Japan Meeting & Incentive News Print This Page January 2012

JNTO News

Japan ranked No.2 in the world and No.1 in Asia for the number of international meetings hosted in 2010 (UIA Statistics)

According to research carried out by UIA (Union of International Associations), Japan was ranked No.2 in the world in terms of the number of international meetings it hosted in 2010, with a total of 741 (provisional figure).

This considerably surpassed the previous Japanese record set in 2008 (575, 4th in the world). The U.S.A. was ranked No.1 in 2010 with 936 meetings, followed by Japan (741), Singapore (725), France (686) and Belgium (597). Japan was ranked No.1 in Asia (741, 2nd in the world), followed by Singapore (725, 3rd), South Korea (464, 8th), China (236, 15th) and India (164, 19th). [See Figures 1 & 2]

Fig. 1: Number of International Conferences by Country (UIA Statistics: 2009-2010 New Standard/Provisional Figures)

Fig. 2: Number of International Conference in Japan (UIA Statistics: 2001-2006 Former Standard/Final Figures; 2007-2010 New Standard/Provisional Figures)

The major factors behind the rapid increase in the number of international meetings held in Japan included: I. An increased demand for meetings in Asia along with the growth of Asian academic conferences; II. The occurrence of special procurement for holding APEC- and COP10- related conferences (34 in total); III. An increase in the number of foreigners participating in domestic meetings as a result of various promotional activities carried out under the initiative to name 2010 as ‘Japan MICE Year’.

In 2012, besides the WTTC Global Summit (WTTC; April, Sendai & Tokyo), the 67th Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group (IMF; September, Tokyo), Japan will be hosting various large-scale meetings, including SIBOS 2012 (October, Osaka), the ISSCR 10th Annual Meeting (June, Yokohama), and the 23rd Congress of SIU (September, Fukuoka). We hope you are also considering Japan as the venue for your meeting.

Meet Japan 2012 Inspection Visit Cities Decided!

The cities to which inspection visits will be made during the "Meet Japan 2012" hosted buyers program have been decided. The program will be held for one week from Friday, February 24 to Thursday, March 1, 2012. JNTO will introduce the invited international convention decision makers to a variety of convention cities, promoting them as destination candidates for their international conferences.

The seven cities that have been chosen are: Chiba, Yokohama, Kanazawa, Hamamatsu, Matsue, Matsumoto, and Kobe. The participants will be divided into the following four study tour courses, so that each participant can visit different cities offering a wide selection of attractions: 1. Matsumoto & Chiba; 2. Matsue & Kobe; 3. Kanazawa & Hamamatsu; 4. Kanazawa & Yokohama. During the four-day, three-night study tour the participants will be able to collect detailed information about convention facilities, accommodations, subsidy support programs, and sightseeing options.

After the study tour, on the fifth day, the participants will all gather in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, where they will have the opportunity to hold business discussions with other cities and convention bureaus not included in the inspection courses in order to collect a wide range of information concerning possible future international conferences in Japan.

Sapporo, the core city of Hokkaido, is located about one hour by plane from Tokyo. The air route between Tokyo and New Chitose Airport is one of the busiest in the world, with 50 flights a day. There are also direct flights to and from other major Asian cities, including Seoul and Beijing, making Sapporo a city of very easy access. As the major city of northern Japan that integrates a rich natural environment and advanced urban functions, Sapporo was ranked in first place as "the city I would most like to live in". The city center, with its grid system of streets, has many information boards in various languages to provide overseas visitors with easy access.

Sapporo’s fine convention facilities include the Sapporo Convention Center; its experienced staff offers the finest quality of service. There are 132 accommodation facilities in the city (with a total of 22,629 rooms), ranging from exclusive hotels that match the highest international standards to inexpensive facilities to meet the needs of all kinds of convention participants. With the aim of diffusing environment-friendly Green MICE, the city has also become a pioneer in supporting conference organizers who conduct green conventions.

ClockTower(Sapporo)

When determining the venue for your international conference in Japan, we hope you will visit these Japanese cities with their beautiful cityscapes and check out in person the excellent quality of their convention facilities, the wide variety of their sightseeing attractions, and the warm hospitality they all offer.

<Sapporo Convention Bureau>
http://www.conventionsapporo.jp/

<Matsumoto Tourism and Convention Association>
http://www.matsumoto-tca.or.jp/en/

<Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center>
http://www.ccb.or.jp/e/

<Matsue Convention Bureau>
http://www2.joho-shimane.or.jp/cc/messe/index.html

<Kanazawa Convention Bureau>
http://www.kanazawa-cb.com/index_e.html

<Hamamatsu Visitors and Convention Bureau>
http://hamamatsu-daisuki.net/hamacon/language/index.html#en

<Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau>
http://www.welcome.city.yokohama.jp/ja/

Please visit our AIME booth!

