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Japan Meeting & Incentive News    -July 2015-

JNTO News

VISIT JAPAN MICE Mart 2015
JNTO will be holding VISIT JAPAN Travel Mart 2015 and VISIT JAPAN MICE Mart 2015, the largest inbound travel marketplace events in Japan...
Four Major International Organisations Set to Hold Meetings in Japan
Japan organises a Conference Ambassador Program. Conference Ambassadors were instrumental in bringing three of the following four conferences to Japan...
Kyoto Voted the World's Top City!
For the second year in a row, readers of Travel and Leisure, one of the world’s most influential travel magazines,...

Case Study

Large-scale Incentive Tour from Indonesia Visits Japan
From May 10 to May 17, one of Indonesia's largest travel companies, Panorama Tours, executed a large-scale incentive tour to Japan for an Indonesian insurance company...

Introducing Special Support Programme for Incentive Travel to Japan

Chiba, Yokohama, Kobe, Okinawa and Tokushima Head to Japan Incentive Travel Seminar 2015 Indonesia
On June 10, 2015, the Chiba, Yokohama, Kobe and Okinawa Convention Bureaus, along with the Tokushima Prefectural Government,...

4 Hours in Okayama

Sightseeing in Okayama
Enjoy an extravaganza of art, history and architecture...

JNTO News

VISIT JAPAN MICE Mart 2015

JNTO will be holding VISIT JAPAN Travel Mart 2015 and VISIT JAPAN MICE Mart 2015, the largest inbound travel marketplace events in Japan.

In 2015, these events will be held for the second time in conjunction with JATA Tourism EXPO Japan, a world-class international tourism convention.

VISIT JAPAN MICE Mart is a travel marketplace that aims at attracting MICE business in order to grow international visits to Japan. It provides a venue where overseas meeting planners and travel agencies handling incentive tours can engage with organisations and companies in Japan for information gathering and planning.

VISIT JAPAN Travel Mart 2015 and VISIT JAPAN MICE Mart 2015 Overview

1) Schedule

  • [1] Marketplace: Sep 25-27, 2015 (Fri-Sun)
  • [2] Fam trips (depending on itinerary, from day-trip to 4-day/3-night trip): Sep 28-Oct 1 (Mon-Thu)
  • *14 different itineraries to various locales around Japan (planned)

2) Marketplace venue

  • Tokyo Big Sight (East Hall 6)

3) Invitees

  • [1] Overseas buyers: 350 companies, of which 24 specialize in MICE
  • [2] By region: East Asia 70, SE Asia 150, EU/NA/AUS 130
    Overseas media: 12 companies

4) Exhibitors

  • Japanese tourism-related companies and organisations: 400
    (Hotels, venues, DMCs, convention bureaus, local governments)

5) Host

  • Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO)
    Supported by:
    Japan Tourism Agency (planned)

For additional details, please visit our website:
http://vjtm.jp/index.html

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Four Major International Organisations Set to Hold Meetings in Japan

Japan organises a Conference Ambassador Program. Conference Ambassadors were instrumental in bringing three of the following four conferences to Japan.

Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA)

The IAIA is recognized by the UN as the leading global network on best practices in the use of impact assessment for informed decision-making regarding policies, programmes, plans and projects. It has 3,000 members from more than 120 countries. IAIA holds an annual conference as well as special symposia.

Members believe that impact assessment is a practical tool for helping meet today's needs without compromising the opportunities of future generations.

Host city (venue): Nagoya (Nagoya Congress Centre)
Projected date: May 2016
Projected number of participants: 1,000 (Overseas: 700; Domestic: 300)
Projected number of countries: Approx. 120
Conference Ambassador: Sachihiko Harashina
Dean, Professor, Chiba University of Commerce, Faculty of Policy Informatics
Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Institute of Technology
ICOM's 25th General Conference in 2019

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is an organisation of museum professionals with approximately 30,000 members in 137 countries. Its roughly 30 International Committees, dedicated to various museum specialties, each hold their own annual international meetings and research conferences.

Host city (venue): Kyoto (Kyoto International Conference Center)
Projected date: September 2019
Projected number of participants: 2,500 (Overseas: 2,000; Domestic: 500)
Projected number of countries: 117
Conference Ambassador: Yuji Kurihara
Director of Administration
Tokyo National Museum
World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO)

The ISPO is a non-governmental, multidisciplinary advisory group that provides collaborative and impartial support for people who may benefit from prosthetics, assistive devices, rehabilitation engineering and medical assistance. Members include doctors, prosthetists, orthotists, therapists, engineers and nurses. The ISPO works closely with the WHO and other international organisations to promote services and education on prosthetics and orthotics.

