Newsletters Print This Page

Japan Meeting & Incentive News    -November 2013-

JNTO News

Application deadline approaching for Meet Japan 2014!
As part of its initiatives to promote Japan as an international conference destination...
JNTO Will Open Jakarta Office to Serve the Rapidly Growing Number of Visitors to Japan from Southeast Asia
JNTO will soon open an office in Jakarta, Indonesia...
Major international meetings flocking to Japan
Boosted by the announcement that the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics will be held in Tokyo...
JNTO celebrates 40 years in the ICCA!
At a plenary session of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) held from November 2-6 in Shanghai...

What's up in Japan

Easy Access from Jakarta to Kansai International Airport
Garuda Indonesia began offering flights between Osaka and Jakarta on November 8, 2013...
New Conference Centre in Greater Tokyo Opening in July 2014 – Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Smart City Project
July 2014 will see the opening of a new meeting facility complex in the greater Tokyo...
Tokyo Marriot Hotel to Open in Tokyo's Shinagawa in December 2013
The Tokyo Marriott Hotel will open on December 3, 2013, becoming Japan's third Marriott hotel...
Special sightseeing opportunities for international meetings and incentive tours in Kyoto
Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital, has developed a special sightseeing programme for participants in international meetings...

Case Study

The 12th Asia Pacific Pharmaceutical Symposium
From August 22-28, 2013, the 12th Asia Pacific Pharmaceutical Symposium was held in Chiba at the campus of Toho University...

4 Hours in Miyazaki

Sightseeing in Miyazaki: The best of Miyazaki's bright skies and sparkling seas: Aoshima and Nichinan Kaigan Area
Start at [Udo Shrine] Tour the shrine and try to toss a good-luck ball at a target in the sacred rocks: 30 minutes (Shrine: free; 5 balls: 100 yen) ...

JNTO NEWS

Application deadline approaching for Meet Japan 2014!

As part of its initiatives to promote Japan as an international conference destination, JNTO is inviting leading international association executives and core-PCOs to attend the "Hosted Buyers Program – Meet Japan 2014", which will be held for eight days beginning on February 28, 2014.

The program offers international meeting planners who are intending to hold an international conference in Japan the opportunity to visit convention cities that meet their specifications. This is an innovative format, which makes it possible to hold in-person meetings with convention bureaus across Japan, in order to collect information about convention facilities, accommodations, support programs, sightseeing options, etc.

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. Kobe & Yokohama, 2. Matsue & Takamatsu, 3. Matsumoto & Chiba, 4. Okinawa & Kanazawa. During the four-day, three-night study tour the participants will visit fully equipped convention facilities and accommodations and experience each city's unique cultural attractions and sightseeing opportunities.

After the study tour, on the fifth day, the participants will all gather in Tokyo where they will have the opportunity to hold business discussions with other cities and local convention bureaus not included in the study tour courses. There, the participants will be able to collect a wide range of information concerning possible international conferences in Japan.

When determining the venue for your international conference in Japan, we hope you visit these beautiful Japanese cities 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 have to offer.

For further information about the cities included in the study tour course, visit: http://www.japanmeetings.org/about-us/meet-japan.php

Back to top

JNTO Will Open Jakarta Office to Serve the Rapidly Growing Number of Visitors to Japan from Southeast Asia

JNTO will soon open an office in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is JNTO's 14th overseas office. The number of visitors to Japan from Southeast Asia is soaring, with visitors from Indonesia showing an approximately 35% increase since January 2013 year on year. In March, a major incentive tour for 3,000 people was held in Tokyo, and numbers are expected to grow further. The opening of a Jakarta office should create more opportunities to attract incentive tours from Indonesia.

