Japan Meeting & Incentive News Print This Page March 2011


10 meeting planners attended the Meet Japan 2011 program

The “Meet Japan 2011” hosted buyers program was held from Friday, February 25 to Thursday, March 3. The program was designed to invite international convention decision makers to undertake a study tour in order to promote Japan as a destination candidate for their international conferences. This time, ten international convention decision makers and meeting planners from six countries were invited, sponsored by JAL and ANA.

The participants stayed one night in Tokyo and then went on one of the three study tour courses arranged so that they could visit cities ideal for hosting international conferences: 1. Chiba & Nagoya; 2. Kanazawa & Hamamatsu; and 3. Matsue & Takamatsu. During these three-day, two-night study tours, the participants collected a wealth of information about convention facilities, accommodations and sightseeing options. They enjoyed a very fruitful time, not only by visiting facilities that seemed most likely to meet the specifications for their particular international conference, but also by sampling content-rich post-convention and spouse programs, including helicopter cruising and trying their hand at playing Japanese drums and making udon noodles. After the study tours, the participants from the three different courses all met together in Yokohama, which is located only 30 minutes from Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport), Japan’s hub airport for domestic flights.

A welcome party hosted by the Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau was held at Yokohama Sankeien Garden, a traditional Japanese-style garden in the city. While admiring the beautiful garden, which was especially lit up for the occasion, the participants enjoyed Japanese cuisine prepared from fresh Kanagawa Prefecture food ingredients.

There was also a live performance of koto and flute music, and a rhythmical paper-cutting performance at which various requested shapes were produced, such as dogs and silhouettes of guests. The venue was the Kakushokaku building, the magnificent former residence of the Hara merchant family, which is one of the buildings in the park with a history of 100 years.

On the following day, business discussions were held all day at Pan Pacific Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu to exchange information about subsidy, support programs, etc. Representatives of 11 Japanese cities were in attendance, including staff from convention bureaus that were not included in the study tour courses. The farewell party in the evening of the final day of the program was held at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Yokohama has been a thriving port for over 150 years, and this unique venue was actually used as a warehouse between 1911 and 1989. The participants were entertained by a powerful son et lumière performance by KOSUI, a Japanese drumming group.

JNTO hosts the “Meet Japan” program every year, and more than 50% of the participants have subsequently held their international conferences in Japan. Last year, the business discussions were held in the city of Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture, and the welcome party was held at Kanazawa Castle, which was opened to the public for the first time. JNTO strives to introduce a variety of attractions like that which Japan has to offer by making the best use of the tourist resources unique to each candidate venue.

“Meet Japan 2012” will be held next year. If you are considering holding an international conference in Japan, why not take this opportunity to visit candidate cities with beautiful scenic spots around the country, inspect the quality convention facilities and tourist attractions, and experience Japan’s warm hospitality for yourself?

Here are some comments from participants:
<Participant 1>
Name: Dr. Christiane Dorothea Fellbaum (Ms.)(U.S.A)
Comments:Japan is perfectly suited for an international conference.It’s safe, clean, interesting. Locals are polite and helpful.The public transportation is truly amazing. Climate is good, too, year-round.
<Participant 2>
Name: Dr. Leslie Harold Chappell(Mr.) (U.K)
Comments: Sufficiently westernized to be a comfortable country to visit but with enough unique history to attract delegates. Everything seems remarkably efficient. It is safe, clean , and very attractive. The cuisine is excellent!!
Please visit us at “IT&CM China 2011” and “IMEX 2011”

JNTO will be participating in the IT&CM CHINA (Incentive Travel & Convention Meetings China), to be held in Shanghai from Wednesday, April 13 to Friday, April 15. Besides JNTO, 6 organizations will be exhibiting in the Japan Booth: the convention bureaus from the 4 prefectures and cities of Sapporo, Chiba, Okinawa, Shizuoka Prefecture; and Rihga Royal Hotels, Fujita Kanko Hotels & Resorts, suppliers with considerable experience of hosting international conferences and incentive tours.

IT&CM China 2011(Incentive Travel & Convention Meetings China)
Venue: Shanghai Mart Expo (Shanghai, China)
Date: April 13 (Wed.) – 15 (Fri.), 2011
URL: http://www.itcmchina.com/
Japan Booth: No.280

JNTO will also be exhibiting at IMEX, to be held from May 24 to May 26. IMEX, the largest exhibition of its kind in Europe, enjoys the strong support of exhibitors particularly because the quality of its hosted buyers program is extremely high. In its hosted buyers program, the host city invites potential convention decision makers and sets up business discussions with exhibitors in advance.

IMEX2011(The Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events)
Venue: Frankfurt, Germany
Date: May 24 (Tue.) – May 26 (Thu), 2011
URL: http://www.imex-frankfurt.com/

We will be ready with all kinds of information about the services to be offered by each venue, tourist attractions, ideas for incentive theme parties, and lots more. So please pay us a visit at the Japan Booth during the exhibition.

Hotel Update

MICE and The Okura Group

For more than fifty years since the opening of its flagship hotel, Hotel Okura Tokyo, The Okura Group has been welcoming VIPs from around the world, hosting international conferences with heartfelt service, and providing a relaxing time to bring satisfied smiles to the faces of its guests.