Host city (venue): Kobe
Projected date: October 2019
Projected number of participants: 5,000 (Overseas: 3,000; Domestic: 2,000)
Projected number of countries: 70
Conference Ambassador: Takaaki Chin
Director of Robot Rehabilitation Center
Director of the Hyogo Institute of Assistive Technology
Hyogo Rehabilitation Center
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)

ISPRM’s main mission is to promote the development and spread of rehabilitation medicine and educate practitioners. It has a membership of around 10,000.

Host city (venue): Kobe
Projected date: 2019
Projected number of participants: 7,000 (Overseas: 3,000; Domestic: 4,000)
Projected number of countries: 26

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Kyoto Voted the World's Top City!

For the second year in a row, readers of Travel and Leisure, one of the world’s most influential travel magazines, have named Kyoto the world's best city. Every year, the magazine asks its readers to cast their votes for the World’s Best Awards in cities, hotels and other travel-related categories.

For more details, please refer to:
http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/cities#overall

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Case Study

Large-scale Incentive Tour from Indonesia Visits Japan

From May 10 to May 17, one of Indonesia's largest travel companies, Panorama Tours, executed a large-scale incentive tour to Japan for an Indonesian insurance company. The total number of participants was 1,100. The participants were split into two groups: the first group travelled to Sapporo, Tokyo and Kawaguchi, and the second travelled to Tokyo and Lake Kawaguchi.
For this incentive trip to Japan, Sapporo Convention Bureau gave all participants a snowman-shaped postcard and famous Sapporo sweets, as well as a welcome letter, all of which were placed in their hotel rooms. Overseas incentive tours that spend more than 200 nights in Sapporo are eligible for complimentary "party entertainment support", in this case a shamisen performance at the gala dinner in Noboribetsu.

In addition, the Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau(TCVB) supported the success of this tour by providing airfare, lodgings and ground transportation for three study tours carried out since last summer, as well as traditional cultural entertainment for the gala dinner.
JNTO also provided all participants with a welcome letter expressing gratitude for their visit, and JNTO's president made a welcome speech at the Tokyo gala dinner. Here is a message from Panorama Tours about their time in Japan :

"We were so impressed by the excellent support given by JNTO, TCVB and Sapporo Convention Bureau. We would like to thank you very much for all the great assistance you offered again and again. We not only feel the omotenashi given by all of you, but we also see it, hear it, and remember it. We know it will last in our memory with grateful hearts."

Make Japan your choice for your next incentive tour!

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Introducing Special Support Programme for Incentive Travel to Japan

Chiba, Yokohama, Kobe, Okinawa and Tokushima Head to Japan Incentive Travel Seminar 2015 Indonesia

On June 10, 2015, the Chiba, Yokohama, Kobe and Okinawa Convention Bureaus, along with the Tokushima Prefectural Government, made up the Japan Team at the Japan Incentive Travel Seminar 2015 Indonesia. Also represented at the event were DMCs Nippon Travel Agency Co., Ltd., Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd. Inbound Sales Department, and Kinki Nippon Tourist Co., Ltd.

The booths of each participating organisation offered the most up-to-date information and consultation on support offered for incentive travel.
The incentive travel support programmes of each city are as follows:

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Chiba Convention Bureau

Chiba's Incentive Tours Support Programme targets groups that meet the following three criteria:
a stay of two or more nights within Chiba Prefecture; 40 or more participants; and a gala reception or other celebration held within Chiba Prefecture.

Support overview:

Depending on the number of participants, some or all of the following may be provided.

  • Giveaways
  • Entertainment for gala dinner or celebration event (e.g. "Hochoshiki", a Japanese traditional knife ceremony performed by the Shinto shrine Takabe Jinja, or the traditional "Foolish Mask Dance" of Funabashi)
  • Japanese cultural experiences (tea ceremony, flower arranging, etc.)
  • Welcome service at Narita Airport, etc.
  • Subsidized bus rental

For more details, please contact us at:
uetake@ccb.or.jp
tanaka.h@ccb.or.jp
Chiba Convention Bureau website:
http://japan-chiba-guide.com/en/index.html

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Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau

An ideal destination for Incentive Travel...
Yokohama is a sophisticated port city, home to many spectacular sights and events during the autumn and winter seasons, including the changing leaves, a citywide collection of spectacular lights displays, and celebrations of both the Japanese and Chinese New Year. Yokohama's cosmopolitan culture will provide an unforgettable experience that will enhance your group's camaraderie.