Back to top

Major international meetings flocking to Japan

World Congress of Neurology in Vienna

World Congress of Neurology in Vienna

Boosted by the announcement that the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics will be held in Tokyo, a number of major international conferences with 4,000 or more attendees have elected to come to Japan. The World Congress of Neurology (WCN) plans to bring around 7,000 to ICC Kyoto in September 2017, 6,000 will be at Tokyo International Exhibition Centre in September 2018 for the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition, the 4,500 attendees of the 22nd International Congress of Nutrition (ICN) will be meeting at the Tokyo International Forum, and the 8th World Bonsai Convention (WBC) will bring 1,000 people to Omiya Sonic City/Palace Hotel Omiya in April 2017. This shows the growing appeal of Japan as a MICE meeting destination and trust in the organizing and managing ability of Japanese host organizations, as well as recognition of the close collaboration among hosting organizations, academic societies, industry associations, municipal governments and other stakeholders in presenting an attractive package. JNTO is working with the Japan Tourism Agency to continue promoting Japan as a major international meeting destination.

Back to top

JNTO celebrates 40 years in the ICCA!

At a plenary session of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) held from November 2-6 in Shanghai, JNTO was recognised for its 40 years of membership. Mr. Katsuaki Suzuki, the director of the Japan Convention Bureau (JCB), had the following to say: "The ICCA is now 50 years old; two ICCA members were recognised at the recent 52nd ICCA Congress in Shanghai for their 40 years of commitment and excellence: the Amsterdam RAI from the Netherlands, and the Japan National Tourism Organisation, which is the only member from the Asia-Pacific region that has been part of the ICCA for 40 years. And in 2012, Japan held the highest number of international meetings and conferences in Asia. Moving forward under the auspices of the ICCA, we hope to expand Japan's network of connections with other nations, and deepen our ties with ICCA sponsors and members."

Back to top

What's up in Japan

Easy Access from Jakarta to Kansai International Airport

Garuda Indonesia began offering flights between Osaka and Jakarta on November 8, 2013. Garuda already serves Tokyo with daily flights to Narita Airport. The new route from Jakarta serves Kansai International Airport in Osaka with four flights a week. Garuda also flies to Narita, Haneda, and Kansai International airports from Bali.

Back to top

New Conference Centre in Greater Tokyo Opening in July 2014 – Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Smart City Project

(c)MITSUI FUDOSAN CO.,LTD.

(c)MITSUI FUDOSAN CO.,LTD.

(c)MITSUI FUDOSAN CO.,LTD.

July 2014 will see the opening of a new meeting facility complex in the greater Tokyo: the Kashiwa-no-ha Conference Center (KCC) and Mitsui Garden Hotel Kashiwa-no-ha (MGHK). The complex is located in less than 30 minutes from central Tokyo along the Tsukuba Express Line (TEX).

KCC's main hall offers a 6.5 metre ceiling height and can accommodate 400 people. It also has two multifunction rooms with 180- and 90-person capacities. Each of these can be partitioned into two separate rooms using movable walls. All conference rooms (six in total) feature totally free Wi-Fi and high-spec facilities, including the latest projectors, etc.

MGHK is co-located with KCC and has 166 guest rooms, an Italian restaurant and a large public hot springs bath. Single, double and twin rooms are available.

The meeting complex is located in “Kashiwa-no-ha Campus City”: a next-generation, green “Smart City” housing international academic research facilities that is being developed by public, private and academic entities including The University of Tokyo, Chiba University and the National Cancer Center Hospital East.

The Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City Bureau provides one-stop service for conference organizers and visitors. It can organize optional tours and technical study programmes through close collaboration with universities, research facilities and government institutions. In addition, KCC can also arrange unique venues (e.g., a reception at a soy-sauce cellar or the Ushiku winery, a tea ceremony at Kashiwa-no-ha park, etc.) and coordinate “Feel Japan” cultural programmes unique to Chiba (e.g. training in the traditional “kobudo” martial arts, making futomaki-sushi, etc.), excursions (Fuse Benten temple, soy-sauce factory tour, and etc.) and catering.

Why not make KCC the site for your next conference in TOKYO?

For further information about Kashiwa-no-ha Conference Center, please visit:
http://www.mitsuifudosan.co.jp/kashiwanoha/e/future/index.html

Back to top

Tokyo Marriot Hotel to Open in Tokyo's Shinagawa in December 2013

(c)Tokyo Marriott Hotel

(c)Tokyo Marriott Hotel

The Tokyo Marriott Hotel will open on December 3, 2013, becoming Japan's third Marriott hotel. The hotel is a five-minute bus ride from Shinagawa Station, one of Tokyo's main railway hubs, served by many lines including the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train and the Keikyu line, which offers 12-minutes service to the international terminal of Haneda Airport.

A free shuttle bus will run between Shinagawa station and the hotel, putting Ginza, Roppongi and other major Tokyo districts just a quick trip away, and making the Marriot an ideal location for business and leisure travelers. Its 249 rooms boast an average size of 38 square metres, up to international standards. The hotel offers comprehensive conference facilities with 13 meeting spaces including a 900-square-metre banquet room. Hotel guests can enjoy a selection of global cuisines at the bars and restaurants, and Executive Floor guests can use the Executive Lounge. The hotel also has full leisure facilities including a well-equipped fitness centre, pool and a gym.

The hotel is situated in the Gotenyama neighbourhood of Shinagawa, historically home to many mansions. The hotel has been designed to evoke this legacy of luxury with its modern, elegant design. The curvaceous main entrance opens onto a 20-metre high, 600-plus square metre atrium flooded with natural light. Guest rooms feature a soothing colour scheme with touches of elegant purple. With stylish, inviting spaces and superb hospitality, the Marriot is targeting foreign luxury travelers.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/tyomc-tokyo-marriott-hotel

Back to top

Special sightseeing opportunities for international meetings and incentive tours in Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital, has developed a special sightseeing programme for participants in international meetings and incentive tours that open up historic sites like temples to offer an experience of the elegant traditional culture steeped in Kyoto for over a thousand years. One plan takes the group to the famous Zen temple Kodaiji, gorgeously illuminated, to watch Noh theatre (Japan's oldest performing art) and a fashion show of models wearing the twelve-layered ceremonial kimonos worn by the aristocracy during the 9th century.

By special arrangement, the premises of Kyoto's temples and shrines can be rented out to host evening international meeting receptions or incentive parties in the lit-up Japanese gardens, complete with performances of ancient Japanese court music or taiko drumming. Or during the day, enjoy a stroll of the gardens led by the gardeners who tend them. At the temple, you can listen to a talk given by the chief priest, try zazen meditation or the tea ceremony. These extraordinary only-in-Japan experiences can be combined into various plans to make your international meeting or incentive tour an escape from the everyday to immerse in the tranquility of timeless Kyoto.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.kyotoshunju.com/index.html

(c)icom-kyotosyunjyu.com

(c)icom-kyotosyunjyu.com

(c)icom-kyotosyunjyu.com

(c)icom-kyotosyunjyu.com

Back to top

Case Study

The 12th Asia Pacific Pharmaceutical Symposium

Soranbushi Performance

Koto Performance

Festival

From August 22-28, 2013, the 12th Asia Pacific Pharmaceutical Symposium was held in Chiba at the campus of Toho University. The theme was "Self-medication: be your healthcare partner". The conference was intended to give pharmaceutical students from around the Asia-Pacific region an opportunity to share information, and also to raise the profile of Japan's pharmaceutical industry within Asia. It drew a total of 400 attendees.

The conference was planned and organised entirely by the students of APS-Japan. The meeting offered a diverse programme of opportunities for participants to experience Japanese culture. At the welcome party, students performed traditional koto music and soranbushi, a festive folk dance. Japanese Night was a recreation of a Japanese festival, while an International Night presented dances and songs from many nations. Thanks to the cooperation of the local police, there was also a self-medication awareness parade through the streets of Chiba.

