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Japan Meeting & Incentive News    -September 2014-

JNTO News

JCB and JNTO Singapore Office hold Japan Incentive Travel Seminar 2014 in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur
The Japan Convention Bureau and JNTO Singapore Office held incentive seminars and sales talks on August 7 (in Singapore), and August 8 (in Kuala Lumpur)...
JNTO exhibition at IMEX America and EIBTM
JNTO will be exhibiting at IMEX America in Las Vegas (October 14-16) and EIBTM in Barcelona (November 18-20). Please stop by and get the latest information on Japan...

What's up in Japan

Jazzercise Live Hiroshima 2014, A First Time Event
From November 22 to 24, Jazzercise Japan is hosting Jazzercise Live Hiroshima 2014,...
Tax Free Shopping to Be Extended
Visitors to Japan will soon be able to enjoy tax-free shopping on more products than ever...

Introducing Facilities of JNTO Associates

ANA InterContinental Tokyo
Location is everything in a busy city and ANA InterContinental Tokyo is ideally located in Akasaka,...

Case Study

First Time in Japan! The 99th Kiwanis International Convention held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture
1.1 billion yen in economic impact The 99th Kiwanis International Convention was held...

4 Hours in Hamamatsu

Sightseeing in Hamamatsu
Option A: Act City Hamamatsu Walking Tour Start at JR Hamamatsu Station...

JNTO NEWS

JCB and JNTO Singapore Office hold Japan Incentive Travel Seminar 2014 in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur

The Japan Convention Bureau and JNTO Singapore Office held incentive seminars and sales talks on August 7 (in Singapore), and August 8 (in Kuala Lumpur). On the Japanese side, the convention bureaus of Sapporo, Kobe and Okinawa took part, providing information about the programmes and support available in their respective cities as incentive tour destinations.

This was the first incentive seminar to be held by JNTO in Malaysia. Thanks to the elimination of visa requirements for visiting Japan from Malaysia, there has been a surge in demand for incentive tours in Japan and sales talks at the seminar went well.

With regards to incentive tours from Singapore, in recent years, decisions regarding destinations for large-scale tours have tended to be made a year or so in advance; for other tours, it's usually three to four months beforehand. An insurance company had an incentive tour involving thousands of participants from several ASEAN countries, and a financial services company did a tour for several hundred, but the typical tour has been in the 25 to 50 range. Regardless of scale, the typical duration is four days, shorter than average for incentive tours, making destinations served by direct flights from Singapore the most popular.

Please consider Japan for your next incentive tour destination!

Sapporo Convention Bureau: http://www.conventionsapporo.jp/
Kobe Convention & Visitors Association: http://www.feel-kobe.jp/_en/
Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau: http://www.ocvb.or.jp/en/

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JNTO exhibition at IMEX America and EIBTM

JNTO will be exhibiting at IMEX America in Las Vegas (October 14-16) and EIBTM in Barcelona (November 18-20). Please stop by and get the latest information on Japan!

1) IMEX America 2014
Venue: Sands Expo @ Las Vegas
Session: October 14–16, 2014
URL: http://www.imexamerica.com/
Co-presenters (19):
Organization Category
Meeting Place Fukuoka (Business Events Department-Fukuoka CVB) CB
Kobe Convention & Visitors Association CB
Osaka Government Tourism Bureau CB
Matsue Convention Bureau KUNIBIKI MESSE CB
Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau CB
Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center CB
Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau CB
Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau CB
Tonichi Travel Service Co., Ltd. DMC
Kintetsu International DMC
JTB GLOBAL MARKETING & TRAVEL DMC
DMC JAPAN Network DMC
Nippon DMC Co., Ltd. DMC
Osaka International Convention Center Corporation Facility
InterContinental Tokyo Bay Hotel
Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa/Shinagawa Prince Hotel Hotel
The Okura Group Hotel
Hilton Worldwide Japan Hotel
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo Hotel

2) EIBTM 2014 (The European Incentive & Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition)
Venue: Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain
Session: November 18-20, 2014
URL: http://www.eibtm.com/
Co-presenters (18):
Organization Category
Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center CB
Meeting Place Fukuoka (Business Events Department-Fukuoka CVB) CB
Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau CB
Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau CB
DMC JAPAN Network DMC
HANKYU TRAVEL INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD. DMC
JTB GLOBAL MARKETING & TRAVEL DMC
Kintetsu International DMC
Nippon DMC Co., Ltd. DMC
THE J TEAM Co., Ltd. DMC
Tonichi Travel Service Co., Ltd DMC
Osaka International Convention Center Corporation Facility
PACIFICO Yokohama Facility
ANA InterContinental Tokyo Hotel
Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa/Shinagawa Prince Hotel Hotel
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo Hotel
InterContinental Tokyo Bay Hotel
The Okura Group Hotel