We will be participating in the 21st Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) to be held soon in Melbourne so that we can directly inform meeting planners from various countries about the benefits of visiting Japan and encourage them to choose Japan as a destination for their incentive tours. We hope to see you there!

<AIME (Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo)>
Date: February 21 (Tue.) – 22 (Wed.), 2012
Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (Melbourne, Australia)
Booth No.: TBA
URL: http://www.aime.com.au
<Japan MICE Seminar>
Date & Time: 12:30-15:00 on February 10 (Fri.), 2012
Venue: Function Room at "Ocean Room" restaurant
Website: http://www.oceanroomsydney.com/
Contact: Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Sydney Office
Tel:+61 (02) 9279 2177

Hotel Update

Grand Opening of Palace Hotel Tokyo in Spring, 2012!

The Palace Hotel Tokyo has been undergoing a complete reconstruction since the end of January, 2009. At last the work is nearly completed, and the hotel is scheduled to be reopened on May 17, 2012. It’s in the same excellent location as before, just eight minutes on foot from JR Tokyo Station, the heart of Japan, overlooking the road around the Imperial Palace where many joggers can be seen early every morning.
The newly redesigned Palace Hotel Tokyo features 23 floors above ground and four basement floors; the 290 spacious guest rooms, all over 45 square meters in area, include 12 suites. The hotel’s features include: eight banquet rooms, the largest of which (1,580 sq.m) can accommodate 1,500 guests; both Western- and Japanese-style wedding facilities; 10 restaurants; and the evian SPA TOKYO from the high-class Evian Resort in France, which will be making its first appearance in Japan. And from spring 2013, access will become even smoother as the hotel’s first basement floor will be directly connected by an underground passage to Otemachi Subway Station (10 minutes walk from Tokyo Station).

Tokyo Station is the terminal for Shinkansen bullet trains operating to all parts of Japan, and limousine buses run between the hotel and both Narita and Haneda airports. This convenient access makes it very easy for you to arrange combined stays with local cities all over Japan. Although it was born in Japan, the Palace Hotel is proud of providing service that matches the finest hotels anywhere in the world; in 2010, it joined "The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.", the group which offers reservations and marketing for the world’s top-brand hotels. When visiting Tokyo before and after staying in another part of Japan, why not enjoy the integration of heartwarming "spirit of hospitality" fostered by Japan’s unique traditions and the world’s top level of modern hotel service?

PalaceHotel(Image)

PalaceHotel(LobbyArea)

AOI(PalaceHotelBanquetRoom)

What’s Up in Japan

Japan’s major northern air gateway has been remodeled as a venue offering visitors an enjoyable time right up to the moment they leave Hokkaido.

The New Chitose Airport, the third largest of Japan’s 100 airports—after Haneda and Narita—was reopened on December 15, 2011, after being remodeled over a period of one year.

It has reopened in great style, with a huge selection of Hokkaido gourmet foodstuffs, a wealth of restaurants serving local dishes, and entertainment facilities spread over three floors. The airport has also become a splendid showroom for Hokkaido goods, with the number of shops increased considerably to more than 160.

"Shopping World" on the second floor is crowded with much-loved, well-known Hokkaido brands of confections, fresh marine products, and agricultural and livestock products. At the restaurants in "Gourmet World" on the third floor, you can enjoy many types of unique and tasty Hokkaido dishes that make full use of local ingredients, and also try various kinds of ramen noodles at the famous Hokkaido ramen restaurants in the "Ramen Dojo". On the fourth floor, you can get ease your travel fatigue at Japan’s first airport spa facility or visit the country’s first airport cinema, which offers dynamic state-of-the-art images and rich sound.

Spa(ChitoseAirport)

Theatre(ChitoseAirport)

So, at the end of your visit, the airport can provide you with the pleasures of "Eating, Shopping and Relaxing", Hokkaido-style! This year, the Meet Japan 2012 hosted buyers program will be held in Sapporo, which is the location of the reborn New Chitose Airport. In the next issue, we’ll provide you with a full report on participants who have fully enjoyed Sapporo’s many charms, all the way through from arrival to departure.

Unique Venue Information

The National Theatre: How about holding a reception at a Kabuki venue?

Kabuki (Song+Dance+Acting) is one of Japan’s traditional performing arts. As its name suggests, it’s an integrated form of theatrical entertainment that includes music and dance. In a similar way to Western opera and ballet, the impressive music, dancing and colorful staging can deeply move audiences even if they can’t understand the meaning of the actors’ words.

There are two major differences between opera and Kabuki.

The first one is that Kabuki is only performed by male actors. When it began in the early 17th century, women were banned from appearing on stage in the belief that they corrupted public morals, and as a result men came to perform all the roles. The actors who play female characters make great efforts to appear more beautiful and feminine: for example, they draw their shoulder blades close to make their shoulders look more sloping, and they sandwich paper between their legs so that they will walk pigeon-toed. So effective are these efforts that you may find it difficult to believe all the actors are men!

