency Challenge!

Japan offers a diverse and unique selection of world-class meeting venues and incentive experiences, with something new and exciting to discover on every visit. Japan's cities are dynamic and sophisticated—the quintessential Japanese combination of tradition and innovation. A wealth of spectacular natural beauty makes each city a breath-taking backdrop for your meeting. And now, with the yen so competitive, the existence of new transport infrastructure, and the expansion of flight capacity, Japan is easier to enjoy than ever.

JNTO is your guide to Japan. We can help you find the destination that exactly meets the needs of your event, and we will provide targeted support to help make your event a success.

Meet With Us

JNTO will be exhibiting at The Meetings Show UK in London, July 7-9. On July 8, Japan will be hosting a washoku experience for UK-based buyers at the Oysters Summer Party. JNTO will also be participating in the M&IT Agency Challenge at the Lensbury, July 23-24.

The Meetings Show UK
July 7-10, 2015. Olympia, London
(http://www.themeetingsshow.com/)

M&IT Agency Challenge
July 23-24, 2015. Lensbury, Teddington
(http://www.meetpie.com/staticpagedisplay.aspx?code=AgencyChallenge)

For more information, contact:
Margaret Mann
5th Floor, 12 Nicholas Lane London EC4N 7BN United Kingdom
Tel: 44 02073985670

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Introducing Special Support Programme for Incentive Travel to Japan

Sapporo, Tokyo, Fukuoka Convention Bureaus Head to IT&CM China

From April 14 to April 16, 2015, the convention bureaus of Sapporo, Tokyo and Fukuoka, the hotel operator Kiroro Associates Co., Ltd., and DMC Kinki Nippon Tourist Co., Ltd (Kintetsu International) collaborated as the "Japan Team" at Incentive Travel & Convention Meetings China (IT&CM China), which was hosted by the Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Centre of International Sourcing.

All the exhibitors at the Japan Team booth provided the most up-to-date information about their Special Support Programmes for Incentive Travel to Japan.

Below is the specific information for each exhibiting city.

Sapporo Convention Bureau

Incentive Tours Support

Target: Tours of a minimum of 200 visitor nights* staying in Sapporo City.

Support overview:

  • Consultation on tour planning, e.g. in regard to course selection, accommodation, unique venues, entertainment and more
  • Assistance with FAM trips
  • Complimentary welcome souvenirs, and greeting services at airport with special banner
  • Exclusive Kimono Lady Welcome Ceremony and Party Entertainment

*A visitor night is defined as one attendee staying for one night. For example, 100 attendees spending two nights would count as 200 visitor nights.

Unique Venues and Team Building Guide

Information on unique venues in Sapporo and the surrounding area, themed parties, team-building and more can be accessed through the Sapporo Convention Bureau's website.
(Information available in English, simplified and traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese)

http://www.conventionsapporo.jp/

Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau

Site Visit Support

Target: Groups of a minimum of 1,000 visitor nights* staying in Tokyo.

Support overview:

  • Eligible persons
    - Decision-makers regarding the event’s destination who are in the process of selecting that destination
  • Support items
    - Round trip air ticket to Tokyo (from/to Narita Airport or Haneda Airport only)
    - Accommodation in Tokyo
    - Ground Transportation in Tokyo
Special Programs**

Target: Groups of a minimum of 100 visitor nights* staying in Tokyo.

  • Support items
    - A choice of party entertainment/cultural programs from among multiple options
    - Warm welcome at Narita/Haneda Airport
    - Giveaway items for each participant & special souvenir for VIPs

*A visitor night is defined as one attendee staying for one night. For example, 200 attendees spending five nights would be 1,000 visitor nights.
**Support items offered may vary based on number of visitor nights.

For more details contact us at:
businessevents@tcvb.or.jp or see
http://businesseventstokyo.org/special-offer-for-corporate-events/

Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau

Welcome ceremony at airports and ports

Groups of over 100 participants will be welcomed upon arrival by staff from the Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau with a special banner.
Groups arriving at Fukuoka Airport will be welcomed by a message featuring the company name, which will be displayed on a large-screen monitor. A representative of the Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau will also give a welcome speech, and a gift will be presented to the representative of the incentive tour.

Local performing arts and entertainment

We will provide* one form of local performing arts and entertainment at either the welcome ceremony or awards ceremony for groups of over 200 members.
(Traditional local performing arts and entertainments can be arranged with discount rate.)

We will also provide* information on and introductions related to tourism, travel, accommodation, banquets and awards ceremony venues. Please feel free to contact us.

*All items noted above as "provided" are provided at no cost.