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What's up in Japan

Jazzercise Live Hiroshima 2014, A First Time Event

From November 22 to 24, Jazzercise Japan is hosting Jazzercise Live Hiroshima 2014, an international fitness celebration. Up to 10,000 Jazzercise enthusiasts from 10 countries are expected to gather in Hiroshima (the "International City of Peace and Culture") for this event, commemorating Jazzercise Japan’s 30th anniversary and Jazzercise Inc.’s 45th anniversary. Attendees will experience the joy of dancing and exercising to music with fellow enthusiasts.

The venue is the site of the former Hiroshima Municipal Stadium, right in the heart of the city and just across from the Atomic Bomb Dome, a must-see landmark.

This is the first time that a Jazzercise Live event will be held in Japan. Portions of the event showing off the moves of the thousands of Jazzercise enthusiasts are scheduled to be live-streamed worldwide.

Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is a US-based dance fitness franchise business with 7,800+ franchisees teaching 32,000+ classes per week in 32 countries.

Prior to this November event, Jazzercise Japan is hosting "Kids Get Fit" sessions in more than 100 primary schools in Hiroshima, providing an opportunity for schoolchildren to enjoy dance exercise and to learn about the importance of good health.

Additionally, through the cooperation of the Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau (HCVB) and the municipal government, Jazzercise Live Hiroshima attendees will be invited to participate in an exchange program unique to the city. The program includes a tour of the Peace Museum, led by local children from local primary schools. It also includes the chance to try traditional Japanese crafts and games such as origami and ken-dama (a cup-and-ball game).

In addition to standard services like assistance in venue finding and early venue booking, HCVB offers various other forms of support to international conferences, including, but not limited to, dispatch of Hiroshima Goodwill Ambassadors, exhibitions of kagura or other traditional performance arts, dispatch of English-speaking volunteers, and free entry to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

For example, when IPEC Hiroshima 2014-ECCC Asia was held in May, HCVB helped the organizer host a unique reception called International Night in MIYAJIMA. The venue was Miyajima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea that is home to the Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Away from the city’s hustle and bustle, approximately 420 attendees, most from outside Japan, spent the evening enjoying a leisurely stroll of the island that included dining and shopping using coupons valid at any cooperating business.

Unique Hiroshima activities offered as hospitality programs include official visits to the Itsukushima Shrine, opportunities to wear yukata while enjoying a stroll and dinner, and the sampling of traditional tea served with momiji manju, maple leaf-shaped cakes that are a local specialty. Attendees expressed delight with these activities, not to mention the views of the Seto Inland Sea at sunset and the illuminated Great Torii Gate at Itsukushima Shrine.

HCVB can offer a range of ideas about additional unique venues in Hiroshima. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any information about international conferences or incentive trips.

Jazzercise Live Hiroshima 2014:
http://www.jazzercise.com/hiroshimalive/
Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau:
http://www.hcvb.city.hiroshima.jp/e_navigator/hcvb/index.html

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Tax Free Shopping to Be Extended

Visitors to Japan will soon be able to enjoy tax-free shopping on more products than ever. With the aim of attracting more international visitors, the Japanese government is planning to increase the number of eligible tax-free goods starting in October 2014. In addition to electronics, handbags and clothing, other popular items including food, alcohol, cosmetics and medicine from authorized retailers will become eligible for tax exemption for international visitors.

The Japanese government has also created a logo for retailers selling tax-exempt goods to display, in order to alert visitors to the service.

