From March 1 through March 7, JNTO welcomed international convention organizers to Japan for Meet Japan 2015, an event that introduced a variety of potential destinations for future conventions.
After arriving, participants stayed overnight in Tokyo before departing for an exciting four-day study tour of cities with lots to offer an international convention. The tour offered five options:
The study tours featured customized itineraries that allowed participants to see historical sites, savour the local cuisine and enjoy Japanese traditional culture (such as the tea ceremony and the Soba (buck wheat noodle) making), all while visiting convention centres and accommodations.
After the study tour, the participants returned to Tokyo to attend an all-day business session. This gave participants an opportunity to meet with representatives from nine cities for further discussions about holding conferences. The farewell party on the final day was held in Andaz Tokyo, which is located between Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace. At the party, the participants watched a Japanese Kabuki performance. In attendance at the party were Japan MICE Ambassadors, who enjoyed conversing with the participants.
Here's what some Meet Japan participants had to say after the programme:
"Joining the wonderful study tour, we found great academic environment and industrial clusters to associate with local communities in Japan."
"I am sure that our international members will also have the same wonderful experiences in Japan!"
"Japan is a very welcoming and friendly country with many modern and attractive convention facilities. It's not just the wasabi that will add spice to your event! "
"Not only was the trip extremely valuable in terms of understanding what meetings facilities are available in Japan, the meticulous way in which the trip was planned and executed meant that I was able to experience not just the diverse hotels and convention centers on offer, but also the culture of Japan."
JNTO conducts this event every year, and in the past nearly 60% of participants have gone on to choose Japan as their next convention destination. If you are considering holding a convention in Japan, we'd love to see you next year at Meet Japan 2016. Experience Japan's famed hospitality, its beautiful landscapes and its sightseeing attractions as you visit well-organized convention facilities and talk with knowledgeable, friendly people in various cities.
JNTO will be exhibiting at the following trade fairs this year. Stop by and see us at the Japan Booth!
JNTO will be exhibiting at IT&CM China and IMEX soon. We look forward to seeing you in Shanghai and Frankfurt!
1) IT&CM China 2015
2) IMEX 2015
(C)East Japan Railway Company
A new route has been added to the web of high-speed Shinkansen rail lines connecting Japan's cities.
On March 14, the Hokuriku Shinkansen, which connects Tokyo with Kanazawa, began running. Kanazawa is the hub of the Hokuriku region, the area of central Honshu facing the Sea of Japan. The city is known for beautiful historic neighbourhoods filled with traditional architecture. It also offers numerous unique venues and after-convention programmes. All in all, Kanazawa has a lot to offer as a host city for international meetings.
The Hokuriku Shinkansen travels at up to 260km/h. The new route goes direct from Tokyo to Kanazawa in as little as two hours and 28 minutes. Kanazawa is now more accessible than ever from Japan's capital.
The terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen is Kanazawa Station, named one of the world's most beautiful train stations in 2011 by Travel+Leisure magazine. You can even host events in the station's underground plaza.
With vastly improved access thanks to the Hokuriku Shinkansen, now is the perfect time to consider holding your convention in Japan!
The Hotel New Otani Tokyo opened in 1964, the same year that the city hosted the Olympic Games. At the time it was the largest building in Tokyo, and said to be the grandest hotel in all of Asia. One of its iconic features was the revolving lounge on the top floor, which was an embodiment of the founder’s wish for every guest from overseas to enjoy a view of beautiful Mt. Fuji. The lounge is now a restaurant, but it still revolves. It completes a 360-degree rotation every 70 minutes, giving diners a breathtaking panorama of Tokyo.
The Hotel New Otani Tokyo is located right in the heart of Tokyo. Within a five-minute walk are four subway/train stations providing easy access to the major business districts and sightseeing areas, including Shinjuku, Ginza, Roppongi, Asakusa and Akihabara. Although it offers superbly convenient access, the hotel itself is nestled in a verdant oasis. In the hotel’s Japanese Garden, as well as surrounding parks and greenery, businesspeople and tourists alike can find moments of serenity and repose.