This tradition is just the same when it comes to hosting MICE. The Okura Group’s policy of pursuing the ultimate in hospitality creates first-class comfort in every aspect: meticulous care in the preparation of each and every guest room; the highest quality cuisine prepared with pride by the excellent chefs of the Hotel Okura: unobtrusive Japanese-style hospitality; careful arrangements for meetings, parties and excursions by experienced meeting and event planners. In addition, Okura Group hotels offer convenient locations for business and pleasure, recreation facilities, business centers, and a wide variety of rooms available for all kinds of gatherings and events.

Hotel Okura Tokyo

From its opening days, Hotel Okura Tokyo has been involved with major international diplomatic events, starting with the International General Meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1964. It provided culinary services at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, the G-8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit Meeting 2000, the Hokkaido Toyako Summit, and APEC 2010 in Yokohama. In addition, the hotel has played host to numerous American presidents and their delegations, providing accommodation and cuisine. These events have helped to establish the Hotel Okura name worldwide, reserving a place for it on the international stage as a true representative of Japan.

Hotel Okura Tokyo

Hotel Okura Tokyo

URL: http://www.hotelokura.co.jp/tokyo/en/

Kyoto Hotel Okura

For more than a century, Kyoto Hotel Okura has welcomed VIPs around the world, most recently the participants at the G8 Kyoto Foreign Ministers Meeting held at the Kyoto State Guest in 2008. It offers all kinds of event and meeting venues, ranging from the 1,230-square-meter Grand Ballroom to medium and small rooms. For Further information, please access Kyoto Hotel Okura website.

Kyoto Hotel Okura

URL: http://okura.kyotohotel.co.jp/english/banquet/mice/

Sapporo & Fukuoka

The complementary partnership of The Okura Group—Okura Hotels & Resorts and JAL Hotels—has made available a variety of choices in Sapporo and Fukuoka, the gateway cities of the north and south. What these two cities have in common are fresh produce, thriving restaurants and nightlife districts, convenience of location for conventions, and premium quality hotels ideal for business travelers: Hotel Okura Fukuoka and Hotel Nikko Fukuoka in Fukuoka, Kyushu; and Hotel Okura Sapporo and JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

Hotel Okura Fukuoka: one major banquet hall for 2,000 guests, the Ballroom Heian, and 10 banquet rooms.

Hotel Nikko Fukuoka: eight banquet rooms, the largest of which, Tsukushi, accommodates up to 800 guests.

Hotel Okura Sapporo: seven banquet rooms of various sizes, suitable for all kinds of events from small business meetings to a gathering of 500 guests.

JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo: All three banquet rooms are located on the 36th floor, so guests are able to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view.

Hotel Okura Fukuoka

URL: http://www.okura.com/hotels/index.html

What’s Up in Japan

Thanks to improved surface routes, travelling in Japan has become much smoother!

On 5 March 2011, the E5 series Shinkansen high-speed trains made their debut. These are now the fastest of all Japan’s bullet trains, operating at speeds of up to 300kph on the Hayabusa services of the Tohoku Shinkansen Line. As a result, the journey between Tokyo and Aomori has been reduced by about 50 minutes, from 4 hours to 3 hours and 10 minutes.

Thanks to the incorporation of state-of-the-art technologies, the new trains feature improved environmental and running performance and greater comfort. New ‘Gran Class’ cars have been introduced, with seats that are wider and with a greater pitch than those in the existing Shinkansen first-class cars. Targeting wealthier travelers, they will provide an elegant and private space and a variety of services.

Notes:* It is necessary to pay a separate express and GranClass charges when using the JR East Pass.
*If you use the GranClass car on the “HAYABUSA” train of the Tohoku Shinkansen, you must pay the limited express charge and the GranClass car surcharge.
*When using GranClass accommodations, please pay the separate express and GranClass charges that apply.

In addition, the full Kyushu Shinkansen service linking Hakata and Kagoshima started operation on March 12, 2011. This has reduced the journey time between Hakata and Kumamoto from 1 hour and 14 minutes to just 35 minutes, and the journey time between Hakata and Kagoshima from 2 hours and 12 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes. The Kyushu Shinkansen Kagoshima Route stretches straight from north to south down the middle of the island of Kyushu. It will perform a major role as a main artery connecting Fukuoka, which has one of Asia’s hub airports, with Kagoshima, the southernmost city of Kyushu. The route is about 257 kilometers in length and has a total of 12 stations. The 127-kilometer stretch between Shin-Yatsushiro and Kagoshima was opened on March 13, 2004 and the remaining 130 kilometers between Hakata and Shin-Yatsushiro has just been completed.

The opening of this Kyushu Shinkansen Route has also realized mutual use of the tracks by the Sanyo Shinkansen and Kyushu Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Kagoshima-Chuo stations.

Access to Japan by air was improved in October, 2010 when Haneda Airport went fully international. And domestic surface travel has also been greatly enhanced. It is now possible to travel the whole length of Japan in a much shorter time!

We hope that you will make full and efficient use of air and surface routes according to your destination and enjoy all the attractions Japan has to offer from the far north to the far south.

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