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Introducing Facilities of JNTO Associates

ANA InterContinental Tokyo

Location is everything in a busy city and ANA InterContinental Tokyo is ideally located in Akasaka, a prime location adjacent to many government agencies and financial institutions. Just minutes from the vibrant entertainment districts of Roppongi, Ginza and Shibuya, Akasaka is also within easy reach of must-see sites such as the Imperial Palace and the temple Senso-ji. Convenient transport to Narita and Haneda is available via coach, taxi or private car. For those desiring a faster means of transport, our executive helicopter service is also available.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo, a 37-storey hotel, provides a total of 844 guest rooms and suites, all of which harmoniously blend contemporary design and modern facilities with subtle Japanese touches, offering a comfortable, luxurious retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Club InterContinental guests enjoy exclusive privileges such as personalized arrival and departure, daily gourmet breakfast, afternoon tea service and evening cocktail refreshments. ANA InterContinental Tokyo boasts stunning views of Mt Fuji and the city skyline. Other services for guests include a fully equipped fitness centre, spa treatments, business centre, outdoor swimming pool, medical centre and shopping gallery.

With 11 restaurants and bars, ANA InterContinental Tokyo offers a diverse range of dining choices throughout the day and into the evening. The hotel is home to the only restaurant in Japan run by Chef Pierre Gagnaire (a Michelin three-star recipient). Discover his award-winning contemporary French cuisine in elegant surrounds with the stunning metropolis, including Tokyo Tower, as a backdrop. The stylish MIXX Bar & Lounge transitions from a gourmet lunch venue to a sophisticated evening lounge, a perfect spot to watch the sun set over Mt Fuji and the city come alive with its dazzling lights after dark. Other dining experiences include a steakhouse, a Champagne bar, traditional Japanese and authentic Chinese restaurants, a highly popular teppanyaki grill and a restaurant that remains open all day.

Whether you're planning a conference or social event, our aim is to ensure it is a complete success, from your initial enquiry to the very end. ANA InterContinental Tokyo offers 22 contemporary meeting suites, including the Prominence Ballroom (1565m2), four executive board rooms located on a private floor, and three event suites on the top floor of the hotel that offer sweeping views across the city. We pride ourselves on our impeccable service and world-class cuisine.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo:
http://www.anaintercontinental-tokyo.jp/e/

Ballroom:
http://www.anaintercontinental-tokyo.jp/e/banquet/daichu.html

Reservations/enquiries about meetings or events at ANA InterContinental Tokyo:
Ms Geraldine Lopez
Director of Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibition Sales
TEL: 03-3505-1112
E-mail: Banquet.meeting@anaintercontinental-tokyo.jp

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Case Study

First Time in Japan! The 99th Kiwanis International Convention held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture

1.1 billion yen in economic impact

The 99th Kiwanis International Convention was held from July 17 to 20 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, with 2,832 participants from 29 countries attending

From the bidding process to opening day

The Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center (CCB-IC), Chiba Prefecture, Chiba City, and JNTO all worked together to make a bid for the 2014 Kiwanis International Convention. It started when the CCB-IC staff met with the director of the Kiwanis International Convention at the trade show IMEX America in October 2012. In January 2013, Kiwanis International performed a site inspection and recognized the high quality of Chiba City’s hotels and the city's convenient access to Narita International Airport. Also noted was the fact that the conference would fall on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Tokyo Kiwanis Club, the first Kiwanis Club in the Asia Pacific region.

Makuhari Messe, the perfect MICE facility

Makuhari Messe's International Exhibition Hall, International Conference Hall, and Makuhari Event Hall form an integrated complex on a 210,000 square metre site, constituting one of the foremost convention facilities in Japan. One advantage of Makuhari Messe is the number of hotels within walking distance of each facility, eliminating the need for shuttle buses. With all this, plus an ideal location midway between central Tokyo and Narita International Airport, Makuhari Messe stakes a strong claim to being the perfect MICE facility. Features frequently praised by organizers include the remarkable convenience of getting to Makuhari, and the safe and clean environment that is a hallmark of Japan.

Prince Akishino in attendance at opening ceremony

At the opening ceremony, Prince Akishino endorsed the Kiwanis slogan: “Serving the children of the world”. The governor of Chiba Prefecture and mayor of Chiba City also gave welcome speeches, and the president of Kiwanis International gave his thanks for the event's polite hospitality. A video message from Caroline Kennedy, the United States Ambassador to Japan, was also played. This VIP turnout showed the high profile of the meeting.

Regional Hospitality

The CCB-IC carried the meeting through successfully by working with Chiba's prefectural and city governments, high schools, universities, and businesses. Prominent examples were digital welcome signs at Narita International Airport, welcome banners along the streets in Makuhari, and welcome stickers on the fronts of many businesses in the area. Students from a local high school gave choir, orchestra, and dance performances and received a standing ovation. At the venue, during breaks in the program, demonstrations were held to give participants a taste of Japanese history and culture, including calligraphy, tea ceremony, flower arranging, a martial arts fair (featuring judo and kendo), and a kimono show. Participants, high school students, university students, and language volunteers dispatched by the CCB-IC enjoyed lively interactions.