For more details contact us at:
Chinese: chou@welcome-fukuoka.or.jp
English: nakagami@welcome-fukuoka.or.jp or see
http://www.welcome-fukuoka.or.jp/english/

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4 Hours in Yamagata

Sightseeing in Yamagata

Option A: "Ice Monsters" and Zao Onsen
Half-day (2,500 yen, transportation only)

Frolic in a winter (or spring, or summer, or autumn) wonderland

Zao Onsen is a world-renowned skiing and snowboarding destination, with 15 slopes and 12 courses served by 4 gondolas and 35 lifts. It also offers abundant recreational opportunities year-round. In spring, summer or autumn, trek the gorgeous mountain trails, surrounded by alpine flowers growing wild on the highlands, as well as magnificent panoramic views. You can soak away any fatigue or stress at Zao Onsen's famous hot spring baths. One thing you can only see in winter are Zao's "ice monsters", created when coniferous trees become encrusted by ice rime. You can ski among these fantastical wonders of nature, or view them from the gondolas.

Start at

[JR Yamagata Station]

East Entrance Bus Terminal Boarding Area #1

Ride highway bus about 40 minutes (1,000 yen)

Get off at Zao-onsen bus station

[1. Zao Onsen Walking Tour]

Walk 10 minutes

[Zao Ropeway Sanroku Station]

Ride Zao Ropeway (Round trip, 60 minutes) (1,500 yen)

[2. Ice Monsters]

Walk 10 minutes

[Board bus at Zao-onsen bus station]

Ride highway bus about 50 minutes (1,000 yen)

[JR Yamagata Station]

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1. Zao-onsen Hot Spring Resort Walking Tour
( charges vary for hot springs )

Zao is an alpine area on the Yamagata-Miyagi prefectural border. "Onsen" is the Japanese word for a natural hot spring, and Zao Onsen, at the mouth of Zao National Park, has been drawing people for almost 2,000 years. The sulphurous natural volcanic waters relax and refresh body and mind. There are three bathhouses and four open-air hot springs open to the public. More than 100 hotels and inns also have their own private onsen. The "Dai Roten Buro" (open spring through autumn) is an open-air bath built into a beautiful mountain ravine that can accommodate 200 people at a time. Don't miss out on fresh igamochi, a local treat stuffed with sweet red bean paste.

English website:
Yamagata City Tourist Association:
http://www.kankou.yamagata.yamagata.jp/hajimeteno/eng/zao-onsen.html
Association of Zao Hot Springs Tourism:
http://www.zao-spa.or.jp/english/index.html

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2. "Ice Monsters"
60 minutes (1,500 yen)

The famous Ice Monsters ("juhyo" in Japanese) of Zao are wonders of the natural world. They form from about late December through mid-March, peaking in February, and are readily visible from the Zao Ropeway, an aerial cable car running up the mountainside. Juhyo form only when there is a very specific combination of temperature, wind and moisture: supercooled water droplets freeze on coniferous trees and form an ice rime that grows into unique shapes colloquially known as "shrimp tails", eventually transforming the trees into monstrous-looking ice sculptures. They are spectacularly illuminated at night during New Year's and on weekends in January and February.

English website (unofficial):
http://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/zao-onsen

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Option B:Yamagata History and Culture
3.5 hours (bus 100 yen per ride; 300 yen for all-day pass)

A vibrant city that preserves its samurai-era history

Yamagata is an old castle town that flourished through trade during samurai times, of which many traces remain in the fabric of the city. A loop bus running around the central part of Yamagata will take you to many sites of historic, cultural and culinary interest; a day pass with unlimited rides is available.

English website:
http://data.yamagatakanko.com/english/sightseeing/yamagata.html

Start at

[JR Yamagata Station]

Ride Loop Bus about 7 minutes (100 yen)

[1. Yamagata Marugoto-kan Beni-no-kura] 60 minutes (about 1,500 yen for lunch)

Ride Loop Bus about 5 minutes (100 yen)

[2. Nanokamachi Goten Sluice]30 minutes

Walk 5 minutes

[3. Bunshokan (Former Prefectural Government Building)] 30 minutes

Ride Loop Bus about 6 minutes (100 yen)

[4. Yamagata Castle Ruin (Kajo Park)] 30 minutes

Walk 1 minute

[5. Mogami Yoshiaki Historical Museum] 30 minutes

Ride Loop Bus about 10 minutes (100 yen)

[JR Yamagata Station]

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1. Yamagata Marugoto-kan Beni-no-kura
60 minutes (Lunch from around 1,500 yen)

Beni-no-kura means "safflower warehouse". In the Edo Period, safflower was a cash crop for Yamagata traded to Kyoto and Osaka via the Mogami River and the Sea of Japan. The flowers were highly sought-after as the key ingredient in things such as textile dyes and lipstick. Yamagata Marugoto-kan is one of many historic buildings and docks, remnants of the thriving Mogami River trade, that have been transformed into sightseeing spots in central Yamagata City. It was once a safflower merchant's compound, and now houses a soba (buckwheat noodle) restaurant, a gourmet restaurant featuring fresh local ingredients, a shop selling local delicacies and crafts, and more. It's an ideal spot to eat lunch and buy souvenirs.

