Japan Meeting & Incentive News Print This Page November 2008

The World Summit of Gastronomy

An event intended to promote a wide variety of cuisines from all over the world, Tokyo Taste, the World Summit of Gastronomy, will be held at the Tokyo International Forum on February 9 - 11, 2009.

The host city of Tokyo was recently lauded by Michelin Guides as "the brightly shining capital of gastronomy": in their 2007 guide to Tokyo, 150 restaurants were awarded with stars, far more than any other city in its guide book series.

In recent years, sushi and other Japanese food has become increasingly popular all over the world as both delicious and healthy. But Japanese food is far more than sushi, and one of the purposes of

this summit is to showcase the wide variety and possibilities of Japanese foodstuffs, creative methods of cooking and coming culinary trends.

Just like fashion is presented to the world in the collections of Paris, Milan and New York, this new World Summit of Gastronomy aims to become a "Food Fashion Show" and will invite gather international stars like "chef of the century" Joel Robuchon from France, Ferran Adria, the Spanish opinion-leader of the gastronomical world, and Tetsuya Wakuda of "Tetsuya's" - Australia's hardest place to get a table. Together with Japanese chefs, they will perform various demonstrations during the 3-day event, and there will be plenty of

tasting booths as well. A true feast for all five senses!

This international cooking event will be the first of its kind in Japan and in Asia - an excellent opportunity to visit the Capital of Gastronomy!

Official Site:
Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau
JNTO "Tokyo"
Tokyo International Forum

Destination Report: Kyoto

The ancient capital of Kyoto is very different from the modern city of Tokyo. Full of historical and cultural charms, its beauty is very well recognized by the whole world. As Japan's old capital for over 1,200 years, Kyoto is one of Asia's top tourist destinations, but it is also a very popular city for large-size conventions in medicine, science, administrative affairs and other fields.

A city that can handle anything from intimate meetings to full-scale United Nations conferences
The Kyoto International Conference Center, where the Kyoto Protocol was concluded in 1997, is famous for its peaceful architectural style, but there are many other convention facilities as well, catering for everything from a few dozen participants to several thousand. The city also has around 380 hotels and Japanese-style inns with a capacity for up to 50,000 guests, including the Hyatt Regency Kyoto, which is popular with VIPs, the venerable Westin Miyako Kyoto, where Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana once stayed, and the Hotel Granvia Kyoto, which is conveniently located next to Kyoto Station and renowned for its excellent service.

"Only in Kyoto" reception venues
There are options aplenty for unique receptions as well. The Garden Oriental Kyoto is a refurnished old residence against the backdrop of a five-storied pagoda - a wonderful setting for elegant parties. Another luxurious party venue, Azekura, is right next to a 1,300-year-old shrine and offers the best view of the town from the top of a hill. The Toei Movie Land offers theme parties with ninja shows, fireworks and other attractions among the sets to samurai movies. Other options that are sure to leave your guests highly satisfied include traditional performances by maiko, temple receptions for special occasions, etc.

14 world cultural heritage sites and other excursion plans
Kyoto is of course full of famous tourist spots like Kinkakuji, the Golden Temple, and the other world cultural heritage sites, but it also offers a wide range of opportunities to touch the real soul of Japan by, for example, visiting a 130-year-old traditional machiya townhouse dressed in a kimono, practicing calligraphy or experiencing a tea ceremony in a temple garden, or even strolling around the fascinating old alleys of the Gion quarter together with maiko.

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One of Japan's major convention cities, Kyoto is easily accessed from Kansai International Airport (KIX) in 75 minutes by train, or 95 minutes by limousine bus. Several other cities with a very different flavor are also close by: the historical port of Kobe is less than an hour away by bullet train, and Osaka, known as "the kitchen of Japan," is just 15 minutes away. And apart from all the charms of the city itself, another great factor is the Kyoto Convention Bureau, which with its 40 years of experience really knows how to meet any need of conference organizers.

Official Site:
Kyoto Convention Bureau
Kyoto Winter Special
JNTO "Kyoto"
Kyoto International Conference Center
Hyatt Regency Kyoto
Westin Miyako Kyoto
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
The Garden Oriental Kyoto
Toei Movie Land

Japan Headline

Japan ranked No. 5 in the World for International Conferences 2007

According to statistics published by the Union of International Associations (UIA) in Belgium for the year 2007, 448 international conferences were held in Japan in 2007, a record increase from 166 in 2006, making Japan the 5th-ranked conference nation in the world. In the cities ranking, Tokyo, which is contending for the 2016 Olympics, came in 8th place.

Since the start of the Visit Japan Campaign (VJC) in 2003, the number of foreign visitors to Japan has been increasing steadily, with 8.35 million visitors in 2007. JNTO has been working with convention cities all over the country to attract more international conferences to Japan, and as these brilliant results show, our efforts to increase the exposure of Japan as a MICE destination are clearly bearing fruit.

Further to the achievements of VJC, the Japanese Government established the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) on October 1. JNTO will continue to cooperate with this new agency to make Japan ever more attractive as a MICE destination.

Related Link:
UIA statistics press release
Japan Tourism Agency
Winter Illumination:

The start of the Christmas season in mid-November also means the start of various light festivals all over Japan. This is a very beautiful time to visit for shopping and dining.

Fuyu no Hotaru Festa
Nov. 15, 2008 - Jan. 11, 2009
Hamamatsu Visitors and Convention Bureau
Hiroshima Dreamination
Nov. 17, 2008 - Jan. 3, 2009
Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau
Sapporo White Illumination
Nov. 28, 2008 - Feb. 11, 2009
Sapporo Tourist Association
Sapporo Convention Bureau
* The Sapporo Snow Festival will be held February 5 - 11, 2009.
Sendai Pageant of Starlight Sendai
Dec. 1 - 31, 2008
Tourism & Convention Bureau
Kobe Luminarie
Dec. 4 - 15, 2008
Kobe Convention & Visitors Association
Juhyo Lightup
Dec. 27, 2008 - Jan. 3, 2009
Association of Zao Hot Springs Tourism
JNTO "Zao"
Shirakawa-go Lightup
Jan. 24 - Feb. 21, 2009
JNTO "Shirakawa-go"
©Valerio Festi/I&F Inc./Kobe Luminarie O.C.

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