The Yokohama MICE Welcome Plan
targets corporate meetings or incentive travel for groups of at least 100 international visitors staying in Yokohama City.

Support overview:

(Applicants may be eligible to choose multiple offerings according to the number of international visitors)

  • A choice of congress bags, bottled “Hamakko-Doshi” water and giveaway items
  • Party entertainment (e.g. street performers; jazz band; traditional drum performance; playing of koto, a traditional stringed instrument)
  • Dispatch of Yokohama Goodwill Ambassador to welcome guests
  • Arranging of chartered buses

For more details, please contact us at:
convention@ycvb.or.jp
Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau website:
http://www.welcome.city.yokohama.jp/eng/convention/

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Kobe Convention & Visitors Association

The Kobe Convention & Visitors Association targets incentive tour groups of 70 or more staying at least one night.

Support overview:

A group of 70 is eligible for 70,000 yen in value of support, with more for larger groups, up to a maximum of 2 million yen. The type of support may be selected from the list below:

  • Tour bus subsidy (up to 30,000 yen per bus)
  • Dispatch of entertainment to celebration event (samba team dance, Japanese taiko drum performance, Japanese dance)
  • Discounted purchase of Kobe Gaiyuken (1,500 yen value ticket for 300 yen)
    http://www.feel-kobe.jp/_en/profile/traffic_service/
    Kobe Gaiyuken: This one-day pass grants discounted admission to major sightseeing attractions around Kobe and discounted fares on the City Loop Bus
  • Gift of Kobe wine, with customized labels possible
  • Welcome boards at airport, etc.
  • Dispatch of "Smile Kobe" Goodwill Ambassadors (can give welcome speech at receptions or other events)

In addition to the menu of options above, participants are eligible to ride the Bay Shuttle between Kobe International Airport and Kansai International airport free of charge (an 1,850 yen per person value).

For more details, please contact us at:
Kobe.conf-exb@kcva.or.jp
Kobe Convention & Visitors Association website
http://kobe-cc.jp/english/index.html

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Tokushima Prefecture

The Tokushima Prefectural Government's support programme for incentive tours operates on a subsidy system targeting travel agencies.

Support overview:

1. Conditions for receipt of subsidy:
1) International visitors (not holding Japanese citizenship)
2) 100-plus stay-nights within Tokushima for a single event

2. Subsidy recipient
Travel agency

Tokushima Prefecture is a one-hour flight from Tokyo, and a two-hour drive from the Kansai area (Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto) via the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge. We can create tour packages that include visits to one or more of these major Japanese cities along with your stay in Tokushima.

From Narita Airport (Tokyo) to Tokushima by air: 1 hr 10 min (12 flights per day)
From Kansai International Airport (Osaka) to Tokushima by bus: 2 hr 45 min (9 trips per day)

Tokushima Prefecture looks forward to your visit!

For more details, please contact us at:
kokusaisenryakuka@pref.tokushima.lg.jp
Tokushima Prefecture tourism information website:
http://www.topia.ne.jp/english/tourism/

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Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau

Support overview:

Welcome Programme

  • To enhance your corporate events, we dispatch performing arts groups to provide cultural entertainment programmes. Among the options are drum dancing, lion dancing, karate, and folk music.
  • We arrange for a Miss Okinawa Ambassador to make an appearance at each ceremony, where she will give a welcome speech, deliver a flower bouquet, and take part in a photo shoot.
  • We customize welcome banners to promote and greet groups such as corporate tours, convention attendees, delegates, and guests in the arrival lobby of Naha Airport.

Financial Subsidies

We make it easier for you to choose Okinawa by providing a variety of financial subsidies, including:

  • A travel subsidy is available to groups of 10 or more, in the amount of 1,000 yen per person per night. A maximum of 2 nights or 600,000 yen.
  • We also provide a bus transportation subsidy of 30,000 yen per day per bus up to 600,000 yen.

Client Services

To assist in the decision-making process, we invite prospective clients for study tours; airfare, ground transportation, and accommodation are included.
We also offer a wide array of pamphlets and brochures to familiarize prospective clients with information on Okinawa and the many unique venues that are available.