The second difference lies in the different cultural backgrounds of the two genres. The development of opera was supported by wealthy patrons, but the roots of Kabuki were popular, grass-roots theater.

During a performance, the loud shouts from the auditorium in a uniquely impressive rhythm, when an actor performs a "mie" pose or delivers a famous monologue, create a sense of unity between the actors and the audience.

The Kabuki-za Theater in Tokyo, with a history going back to 1889 (1,859 seats) is currently under renovation and is expected to reopen in spring, 2013. However, Kabuki performances can be seen at The National Theatre, which enjoys a perfect location in the center of the city.

A major feature of The National Theatre is "seating with no blind spots"; this means that even from the third floor balcony seats you can see the whole stage without having to move and disturb those sitting around you. The hanamichi (flower way), an elevated walkway running from the stage to the rear of the auditorium through the audience, is used by the actors for making entrances and exits; sitting on either side of the hanamichi, you can get a great impact, just as if you have blended into the performance!

Why not enjoy the world of Kabuki in the auditorium with a terrific atmosphere and give a big shout to the actors along with the regular audience? The National Theatre has a lecture room with a large screen that can seat 150 people in a school-type-style layout, as well as restaurants that can accommodate up to 400 people on the second floor and 100 on the third floor, making it possible to hold a reception after enjoying a Kabuki performance. Please make use of this unique opportunity during the period of your conference in the city.

The National Theatre Website: http://www.ntj.jac.go.jp/english.html

The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation: How about seeing Earth from space?

Did you know that in Tokyo you can see live pictures of how the Earth looks from space? Step inside the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Odaiba, Tokyo,and you’ll immediately see a huge globe hanging from the ceiling. It displays liquid crystal display images using state-of-the art "organic EL" panels; they are not still pictures, but actual image data of the Earth received direct from the International Space Station.

Of course, it’s possible to switch the image data being displayed on the globe from the Earth to the Moon or the Sun! You can hold a reception in this fantastic space right next to stunning images of the Earth, the Moon and the Sun.

The museum not only includes the Miraikan Hall, with 300 seats and simultaneous interpretation facilities, but also seven conference rooms of various sizes. The seven-story building also has a corner where you can experience interactive robots and a 120-seat planetarium operating on an on-the-day reservation system, which is so popular that it fills on holidays as soon as it opens.
A visit to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation is guaranteed to fascinate and entertain your companions!

In the neighboring area of Odaiba, Tokyo, large-scale accommodations include the Hotel Nikko Tokyo and the Hotel Grand Pacific LE DAIBA. In addition, the Panasonic Center offers a touring experience on the latest multimedia and ecological systems—without question, it’s a fun space that stimulates the intellectual curiosity, and will particularly appeal to those planning meetings related to science or engineering.

http://www.miraikan.jst.go.jp/en/

The amphibious "Sky Duck" bus will make its Tokyo debut in 2012.
Comfortable sightseeing in Tokyo on an amphibious bus

An archipelago surrounded by the ocean, Japan has many rivers running through its cities, and water and daily life are closely connected. Waterfront cruising has become an essential part of Tokyo sightseeing. Normally, of course, you have to change from a bus to a ferry, but this autumn an amphibious bus service will be introduced, making possible transfer-free sightseeing on land and water! The amphibious buses that have been introduced in several major cities in the world, mostly in the U.S.A., have established themselves as indispensable city sightseeing vehicles. They have already been introduced in Osaka, and now at last the "Sky Duck" will start operating full-scale for the first time in Tokyo. The service will be based at "Kawa-no-eki" (River Station), which is due for completion in the autumn of 2012, and the amphibious operations should get into full swing before the end of the year. Please look forward to the chance to see Tokyo’s fabulous cityscape both on land and from the water without having to worry about transfers!

TIC reopening after remodeling
We’ll help you make all your travel plans!

Lost in Tokyo? Please visit the Tourist Information Centre! Our Tourist Information Centers are set up to provide foreign visitors with services that will help them enjoy a more comfortable stay in Japan. TIC Tokyo has just been newly born by moving from the location in front of Yurakucho Station to the nearby Marunouchi district.

The new TIC Tokyo is located in a very convenient location in the Marunouchi central business area, just 5 minutes on foot from both Tokyo Station and Yurakucho Station. At the information center on the first floor, you can pick up all kinds of travel information; and on the second floor, complete with a wifi environment, there’s a spacious reference room with reading materials and an open space which may be used as a multi-purpose event space in the future. TIC is located near Ginza in an attractive shopping area, with a wide selection of relaxing cafes and trendy restaurants. Please drop by while you’re sightseeing in central Tokyo!

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