Japan Meeting & Incentive News Print This Page January/February 2010


JNTO Meeting & Incentive website in French

The JNTO Paris office has opened a “Meeting & Incentive” page on its French website. This site is full of information and practical functions for meeting and incentive travel planners about convention facilities, unique venues and tourist attractions in Japan, and the merits of Japan as a conference location and incentive tour destination.

JNTO’s offices in New York, London and Seoul also have special convention pages on their websites. Why not take a moment to check them out?

International JNTO Meeting & Incentive websites
Paris office site
New York office site
London office site
Seoul office site
Introducing the Meet Japan inspection cities: Matsumoto and Matsue

“Meet Japan” is JNTO’s annual hosted buyers program to showcase Japan as a conference destination, in which we invite international conference organizers from abroad to inspect Japanese convention cities. This year, the event will be held during the week from February 25 to March 4, and the six cities that will be visited are Chiba, Matsumoto, Kanazawa, Gifu and Matsue. Here is a brief introduction to two of those unique cities, Matsumoto and Matsue.


Matsumoto is blessed with a cool climate and plentiful sunshine year-round, and greets visitors in any season with refreshing breezes and a majestic view of the Northern Alps against blue skies. It is known as the gateway to the spectacular Japan Alps and was the first city in Asia to host the Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme (UIAA) and the international Interpraevent congress on alpine disaster prevention.

Matsumoto is also the birthplace of the famous Suzuki Method of musical talent development, practiced by 400,000 people in 38 countries including 20,000 in Japan. The city has hosted the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto each year since 1992. This prestigious event, headed by the world-famous conductor Seiji Ozawa, brings together over 100 world-class musicians, and attracts classical music fans from all over the world.

The symbol of the city is the 400-year-old Matsumoto Castle, a National Treasure and the oldest castle still extant in Japan. You can enjoy the atmospheric streets of the old quarters, lined with samurai residences and historic buildings.

Within a short distance of Matsumoto lies tranquil countryside that evokes heartwarming memories: the flowers, greenery, and pure water of Azumino; the abundant produce of the mountains and farming villages; and the many hot springs. All these are the bounty of the Northern Alps, a range which includes several peaks over 3,000 meters.

Matsumoto is located in the very center of Japan, within easy reach of all Japan's major cities by land or air. From Narita Airport it takes 270 min, via the Narita Express and JR Chuo Line limited express to Matsumoto. From Centrair (Nagoya airport), it takes 160 min by train. By expressway, it is about two and a half hours' drive from either Tokyo or Nagoya.
Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre, designed by the world-renowned architect Toyo Ito, is suitable for both conferences and top-level performing arts. The main hall has an adjustable ceiling permitting a large hall configuration that seats up to 1,800 people and a medium hall configuration for up to 1,397. There is also a small hall that seats 288. The spacious main lobby and delightful rooftop garden are ideal venues for entertaining. The numerous studio and rehearsal rooms are designed to double as meeting rooms seating between 30 and 200.
The Nagano Prefectural Matsumoto Cultural Hall, home to Seiji Ozawa's prestigious Saito Kinen Festival of classical music, is equipped with facilities for simultaneous interpretation in four languages. The large hall seats 2,000 and the small hall seats up to 746, and there are several other meeting rooms of various sizes as well for working sessions.
Financial Support
Matsumoto offers both subsidies for conferences and discounts on accommodation.
Please contact the Matsumoto Convention Bureau for further information.
Matsumoto Convention Bureau

Matsue lies roughly in the middle of the western Japan Sea coast, about 180 km from Hiroshima and 370 km from Osaka. In this placid "water city," the canals spreading through the town are spanned by a total of 500 bridges. The city was originally established as the center of the ancient Izumo Province, and famous Buddhist temples—one for men, one for women—were founded here in the 8th century Nara Period. During the Edo Period (17th to 19th century), Matsue took on its current form and prospered as a castle town.