For more details, please contact us at:
mice@ocvb.or.jp
Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau website:
http://mice.okinawastory.jp/en/

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4 Hours in Okayama

Sightseeing in Okayama

Option A: Okayama Culture Zone Stroll
Half-day (1,900 yen)

Enjoy an extravaganza of art, history and architecture

Start at

[JR Okayama Station]

Walk 3 minutes

[Okayama Denkikido (Okayama Electric Tramway) Okayamaekimae Station]

Tozai Line, bound for Higashiyama (5 minutes, 100 yen)

[Okayama Denkikido Shiroshita Station]

Walk 3 minutes

[1. Okayama Orient Museum] 40 minutes

Walk 10 minutes

[2. Okayama Castle (Tenshukaku Tower)] 40 minutes

Walk 10 minutes

[3. Okayama Korakuen Garden] 50 minutes

Walk 5 minutes

[4. Yumeji Art Museum] 30 minutes

Walk 15 minutes

[Okayama Denkikido Shiroshita Station]

Tozai Line, bound for Okayamaekimae (5 minutes, 100 yen)

[Okayama Denkikido Okayamaekimae Station]

Walk 3 minutes

[JR Okayama Station]

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1. Okayama Orient Museum
40 minutes (300 yen)
Open 9:00-17:00 (Closed Mondays)

The Okayama Orient Museum—Japan's only museum dedicated specifically to the culture and history of the Orient, particularly Western Asia—contains more than 5,000 artefacts, a wide range of items and materials dating from 3,500 BC through the 13th century. These treasures are indispensable to our understanding of ancient West Asia. One highlight is an Assyrian relief of a protective spirit, created by the culture of the first empire to unify ancient Mesopotamia.

English website:
http://www.orientmuseum.jp/page08.php

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2. Okayama Castle (Tenshukaku Tower)
40 minutes (300 yen)
(60 minutes and 1,530 yen with Bizen pottery making experience)
Open 9:00-17:00 (Closed Mondays, Dec 29-31)

Okayama Castle was completed in 1597 under the direction of Hideie Ukita, one of the senior vassals of Japan's supreme samurai warlord, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The exterior of the castle donjon (Tenshukaku) appears a glossy black when the sun hits it due to the black lacquer covering its boards. Evoking the appearance of crow feathers, this lacquer coating earned the castle the nickname Ujo (literally "crow castle"). There are panoramic views over the city of Okayama from the donjon, while inside you can dress up in kimono like the aristocrats of old (free with admission). On the first floor, there is a workshop where you can make Bizen ware, pottery for which Okayama is renowned (see Option below).

It is possible to use the donjon of Okayama Castle as a unique venue for a reception. Guests can revel in their roles as samurai lords and ladies. The 3rd Asia-Pacific Conference on Luminescence and ESR Dating (2012 Autumn) is just one organisation that has held a reception here.

English website:
http://www.okayama-kanko.net/ujo/english/index.html#page0

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3. Okayama Korakuen Garden
50 minutes (400 yen)
Open 8:00-17:00 year-round (Mar 20-Sep 30, 7:30-18:00)

Okayama Korakuen Garden is one of Japan's cultural treasures, traditionally reckoned as one of the three finest gardens in the country. It is also the recipient of three stars from the Michelin Green Guide to Japan. Built to the north of Okayama Castle across the Asahigawa River at the end of the 17th century, it is a stroll garden. Connected throughout by paths and watercourses, each turn along the walking path brings into view a new vista of wide lawns, ponds, hillocks and teahouses.

Outside public visiting hours, Okayama Korakuen Garden can be used as a unique venue for hosting meetings or receptions.

English website:
http://www.okayama-korakuen.jp/english/index.html

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4. Yumeji Art Museum
30 minutes (700 yen)
Open 9:00-17:00 (Closed Mondays)

Japanese artist Takehisa Yumeji, born in 1884 in Okayama Prefecture, produced many paintings of Japanese beauties that won him widespread popularity within Japan and beyond. Some called him the Japanese Toulouse-Lautrec, others the Japanese Edvard Munch. The 2,000 items in the museum's collection, most of which are rotated through display, include hanging scrolls, folding screens, prints, oil and watercolour paintings, sketches, books written and designed by Yumeji, covers of musical scores, and letters.

English website:
http://yumeji-art-museum.com/07_index-e.html

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Option: Make your own Bizen ware pottery
(60 minutes, 1,230 yen additional fee)

Inside the donjon of Okayama Castle, you can try your hand at ceramic art, shaping clay into a dish, chopstick rest, small pot or tea bowl. It's easy enough even for complete beginners, and leaves you with a memento of your visit to Okayama. The piece can be fired and shipped to you outside Japan (delivery takes 1-2 months; shipping charges are extra).

