News from JNTO Toronto Office
FEBRUARY 2016

 

IN THIS EDITION

 
 
 
 
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JAPAN REACHES A NEW HIGH IN 2015!

The numbers are in and we are delighted to announce that Canadian visitors to Japan hit a new high in 2015! Last year, for the first time ever, Canadian visitors to Japan hit a record 231,400. That’s a 26.5% increase over 2014.


Great job, Canada! Keep up the good work!

 

For all of our detailed statistical information, visit our Tourism Statistics page.

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NEW HOKKAIDO SHINKANSEN COMING SOON

On March 26th, Japan Railways will launch the latest addition to their high-speed bullet train network. The new Hokkaido Shinkansen will link Shin-Aomori and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto stations, connecting southern Hokkaido with the northern Tohoku region. With the launch of the new Shinkansen service, the travel time between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto will be shortened by 1 hour and 20 minutes (from 5 hours and 30 minutes to 4 hours and 10 minutes), and the travel time between Shin-Aomori and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto will be shortened by 50 minutes (from 1 hour and 50 minutes to 1 hour).


For full details on the new Hokkaido Shinkansen, visit the JR Hokkaido Railway Company’s website.

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DRIVE THROUGH TOHOKU ON THE EXPRESSWAYS

The Tohoku Expressway Pass allows unlimited use of the Tohoku expressways for a flat fee. The pass will be sold until September 30, 2016 and is available only to overseas visitors. Tourists can rent a designated ETC card with a vehicle which will allow them unlimited access to the expressways for 2 to 14 consecutive days. The convenient ETC system allows vehicles to pay expressway tolls at the tollgate without having to stop the vehicle, making travel faster and easier.


Learn more about the Tohoku Expressway Pass.

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THE TOURISM TRAIN ROLLS INTO TOWN

Seibu Railway Co., Ltd. is preparing for the launch of their new Tourism Train, “The Seibu Traveling Restaurant – fifty two seats of happiness”. As the nickname suggests, the new 4-car train will accommodate 52 passengers and will operate on 100 special days per year. The train is expected to operate between Ikebukuro and Seibu Chichibu stations, between Seibu Shinjuku and Seibu Chichibu stations, between Seibu Shinjuku and Kawagoe stations and some other routes.


Seat reservations will be accepted on the official website from February 1, 2016 and train service begins on April 17, 2016.
For more information on Seibu Railway’s new Tourism Train, read the press release.

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ODAKYU WINTER CAMPAIGN OPENS

The Odakyu Group is celebrating winter with the 2016 Shinjuku/Hakone/Enoshima, Kamakura/Ito Winter Campaign from January 20 to February 29. During the campaign, the Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center is handing out coupon-filled pamphlets and holding Japanese cultural events for visitors. Odakyu Travel Co., Ltd. is also offering select tour products at special prices.


Get all the details on the Odakyu Group 2016 Winter Campaign from the press release.

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NARITA AIRPORT INTRODUCES NEW VEGETARIAN LOGO

In response to numerous customer inquiries, Narita Airport has created their new “Vege Logo” to help customer find restaurants with vegetarian menus. The new logo can be seen on shop-front posters and shop guides in terminals. The restaurant list will also be available on the Narita Airport website.


For more information, read the press release.

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NANKAI GEARS UP TO HOST SPRING FESTIVAL EVENT

Nankai Electric Railway is a holding a special limited-time campaign for foreign tourists in Namba CITY and Namba PARKS, February 6th to the 14th. Tourists who show their passport at shops in Namba CITY and Namba PARKS will receive discounts and novelty presents. At the same time, from February 6th to the 8th, a Spring Festival Event in the GALLERIA COURT of Namba CITY will give overseas visitors a chance to experience Japanese culture with a Japanese tea-tasting, Japanese gong and drum performances, and an Ema donation experience. The Spring Festival Event will also involve a special sale on Japanese souvenirs and sundries, as well as a discount coupon for those who spend over 10,000 JPY.


Learn more in Nankai’s spring events release.

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GET READY FOR CHERRY BLOSSOM SEASON

Can’t wait for cherry blossom season? Izu’s warm climate means cherry blossoms start in early February and the AGORA Hotel Alliance hotel, Imaiso is taking full advantage of it. From February 10th to March 10th the hotel is offering a special Sakura Kaiseki plan, which includes a special Sakura Kaiseki dinner, free transportation to the Kawazu Sakura festival, a cherry blossom liquor gift, and more.


Find out more about the Sakura Kaiseki plan.


Need a bit more time to get into the swing of cherry blossom season? Hotel New Otani Tokyo is rolling out a host of events and packages to make the most of the season. The hotel’s 400-year-old Japanese Garden is home to a variety of different cherry tree species and will be used as the backdrop for several enchanting events. In this 10-acre garden, you can experience a traditional Japanese-style festival from April 1st to the 3rd, take in a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony on April 3rd, and sway to the energetic sounds of a traditional Tsugaru Shamisen at the concert on March 26th. Get even more with one of the hotel’s special accommodations packages: the “Special SAKURA Package” and the “Outdoor Noh Viewing Package”.


Learn more about cherry blossom season at Hotel New Otani Tokyo.

 

 

 
LIVING LIKE A LOCAL
 

Got a minute? Learn something new! In this section we’ll present fun tidbits about different regions of Japan.

 

Seki City in Gifu prefecture has been in the sword business since the 13th century and produces over 90% of the world’s Katana. One of the most well-known and highly-regarded blade producing areas in the world, Seki continues to produce swords in a traditional style that has been passed down for centuries. The Seki Sword Tradition Museum explains the history and tradition of sword-making in Seki. On January 2nd visitors can take in the Uchizome-shiki, a ceremony marking the first forging of the year, where swordsmiths in traditional outfits demonstrate their traditional forging techniques.


View this and previous editions of our newsletter at our website.

 
 
 
 
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Japan National Tourism Organization
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Tel: 416-366-7140
Fax: 416-366-4530
E-mail: info@jntoyyz.com


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