JNTO President Meets With Air Canada Global Sales Vice-President

(Left) Mr. Tadatoshi Mamiya, President of JNTO
(Right) Mr. Claude Morin, Global Sales Vice-President of Air Canada
Mr. Tadatoshi Mamiya, President of JNTO, met with Mr. Claude Morin, Global Sales Vice-President of AC, during his one-day visit in Toronto on March 24, 2010. The two had a productive conversation about air traffic between Japan and Canada. They were enthusiastic about the recent AC launch of the Calgary-Tokyo non-stop flight service. They look forward to additional opportunities for cooperation in the future.

KEY MEETING POINTS:

1. Both Mr. Mamiya and Mr. Morin agreed that AC's decision not to cut direct flights from Toronto to Narita during the past winter season was a wise choice. The JNTO considers the direct flight a major factor in the 30% increase in Canadian visitors to Japan this February when compared with the same month last year.

2. AC launched the Calgary-Tokyo non-stop service with an inaugural flight on March 27, 2010. It is the first non-stop flight between Calgary and Tokyo and the only direct link between Alberta and Asia. Mr. Mamiya expressed appreciation for this new development, for which there is already a strong demand in the Calgary market.

3. Mr. Mamiya acknowledged AC's continuing support of the Japan Travel Specialist Online Certification Program. AC will sponsor the program for another fiscal year. A French version of the original English program was developed and launched this March.

4. Mr. Mamiya and Mr. Morin hope JNTO and AC will continue to work closely together to promote air travel between Canada and Japan and look forward to further opportunities for collaboration.


Japan Launches New Tourism Slogan

The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) revealed its new slogan and logo, "Japan. Endless Discovery" on April 6, 2010. With the re-branding of its inbound tourism campaign, Japan aims to draw attention to the country's unlimited potential in terms of the variety of attractions it offers. The new copy encourages travellers to see Japan as a multi-visit destination, offering an incredible variety of attractions. On the one hand, the cherry blossoms in the logo hint at Japan's beauty, tradition, and culture. On the other hand, the trendy style of the logo and the word "discovery" point out Japan's cool appeal and modern culture, be it in art, anime, fashion or architecture.

The campaign's revised logo and copy represent just one aspect of Japan's campaign to increase inbound tourism. This year has been designated Visit Japan Year, with the aim of attracting 10 million visitors. So far, the campaign is off to an excellent start, with cumulative visitor arrivals from January to March up 29% from 2009 figures for the same months. The Visit Japan Year consists of a variety of campaigns and events designed for international tourists, such as the recently finished Visit Japan Winter Campaign. Looking ahead, the anticipated launch of the Autumn Campaign will no doubt bring new and exciting events, deals, and tips for travellers to enjoy.


Grand Opening of New Chitose Airport International Terminal Building

On March 26, 2010, the New Chitose Airport opened the doors of its new international terminal building. The New Chitose Airport is the largest international airport in Hokkaido. Located in Chitose City, it is approximately 30 minutes by JR train from Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido.

The new international terminal building was designed to reflect the beauty of Hokkaido's northern character. Not only was it built with the image of a forest in mind, but the wood used in the construction of the terminal also comes from Hokkaido, and the elevator is decorated with Ainu art. Hokkaido is well known for its natural beauty, and its majestic landscapes extend far beyond the airport.

For nature lovers, Hokkaido is full of opportunities to enjoy Japanese culture against a backdrop of forests, rivers, lakes and mountains. Even better, in the spirit of living in harmony with nature, Hokkaido presents many opportunities to enjoy eco-tourism, including wind turbines, wetlands, bird-watching and natural heritage.

For more information on the New Chitose Airport, visit:
www.new-chitose-airport.jp/en/

For more information on eco-tourism in Hokkaido, visit:
www.jnto.go.jp/eng/indepth/featuredarticles/hokkaido/index.html


Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum's
Inaugral Exhibition - Manet

The grand opening of the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum was held on April 6, 2010. The museum is located in Marunouchi, one of the largest and oldest financial districts in Tokyo. The original building was built in 1894 and was the first office building in the area. The current building is a reconstructed replica of the original that displays the architectural styles of the Meiji and Taisho periods, going so far as to use plans and materials conserved from the period. The museum's goal is to be a centre for art and culture, focusing on modern art from the mid-18th to 20th centuries. The facilities also include a gift shop and café.