The Hotel New Otani Tokyo is a massive complex with 1,479 guest rooms and a multitude of restaurants, banquet rooms and shops. Thirty-seven restaurants, encompassing Western and Chinese dining as well as several categories of Japanese cuisine, cater to every need. Thirty-four banquet rooms of various sizes can accommodate virtually any type of convention or event. Wi-Fi is available in all guest rooms and the lobby. The 400-year-old Japanese garden occupies an impressive 10 acres. Strolling its paths makes for a tranquil encounter with Japanese beauty and tradition—there are fish ponds spanned by bridges, rock gardens, waterfalls and a collection of ancient stone lanterns.
Ever since its opening, the Hotel New Otani Tokyo has been the city's flagship hotel, serving as the venue for numerous historical events. Of particular note is its role as the main venue for the G7 Tokyo Summit Meetings in 1979, 1986, and 1993. Experienced in serving heads of state and other global VIPs, as well as hosting large-scale international conventions, the hotel's expertise has been passed down through the years. It continues to handle countless business events and functions year-round. Extensive support is provided for the logistical arrangements of such events. The Hotel New Otani Tokyo offers significant benefits from a security perspective, including a spacious car porch that allows direct access from vehicles, and grounds that are partially surrounded by a moat.
Hotel New Otani
Sightseeing in Fukuoka
Hakata was one of the "twin cities" which merged in the 19th century to form present-day Fukuoka. It gives its name to the city's thriving downtown core. Here the traditions and spirit of one of Japan's oldest and most cosmopolitan cities are still alive and well.
Since ancient times, Fukuoka has had close ties with China. The many shrines, temples, and ruins scattered around the city testify to Fukuoka's important place in Japanese cultural history. The area called Tera-machi (literally "temple town”) is a must-see collection of historically important temples.
This head temple of Shingon Buddhism in Kyushu is dedicated to the monk Kobo-Daishi (also known as Kukai), founder of the sect and one of the most important figures in Japanese history. It houses the largest wooden Buddhist statue in Japan, 10.8 metres tall.
English website: http://yokanavi.com/eg/theme/detail/204
The founder of this temple was a priest called Enni-Ben'en. In 1235, he went to China, followed the arduous path of mastering Zen Buddhism, and then returned to Japan in 1241. Along with Buddhist teachings, he brought back to Japan other cultural elements of lasting significance, notably the production methods for udon, soba and manju buns.
This museum shows what daily life and culture was like in Fukuoka during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, focusing especially on urban dwellings of that period. The exhibition hall features a miniature model of Hakata as it was in past eras, information about local traditions, and more. There are also demonstrations of traditional handicrafts.
This famous grand Shinto shrine of Hakata is widely revered. It is said to have been built in 757 on the emperor’s orders, at a time when the port of Hakata was one of the most important places in Japan for carrying out trade with China. The current main hall dates to 1585. The Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival, one of Japan's great spectacles, is centred on Kushida Shrine, and the ornate festival floats used in it are on display here all year round. On the shrine's grounds stands a mighty, ancient ginkgo tree with two monumental tablets memorializing Japan's successful repulsion of a 13th century Mongol invasion.
Near Kushida Shrine is the Hakata Kawabata Shopping Arcade, the oldest shopping street in Fukuoka. Here you'll find many stores selling traditional Japanese crafts and confections. It is well known among meeting planners: in 2012, 2,000 attendees of the Annual Congress of the International Urology Association enjoyed an evening function here.
Since its opening in 1999, the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum has been one of the only museums in the world that specializes in collecting and exhibiting modern art from across Asia. The museum is continuing Fukuoka's historic role as a bridge between Japan and the rest of Asia.
Hakata dolls are painted clay figures that date back as far as the early 17th century; originally, they used the same clay that went into making roofs. They gradually evolved into highly artistic creations. In the early 20th century, they caused a sensation at a number of international expositions in the West, and became a popular Japanese export. This shop offers the opportunity to paint a clay doll yourself and take it home as a souvenir.
Every evening at 6, food stalls called yatai marked with colourful curtains set up shop on the roadsides in the bustling Tenjin, Nakasu and Nagahama areas of Fukuoka. They serve a huge range of street food, from famous local cuisines such as Hakata ramen and bite-sized dumplings to popular treats like oden, yakitori and tempura; and of course, they serve sake and beer. When you're in Fukuoka, going to a yatai is an absolute must!
Meeting Place Fukuoka – Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau: