Japan Meeting & Incentive News Print This Page October 2008

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The 18th International Meetings Exhibition (IME 2009)

IME 2009 is Japan's only comprehensive meetings and incentive travel exhibition, and will be attended by more than 2,500 visitors. This year, around 70 suppliers will exhibit, including convention bureaus, meeting facilities and hotels from all over the country, as well as JNTO, PCOs (Professional Congress Organizers)

and the like, and a trade mart with tight business sessions between domestic and international meeting and incentive planners is eagerly anticipated. Following the success of last year, over 20 incentive planners mainly from other Asian countries will be invited under the Hosted Buyers Program "Japan Incentive Showcase" to provide an opportunity to deepen their understanding of Japan through visits to other cities outside of Tokyo and through the business sessions at IME.

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The Keisei Skyliner to Connect Narita Airport with Central Tokyo in just over 30 minutes!

Soon, Narita Airport will become closer and more convenient. In 2010, the Keisei Skyliner, which together with the Narita Express is one of the main modes of transportation between the airport and the city, will shorten its travel time to just over 30 minutes, thanks to new cars and a partially new route.

The new model Skyliner cars will run at 160 km/h on newly laid special high-speed tracks, the fastest in Japan apart from the Shinkansen bullet trains. This will abbreviate the current journey time with 15 minutes, connecting Narita with Nippori in only 36 minutes.

A new terminal is also scheduled to open in Nippori (about 10 minutes from Tokyo Station) in 2010 in conjunction with the new trains for even more convenient access.

And it's not just about speed either: Keisei Railway has asked Kansai Yamamoto, one of Japan's most famous fashion designers, to look over every detail from the shape of the trains themselves to seats, luggage space and toilets for the utmost in contemporary design, functionality and passenger comfort.

Don't forget to select the most convenient type of airport access as well when you make up your travel plans!

Autumn Entertainment: Horse Racing in Japan!

Japan is Asia's largest spot for horse racing entertainment. This fall, the main event is the Japan Autumn International (JAI), which consists of four Grade 1 races in consecutive weeks in November and December.

The opening race is the "Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup" on November 16 in Kyoto, followed by the "Mile Championship" on the 23, also in Kyoto. On November 30 is the "Japan Cup" at the Tokyo Racecourse, and then the series culminates at the Hanshin Racecourse on December 7 with the "Japan Cup Dirt," where the American horse Curlin, which captured this year's Dubai World Cup, is planned to run.

With a total of over 10 million US$ in prize money, this is a major event on the international racing circuit

that will be just as intense and exciting as the world's top races like the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Kentucky Derby.

The Fuji View Grandstand at the Tokyo Racecourse, which is one of the venues, features a special Memorial Stand where groups of 20 - 30 people can enjoy a meal while watching the races exclusively by themselves. On a clear day, Mt. Fuji is visible behind the track, creating a gorgeous view and a wonderful memory.

The Japan Racing Association has 10 racecourses in Kyoto, Kitakyushu and other locations all over the country, and all of them feature reception areas like the one at the Tokyo Racecourse. How about using one of them as a new and unique venue for your next incentive tour group in Japan?

The F1 Japanese Grand Prix and other Exciting Motor Sports

See the fastest men on the planet battle for the Formula 1 World Championship in the Japanese Grand Prix! This year, the race will be held at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture the weekend of October 10 - 12. As one of the last races of the season, the Japanese Grand Prix is often where the championship is decided, which always makes for an extremely exciting race.

Fuji Speedway is located near Mt. Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan. The Hakone area, the Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji, the Gotemba Premium Outlets and many other tourist attractions and top-notch excursion sites are also close by. After the race, you can enjoy a round of golf at the foot of Mt. Fuji, feast on an elaborately laid-out Japanese meal at a traditional Japanese-style inn, or relax in a hot spring. Naturally, this is also a perfect destination for incentive trips.

In 2009, the Japanese Grand Prix will return to the Suzuka Circuit, where it was held for 30 years up to 2006. Suzuka is located in Mie Prefecture, home to the Grand Shrine at Ise and the Mikimoto Pearl Island. The Ago Bay coastline is dotted with ocean resort hotels where you can enjoy delicious seafood and refreshing spas, and the World Heritage site of Mt. Koyasan is nearby. This area is quite different from the one surrounding Fuji Speedway, but is also an excellent incentive trip destination.

Other interesting motor sports venues are Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi Prefecture, where you can test your own driving skills on a real road course or take a motorbike ride with your kids, and Tama Tech in Tokyo, which is a motor sports amusement park for the whole family where even your children can have a go behind the wheel!
Wouldn't it be a great idea to include some motor sports in your next incentive trip to Japan?

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