Hands-on Bizen ware workshops begin at 10:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:00, and 15:00.

English website:
http://www.okayama-kanko.net/ujo/english/index.html#page3

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Option B: Kurashiki's Bikan Historical Quarter
Half-day (3,240 yen)

Modern and folk art in a picturesque Old Japan setting

Start at

[JR Okayama Station]

JR Sanyo Line, bound for Fukuyama, Mihara or Itozaki (17 minutes/320 yen)

[JR Kurashiki Station]

Walk 10 minutes

[1. Ohara Museum of Art (Main Gallery/Annex/Craft Art and Asian Art Gallery)] 90 minutes

Walk 5 minutes

[2. Kurashiki Museum of Folk-Craft] 40 minutes

Walk 5 minutes

[3. Momotaro no Karakuri Hakubutsukan Museum ] 40 minutes

Walk 15 minutes (while enjoying the town's scenic beauty)

[JR Kurashiki Station]

JR Sanyo Line, bound for Okayama (17 minutes/320 yen)

[JR Okayama Station]

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1. Ohara Museum of Art
90 minutes (1,300 yen)
Open 9:00-17:00 (Closed Mondays, Dec 28-Dec 31)

In the centre of Kurashiki's picturesque historic district stands Japan's oldest private museum of Western art, founded in 1930.

Successful Kurashiki-based businessman Magosaburo Ohara dispatched Torajiro Kojima, a Western-style painter, to study art in Europe, and also to acquire European works for Ohara's collection. Kurashiki became home to masterpieces by El Greco, Gauguin, Monet, Matisse, Renoir and others. Many are now displayed in the Ohara Museum of Art's Main Gallery, the original building from when the museum first opened its doors.

Later, in 1961, the Annex was built to exhibit the work of Japan's leading Western-style painters, such as Takeji Fujishima, Shigeru Aoki, Ryusei Kishida, and Narashige Koide, along with other contemporary art. Also in 1961, the Ceramic Art Gallery was opened, exhibiting Kanjiro Kawai, Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, and Kenkichi Tomimoto among others. This was followed in 1963 by woodblock print and dyework galleries featuring the work of artists Keisuke Serizawa and Shiko Munakata. Today these collectively constitute the Craft Art Gallery.

In 1970 the Asiatic Art Gallery opened to display the ancient East Asian works that Kojima had collected, followed in 1972 by the Kojima Torajiro Memorial Hall, which exhibits the artist's own works. The Museum of Modern Art in New York opened only in 1929—the fact that a provincial city like Kurashiki saw the birth of a world-class museum in the same era is astonishing. It is a gem whose collections and history do Japan proud.

English website:
http://www.ohara.or.jp/200707/eng/menu.html

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2. Kurashiki Museum of Folk-Craft
40 minutes (700 yen)
Open 9:00-17:00 (9:00-16:15 Dec-Feb) (Closed Mondays, Dec 29-Dec 31)

Mingei is the Japanese term for folk-craft items that were created mainly for practical use, rather than for aesthetic appreciation. Local Okayama mingei includes Kurashiki glassware, pottery and rugs, Bitchu washi paper, and hanaikada bamboo baskets.

The Okayama Museum of Folk-Craft, opened in 1947, occupies a renovated 19th-century rice warehouse. The over 10,000 items in the collection include ceramics, stonework, textiles, lacquerware, woven baskets, woodwork, metalwork, and more. This museum is a superb way for foreign visitors to get a sense of Japan's traditional craft culture.

English website:
http://kurashiki-mingeikan.com/english.html

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3. Momotaro no Karakuri Hakubutsukan Museum
40 minutes (600 yen)
Open 10:00-17:00 year-round

This museum exhibits a variety of materials about the famous Japanese legend of Momotaro the peach-boy, a character said to be based on an actual historical figure of the Okayama region. Woodblock prints, astonishing clockwork toys and other materials shed light on Momotaro and the legend's importance in Japanese culture today.

Other attractions include a movie theatre that gives you the sensation of floating through the air, a fun display of optical illusions, and a tunnel where you'll encounter the demons defeated by the mighty Momotaro.

English website:
http://www.kurashiki-tabi.jp/for/en/bikan.html#momotaro_museum

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