During the conference, a "Japan Night" was held at which participants were delighted by the folk entertainment performances arranged by the CCB-IC, including the Funabashi Bakamen Dance and drumming by Sakura Taiko.

In order to promote local tourism facilities, the CCB-IC arranged for free shuttle buses running between Makuhari Messe and art and history museums in Chiba City. The Aeon Shopping Mall and Mitsui Outlet Park, which are both within walking distance of Makuhari Messe, issued special discount coupons for the participants, and Tokyo Disney Resort also issued "Convention Passports" (discount coupons for admission to the parks).

Chiba City Museum of Art debuts as a unique event venue

In cooperation with the Chiba City Museum of Art, a special exhibition was held to welcome Kiwanis. For the first time, the museum's Sayado Hall was used as a unique venue for a VIP reception. Sayado Hall was constructed in 1927 in the "neo-renaissance" style. Guests enjoyed a traditional lion dance and a candy-making demonstration in this dignified room.

The Chiba City Museum of Art is an award-winning building, selected by the Ministry of Construction in 1988 as one of Japan's “Public Architecture Top 100” for excellence in public construction that makes a significant contribution to the community.

Chiba Prefecture, Chiba City, Makuhari Messe, and local businesses and schools worked together with Kiwanis International, and leveraged their strong network to ensure the convention’s great success.

Kiwanis International
Kiwanis International is the third largest volunteer social service organization in the world, with over 210,000 members in 7,500 clubs spread across 80 countries around the world. In Japan, there are 1,750 members in 29 clubs. Their social service work focuses on children, and their slogan is "serving the children of the world".
http://www.kiwanis.org/

Makuhari Messe (International Convention Complex)
http://www.m-messe.co.jp/en/

Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center (CCB-IC):
http://www.ccb.or.jp/e/

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4 Hours in Hamamatsu

Sightseeing in Hamamatsu

Option A: Act City Hamamatsu Walking Tour
Start at

JR Hamamatsu Station

Walk 2 minutes

[Act City Forest]

Walk 5 minutes

Break time

Walk 5 minutes

[Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments]

Walk 5 minutes

[Act Tower Observation Gallery]

Act City Forest : 50 minutes (Free)

Since the Act City complex opened in 1994, its rooftop garden has grown into a lush oasis of greenery perched above the city. This welcoming space is open for strolling or relaxing.

Walking:
A stroll through the garden takes approx. 20 minutes (1.75km to the end and back).
Highlights of the walking trail include a statue of Chopin (a gift from the city of Warsaw) and a platform with an exciting view of the Shinkansen bullet train tracks.

Morning Calisthenics:
You can join local residents in calisthenics every morning at 6:30 in Music Square, which has a stage and lawn.

Open 6:00 - 19:00
English websites:
http://www.actcity.jp/english/  (Hamamatsu Act City)
http://www.act-tower.co.jp/english/ (Hamamatsu Act Tower)

Have a Meal

Starting at 7:00, the Figaro Restaurant on the second floor of the Okura Act City Hotel offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast. The fresh breads, baked right in the hotel, are very popular. Healthy Japanese-style breakfast foods are also on the menu.

Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments : 50 minutes (400 yen)

The Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments was established in April 1995 by the city government as a part of an initiative to make Hamamatsu (home to two major instrument manufacturers in Yamaha and Kawai) a world-class city of music and culture. One of the world’s biggest museums of musical instruments, and the only such museum in Japan, its collection includes 3,300 items from around the world, 1,300 of which are on display. Highlights include traditional Japanese instruments and ornate 19th century pianos, all of which illustrate the museum's philosophy: "By its shape and the materials from which it has been produced, and from the way it creates sound and colour of tone, a musical instrument and the music it brings forth speak eloquently for the sensibilities and aesthetic sense of the region and the people it represents."

Open 9:30 - 17:00
English website:
http://www.gakkihaku.jp/en/

Act Tower Observation Gallery : 20 minutes (500 yen)

185 metres up on the 45th floor of Act City Hamamatsu, this observation gallery offers sweeping views of the city all the way to the Pacific Ocean in the south and the Southern Japanese Alps to the north. On a clear day, Mt Fuji is also visible.