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2. Nanokamachi Goten Sluice
20 minutes

The city of Yamagata is well-watered by streams flowing down from Mt. Zao and fanning out across the lowlands. 400 years ago, a series of sluices were built to channel this water for the use of Yamagata's people. Along this charmingly preserved stone-lined stretch of the Goten Sluice in Nanokamachi are several interesting shops occupying historic buildings.

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3. Bunshokan (Former Prefectural Government Building)
30 minutes (Free)

The Bunshokan was built in 1916 as Yamagata's Prefectural Government Office, in English Renaissance Revival style using granite from Yamagata. Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs has classified this architectural treasure as an Important Cultural Property, and it now houses exhibits about the history and culture of Yamagata.

The Bunshokan is available as a unique event venue. It can accommodate around 250 people, for scientific association meetings, symposiums, and more. For example, in 2011, the Bunshokan successfully hosted an outdoor reception for the 72nd Japan Society of Applied Physics (JSAP) Autumn Meeting on its grounds.

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4. Yamagata Castle Ruin (Kajo Park)
30 minutes (Free)

The former site of Yamagata Castle, which sits within the Ninomaru Moat, is now a public park. Sitting within concentric stone-walled moats, this castle was one of the largest in Japan, although it never had the tall donjon of a Japanese castle of the imagination. The East Gate has been rebuilt using wooden construction techniques authentic to the era.
Yamagata Castle is also known as "the castle in the mist", from an incident in which a general who tried to attack it while its lord was off fighting elsewhere failed to even find the castle, as it was concealed by thick fog.

English website (unofficial):
http://www.jcastle.info/castle/profile/31-Yamagata-Castle

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5. Mogami Yoshiaki Historical Museum
30 minutes (Free)

The golden age of Yamagata occurred under samurai warlord Mogami Yoshiaki who reconstructed an earlier castle into a much larger fortress in 1592. He later went to the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 with Tokugawa Ieyasu, unifier of Japan and founder of the long and prosperous Tokugawa shogunate. This museum contains exhibits and materials about the legacy of Mogami and his feudal clan.

English website (limited information):
http://mogamiyoshiaki.jp/?p=list&c=3122

100 Yen Loop Bus
Runs from JR Yamagata Station and Kasumicho through Nanokamachi and central Yamagata City. Fare is 100 yen (children up to elementary school age ride free). One-day pass (300 yen) is convenient for sightseeing.

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Option C:Yamadera and Matsuo Basho
About 3 hours (1,140 yen)

A spiritual setting that inspires profound poetry

Yamadera is an ancient temple complex founded in AD 860 by Ennin, a monk of the Tendai sect of Buddhism, and is accessible in 20-30 minutes by car or train from JR Yamagata Station. It is one of the most significant sacred sites in Japan's northeastern Tohoku region, and it also draws many visitors simply for its tranquil beauty, which was immortalized in literature by Basho, Japan's most famous haiku poet. Basho's legacy is honoured here.

Start at

[JR Yamagata Station]

Ride JR Senzan Line 23 minutes (220 yen)

Get off at JR Yamadera Station

Walk 5 minutes

[1&2. Risshaku-ji/Hojusan Risshaku Temple] 1.5 hours* (300 yen)

*Includes walking up and then back down the mountain

[3. Yamadera Basho Museum] 20 minutes (400 yen)

Walk 5 minutes

[JR Yamadera Station]

Ride JR Senzan Line 23 minutes (220 yen)

Get off at JR Yamagata Station

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1 & 2. Risshaku-ji/Hojusan Risshaku Temple
90 minutes (Admission: 300 yen)

Risshaku-ji/Hojusan Risshaku Temple is the formal name of Yamadera. It draws many people of faith, who regard ascending the 1,015 stone stairs that lead from the foot of the mountain to the inner temple as a spiritual journey. But even if your purpose in climbing the stairs is sightseeing rather than spiritual, you won't be disappointed—the view from the Godai-do at the top of the stone stairs is spectacular.

English website:
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/spot/shritemp/risshakuji.html

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3. Yamadera Basho Museum
20 minutes (Admission: 400 yen)

Matsuo Basho, who lived in the 17th century, is one of Japan's greatest haiku poets. A famous story relates how he visited Yamadera and composed the following poem lauding the tranquillity of its lushly wooded mountain setting.

stillness
seeps into the stones
the sound of the cicadas

This museum provides some exhibit information in English.

English website (unofficial):
http://en.japantravel.com/view/basho-memorial-hall-museum

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