The moat canals were dug when the castle was built. The aim was to protect both the castle and the town, to provide transportation for cargo and passengers, and to offer a source of water and fish. Even today the canals are maintained with great care as a symbol of the city.

In Japan, Matsue also has strong literary and religious associations. The writer Lafcadio Hearn lived here in the 19th century, and one hour away is Izumo Taisha, one of the oldest shrines in Japan.

Karakoro Kobo, an old building that formerly housed the Matsue branch of the Bank of Japan, is now the home to 14 workshops and restaurants. Interior features reminiscent of the banking days remain, including a large vault in the basement that is now a rental exhibition space. This building is popular as a place to relax and enjoy handcrafts. You can even learn how to make beautiful Japanese confectioneries at the workshop – and taste them, of course.

Matsue Vogel Park is a perfect place for convention participants to relax in a tranquil, green environment with various birds and flowers.

It is a 80-minute flight from Tokyo and 55 minutes from Osaka to Izumo Airport. The bus from Izumo Airport to Matsue station takes approximately 25 min. If you are coming from Nagoya, a flight from Nagoya to Yonago Airport (65 min) is a convenient way to get to Matsue, with a 45 minute bus ride from Yonago Airport into town.
You can also take the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo or Osaka to Okayama and then change to a limited express at Okayama to Matsue. That will take 5 h 10 min from Tokyo and 3 h 30 min from Osaka.
Kunibiki Messe is the leading convention center in Matsue. It is equipped with a divisible large exhibition hall (4,018 m2) for gatherings of 1,800, 3,000 and 5,000 people along with a multipurpose hall (686 m2/650 people), a small hall (300 m2/300 people), and several smaller meeting rooms to suit every purpose.
Convention Support
Shimane Prefecture and Matsue both offer financial support for conventions through subsidies up to 10 million yen. To qualify, the convention must be held within Matsue and participants must use local accommodation. The amount provided depends on the number of participants.
For further details, contact
Matsue Convention Bureau
Kunibiki Messe

What's up in Japan

Renewal of Pacifico Yokohama

Beautifully located by the port, Pacifico Yokohama is a convention complex with a large convention hall, a 20,000 m2 exhibition hall, a conference center, and the Yokohama Grand Intercontinental Hotel right on the premises. In March, the conference center will reopen with wireless LAN facilities, barrier-free access and upgraded environmental measures, and additional meeting rooms.

Yokohama is a major international conference city, with the second-most number of conferences in Japan (according to ICCA statistics), and Pacifico Yokohama has already hosted many large-scale events such as the International Congress of Dietetics in 2008 (3,000 participants) and SIGGRAPH Asia in 2009 (6,500 participants). This year, the APEC2010 Ministerial & Economic Leaders' Meeting is scheduled to be held in Yokohama.

2010 MICE Calendar

Major conferences, exhibitions and events in Japan in 2010.

<Conferences & Conventions>

14th International Congress of Immunology
Kobe, Aug 22 – 27
Kobe International Convention Center
Official Website
Nagoya, Oct 18 – 29
Nagoya Congress Center
Official Website
Junior Chamber International
Osaka, Oct 31 – Nov 7
Grand Cube Osaka
Osaka-Jo Hall
Official Website
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial & Economic Leaders' Meeting
Yokohama, Nov 10-14
APEC Japan 2010 Official Website

<Events and Festivals>

The 1300th Anniversary of Nara Heijo-kyo
Nara, Jan 1 – Dec 31
Official Website

Setouchi International Art Festival 2010
Naoshima, Takamatsu, July 7 – Oct 31
Official Website

Aichi Triennale
Nagoya, Aug 21 – Oct 31
Official Website
Tokyo Game Show 2010
Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Sep 16 – 19
Tokyo Game Show 2009 website
Shigaraki Art Festival 2010
Koka City, Shiga Prefecture, Oct 1 – Nov 23
Official Website
23rd Tokyo International Film Festival
Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Oct 23 – 31
Official Website

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