Open 10:00 - 18:00

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Option B: Hamamatsu Industry and History
Start at

JR Hamamatsu Station

JR Tokaido Line (5 minutes/190 yen)

JR Takatsuka Station

Walk 10 minutes

[Suzuki Plaza]

JR Tokaido Line (10 minutes/240 yen)

JR Araimachi Station

Walk 10 minutes

[Araisekisyo & Kinokuniya Museum]

Walk 10 minutes

JR Araimachi Station

JR Tokaido Line (3 minutes/190 yen)

JR Bentenjima Station

Walk 3 minutes

[Bentenjima Hot Springs]

Suzuki Plaza : 60 minutes (Free, reservations required)

This museum is dedicated to the history of the Suzuki corporation and its automotive achievements through the decades. On Level 3 you can learn about the history of the company, originally founded in 1909 to manufacture automatic looms. Through the exhibits, you'll follow the evolution of Suzuki, from looms to two-wheeled vehicles to four-wheeled vehicles.

Level 2 is dedicated to showcasing the process of car manufacturing from development and design through production. There is a 3D theatre where you can watch car making unfold, and a full-scale model of a factory production line. Level 1 exhibits Suzuki's current range of two-door, four-door and watercraft vehicles.

Open 9:00 - 16:30
English website:
http://www.inhamamatsu.com/art/suzuki-plaza.php
English pamphlet:
https://www.suzuki-rekishikan.jp/pdf/floorguide_e.pdf

Arai Sekisho & Kinokuniya Museum : 60 minutes (410 yen)

The Arai Sekisho is one of 53 road checkpoints established by the Tokugawa shoguns (who ruled Japan starting in 1600) for the purpose of controlling the movement of people and goods into and out of the shogun's capital at Edo (now Tokyo). It is the only one of the checkpoints that still stands today. It can be found west of Hamamatsu on the old Tokaido road, which connected Edo with Osaka and Kyoto. Free guided tours of the Arai Sekisho are available.

The Kinokuniya Museum is in a building which housed an inn that operated for 250 years until its closure in 1961. Now it has exhibits showing what it was like to be a traveller, and what it was like to stay at a traditional inn, during past centuries in Japan.

Open 9:00 - 17:00
English websites:
http://www.inhamamatsu.com/culture/arai-sekisho.php (Arai Sekisho/Sekisho History Museum)
http://www.inhamamatsu.com/culture/kinokuniya-museum.php (Kinokuniya Museum)

Bentenjima Hot Springs : 60 minutes (1,000 yen)

A large earthquake in 1498 opened a connection between Hamana Lake and the sea, causing a mixing of fresh and salt water that turned the lake brackish. It now hosts about 800 species of life, and is a thriving centre of aquaculture for eel, seaweed laver, oysters, and soup turtles.

The Symbol Tower is a gate-like structure that stands in the lake; it is lit up at night.

Bentenjima has been a popular destination for centuries because of its natural hot springs, and has all the atmosphere of a classic resort area. The spring waters are clear and odourless. Enjoy a soak in a steaming-hot communal bath, indoor or outdoor, while gazing out over Hamana Lake; you can also rent a private mineral-water bath.

English website:
http://www.gamagorich.com/kts_en/to/top.html (The Ocean-Hamanako Benten Resort)

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Option
Grilled eel (unagi)

Hamana Lake was where aquaculture of eels began in Japan. The eels are carefully raised in pens dug along the lakeshore from fry caught in Hamana Lake or elsewhere. Eels have been a delicacy in Japanese cuisine for more than 1,000 years, and are a rich source of vitamin A. Hamamatsu offers many restaurants serving high-quality unagi (eel) at affordable prices.

Hamana Lake cycling (1,500 yen)

There is a cycling trail around Hamana Lake, and bicycle rentals are available at seven locations around the lakeshore. When you finish, you can drop off your rental at any of these locations. Rental requires photo identification (your passport is fine), a 1,000 yen insurance fee and a 500 yen rental fee. Hamana Lake's scenic views, dining, and leisure attractions are waiting for you!

For further information about Hamamatsu, please visit:
http://hamamatsu-daisuki.net/lan/en/
http://hamamatsu-daisuki.net/download/ (Multilingual pamphlet)

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