There were field trips to major Japanese tourist attractions such as Asakusa and Meiji Shrine, as well as others to pharmaceutical-related facilities. Participants divided into three groups, each of which visited one of three locations: the Daiichi Sankyo Medicine Museum in Tokyo, the FANCL Biken Corporation Factory in Chiba (which makes cosmetics), or the Life Safety Learning Center in Tokyo.

The Life Safety Learning Center offers extremely detailed and realistic simulations of earthquakes and rainstorms, which teach the frightening power of these phenomena. It covers how to survive and recover from various natural disasters, in a typically thorough Japanese fashion. Many foreign participants remarked that there was no comparable facility in their own countries.

The event as a whole, with its 370 participants, was staffed by 110 Japanese university students. Thanks to exhaustive planning and preparedness, the conference ran smoothly. English learning materials were distributed to staff in advance, side trips were carefully vetted, and so on. Participants praised how punctually the conference ran.

Not just during the conference itself, but also during the side trips, staff were extremely attentive to the needs of participants, especially first-time visitors to Japan, so that they could freely enjoy themselves. In consideration of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, vegetarian and halal lunch options were made available, as well as space and time for prayer.

Participants really got a taste of Japanese-style hospitality. And by choosing side trip destinations with free admission, recruiting volunteers for the welcome party koto performance, and other cost-saving measures, the conference expenses were very reasonable.

All the publicity materials, including the website, booklets sent via the web, posters and so on were created by staff rather than contractors. A Facebook campaign with information about Japanese culture that was begun several months in advance showcased the social media savvy of the young organizers. The result was an international conference with the cosiness of a neighbourhood gathering.

Attendee from Taiwan:

Getting to wear a yukata on Japan Night, taking a side trip to Meiji Shrine, and the programme of the conference itself all gave me exposure to Japanese culture. During my free time I ate Japanese foods like udon, sushi and ramen, bought souvenirs, and enjoyed my stay. Japanese people are very friendly and helpful. As a student, I felt safe walking around the city.

Attendee from Malaysia:

The conference was very well organized. Japanese cities are very clean and being in Japan was very comfortable. I went to the Life Safety Learning Center for my side trip, and learned a lot about disaster preparedness, which was of great interest to me since Malaysia doesn't suffer from many typhoons or earthquakes. Japan certainly isn't as affordable as Southeast Asia, but the product quality is very high, so there is value.

Attendee from Algeria:

The buses and trains run on time, and you can get to all the sightseeing spots using public transit, which makes it very easy for foreigners to get around in Japan. Seeing how people behave when they are riding the train shows you how polite the Japanese are. As a Muslim I observe special dietary restrictions, but restaurant staff were happy to warn me about any dishes that had pork or alcohol so that I could enjoy my meals without worrying. I bought souvenirs like wooden cups and chopsticks for the people back home.

Interview with Eric So, Chairperson of Professional Development, International Pharmaceutical Students Federation:

Japan has a rich history and tradition, and it is a popular international tourism destination. For students without experience in putting on international meetings, holding one for 400-plus people was quite an accomplishment. The Japanese staff thought of everything, from hotel transfers, to halal and vegetarian foods, to English explanations on the side trips. The side trips, by the way, were unique and interesting.
This was my second visit to Tokyo, and I am always making new discoveries here. You can never get tired of Tokyo. Prices were about the same as in Europe or North America, or even cheaper. I was able to get a Japan Rail Pass and visit Kyoto, Nara and Osaka after the meeting. I enjoyed seeing those very different Japanese cities.
Japan has so many attractions that are totally unique. There are all kinds of programmes that let you experience Japanese culture. Everyone should consider Japan as a MICE destination!

Daiichi Sankyo Medicine Museum URL (Japanese only):
http://www.gotokyo.org/en/kanko/chuo/education/56.html?PHPSESSID=osdf42qhtn7m9gcoofv7m8d9k2

Life Safety Learning Center URL:
http://www.gotokyo.org/en/kanko/toshima/education/64.html?PHPSESSID=osdf42qhtn7m9gcoofv7m8d9k2

Back to top

4 Hours in Miyazaki

Sightseeing in Miyazaki: The best of Miyazaki's bright skies and sparkling seas: Aoshima and Nichinan Kaigan Area
Start at

[Udo Shrine]

Tour the shrine and try to toss a good-luck ball at a target in the sacred rocks: 30 minutes (Shrine: free; 5 balls: 100 yen)

10 minutes by car

[Sun Messe Nichinan]

See the Easter Island moai replicas and enjoy the view: 45 minutes (Free)

30 minutes by car

[Horikiri Pass & Roadside Station "Phoenix"]

Enjoy stunning clifftop ocean views and verdant gardens: 15 minutes (Free)

10 minutes by car

[Aoshima Shrine]

See the shrine and the botanical gardens: 40 minutes (Free)

25 minutes by car

[Dinner in Miyazaki Station Area]

Chicken nanban: chicken fried in oil, dipped in sweet vinegar and topped with tartar sauce: 40 minutes (1,000 yen)

Estimated Total Budget: 1,100 yen

*On weekends, Miyakoh Bus offers a 500 yen day pass for the city of Miyazaki and its surroundings (weekends only)
*An all day train pass covering all of Miyazaki Prefecture is 1,800 yen

Option

[Option A: Historic Miyazaki]

Aya Castle: 350 yen

[Option B: Hands-on Miyazaki]

Shusen-no-mori Sake Brewery

Aya International Craft Castle class: From 1,050 yen

[Option C: Great Outdoors Miyazaki]

The Evergreen Forest of Aya River/Teruha Suspension Bridge: 300 yen

- Enjoy Miyazaki's warm seaside sun.
- Sample the culinary delights of Miyazaki.
- Affordable pricing.

Udo Shrine

Udo Shrine, dramatically located in a cliffside cave facing the sea, has a long history. It looks over a turtle-shaped sea rock called the Kameishi. There is an indentation in the "shell" of the turtle, surrounded by a sacred rope. If you can manage to toss a ceramic "good-luck ball" into it, it means good fortune is coming your way!

For more information, please take the following link:
http://www.miyazaki-city.tourism.or.jp/en/sightseeing/spcat04/spot20.html

Access
From Miyakoh City, take the bus for Nichinan and disembark at Udo Shrine Iriguchi-mae (Approx. 70 minutes)

Back to top

Sun Messe Nichinan

A Japanese company spent three years repairing 15 toppled moai statues from Easter Island. As a gesture of thanks and friendship from the island's people, the company was permitted to make the world's only authorized full-scale reproductions of the statues, seven of which stand in this park against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. The park also has dining facilities and a guest ranch.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.miyazaki-city.tourism.or.jp/en/sightseeing/spcat04/spot22.html

Access
From Miyakoh City, take the bus for Nichinan and disembark at Moai-misaki (Moai Cape) (approx. 60 minutes)

Back to top

Horikiri Pass & Roadside Station 'Phoenix'

Standing atop a 60-metre cliff, Horikiri Pass offers a spectacular scenic overlook of the Pacific Ocean and remarkable wave-like coastal rock formations. A footpath connects it to Phoenix, a roadside station which offers souvenir shopping, snacks, a restaurant and a rooftop observation deck, which looks out on scenic grounds planted with flowers and the area's signature "Phoenix" palm trees.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.miyazaki-city.tourism.or.jp/en/sightseeing/spcat05/spot26.html

Access
From Miyakoh City, take the bus for Nichinan and disembark at Horikiri-toge (Horikiri Pass) (Approx. 35 minutes)

Back to top

Aoshima Shrine

Aoshima Shrine is located on Aoshima Island, which is surrounded by a stunning grooved rock formation called the Ogre's Washboard. This formation was created by the erosive action of waves on sedimentary rock lifted up from the seabed about 7 million years ago. Perched atop Aoshima Island is the bright red shrine, standing out against the blue sea and sky. It is famous as a shrine that houses a god of marriage. Many people come here to offer prayers that they will find love. A sacred place, the island is preserved from development, although it does host a subtropical botanical garden.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.miyazaki-city.tourism.or.jp/en/sightseeing/spcat01/spot04.html

Access
From JR Aoshima Station, a 10-minute walk
From the Aoshima stop on the Aoshima bus line, a 5-minute walk

Back to top

Dinner: Miyazaki specialties

One of the most common dishes on Miyazaki menus is chicken nanban, fried chicken dipped in sweet vinegar and served with tartar sauce. Every restaurant has its own preferred cut of chicken, from juicy thigh meat to lighter wing meat, as well as its own tartar sauce recipe.

Miyazaki, blessed with fresh air and crystal-clear water, has a rich culinary culture. Miyazaki beef is a well-known brand of wagyu that has won top honours in competitions. Miyazaki heirloom chicken breeds make the prefecture's charcoal-grilled chicken a delectable treat. The warm weather is ideal for growing many fruits, in particular mango. They are all ripened to sweetness in the sun. Lettuce rolls are a twist on sushi with lettuce, shrimp and mayo plus rice in a nori wrap. Other popular culinary inventions include rice balls wrapped in pork.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.miyazaki-city.tourism.or.jp/en/cuisine/index.html

Back to top

Option A: Historic Miyazaki
Aya Castle (Admission: 350 yen)

This is an all-wooden, carefully researched modern reconstruction of the hilltop fortress first built here 660 years ago. The castle changed hands repeatedly through Japan's age of civil war and was ordered torn down in 1615 after the country was unified under the Tokugawa shoguns. Now, the reconstruction houses exhibits of traditional samurai weapons, armour and other historic artefacts. It also offers expansive views of the town of Aya.

For more information about Aya Castle and other attractions in the town of Aya, please visit the English website:
http://www.town.aya.miyazaki.jp/ayatown/english/Aya%20Town08-04-04/Sightseeing.htm

Back to top

Option B: Hands-on Miyazaki
Shusen-no-mori Sake Brewery (Brewery tour is free; 20 minutes)

This is a veritable theme park of alcoholic beverages, including the local specialty shochu, as well as sake, craft beer and wine. With advance reservations, it is possible to observe the traditional shochu brewing process in action, or you can learn about the winemaking process through educational exhibits. After learning how these drinks are made, you can enjoy a tasting of the products in the gift shop. There is also a hot spring bathing resort on site, offering open-air baths, sake-infused baths, and more.

Aya International Craft Castle (Admission: 1050 yen)

Located on the grounds of Aya Castle, it exhibits local handmade textiles, wood products, bamboo products, and pottery. It also offers hands-on classes in pottery, weaving, or traditional dyeing. The Pottery Room will even fire the piece you make and mail it to you later. Another option is trying your hand at dyeing a handkerchief or a scarf using natural indigo dye. Or weave a stole, muffler, or tapestry on one of the six wooden looms. Courses vary in length, with the shortest around 30 minutes.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.town.aya.miyazaki.jp/ayatown/english/Aya%20Town08-04-04/Sightseeing.htm

Back to top

Option C: Great Outdoors Miyazaki
The Evergreen Forest of Aya River/Teruha Suspension Bridge (Admission: 300 yen)

One of Japan's largest evergreen forests, it was designated a UNESCO Eco-Park in 2012. The Teruha suspension bridge spanning the Aya River valley is 142 metres high and 250 metres long, one of the world's largest pedestrian suspension bridges. Crossing it feels almost like walking on air, with panoramic views of virgin forest in every direction.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.miyazaki-city.tourism.or.jp/en/sightseeing/spcat04/spot21.html

Back to top