The first exciting new exhibition, "Manet et le Paris moderne", showcases 80 works by the renowned French impressionist Édouard Manet. The artwork is displayed among images of Paris, allowing visitors to contemplate the relationship between artist and city. The show runs from April 6 to July 25, 2010.

For more information, visit:
www.marunouchi.com/e/event/manet_10_03.html


The Japan Restaurant Guide by Gourmet Navigator

Looking for new ways to experience the endless delicious varieties of Japanese cuisine? Look no further than the Japan Restaurant Guide by Gourmet Navigator. The Japan Restaurant Guide is efficient, easy-to-use, and informative—be warned, however, that after reading the delicious descriptions, you will be hungry!

One of the many exciting aspects of the Visit Japan Year 2010, the site allows you to search by location, type of food, or price range. Searches result in detailed information, including restaurant locations, directions, hours, average cost, dress code, and more. Even more exciting, restaurant menus and printable coupons are often available.

Other features of the website include the fascinating "Introduction of the Chef" section, which features an interview with a particular chef, and the "Introduction of the Foodstuff" section, which offers key information on popular Japanese ingredients. Finally, there is also an extremely useful "Food Column" that explains food-related culture, including explanations of table manners, the cultural significance of certain traditional meals, and details on selected regional cuisines.

Whether you are new to Japan and looking for an introduction to the nation's cuisine or a hardcore Japanophile seeking new culinary adventures, this website has everything you need to ensure you experience the full flavour and variety of Japanese food.

www.gnavi.co.jp/en/


A Deal so Hot You'll Burn Your Tongue:
Sakura Hotel Stay Gets Free Raumen Museum Ticket

As if Sakura Hotel's excellent service and convenient locations were not enough of a reason to stay there, now when you stay there you get a ticket for free admission to the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum! This is no ordinary ramen either; most of the restaurants featured in the museum are from long-established institutions representing generations of practice in making ramen.

The museum also features a life-sized replica of a section of Tokyo from the year 1958 (Showa 33 in the Japanese calendar). Why 1958? It was, of course, the year instant noodles were invented. Pick up your ticket at the front desk of your Sakura Hotel and you will be ready to experience a historical tradition so authentic that you can taste it!

For more information on Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum: www.raumen.co.jp/ramen/

For more information on Sakura Hotel: www.sakura-hotel.co.jp


Good Luck at Gion Festival:  Beauty and Tradition

The annual Gion Festival, one of the three top local festivals in Japan, will be held from July 1-31, 2010 in Kyoto.  The festival centres around Yasaka Shrine and has been taking place for more than 1000 years.  It began as an effort to appease the god of Gion, who was believed to be angry and causing the plague that was ravaging the country at that time.

Despite Gion Festival's rather dark beginnings, it is a spectacle of incredible beauty.  The festival is an exciting community event that includes numerous activities throughout the month.  Participants can enjoy numerous Shinto rituals, food stalls full of traditional Japanese foods, displays of local heirlooms and decorative lanterns, musical concerts of gongs, taiko drums, flutes, and the koto harp, performances of traditional dance and other Shinto arts, and more!  The height of the festival occurs on the morning of July 17, 2010, when a parade of 32 floats passes through the centre of the city.  The floats, called Yamaboko, are 25 metres tall and constructed without nails or iron.  These enormous "moving museums," which are each elaborately decorated with centuries-old artifacts, are pulled through the streets by 30 to 40 men. 

Most visitors enjoy the main parade by standing and watching.  Paid seating does exist; however, it is extremely limited and must be reserved early.  Travellers interested in trying to get seats should enquire at his/her travel agency or contact the Kyoto City Tourist Assocation (kyototourismcouncil@yahoo.co.jp) as early as possible.

In the days preceding the parade, two other exciting festivals take place.  During the Yoiyama Festival, from July 14-16, many downtown streets are closed to automobiles and the Yamaboko floats are displayed on Shijo-dori for people to see up close.  Japanese people traditionally purchase good luck charms when they visit the floats.  Coinciding with the dates of the Yoiyama Festival is the Byobu Festival, an event where locals open their homes to the public to exhibit their antiques and art collections.  This event presents an extremely rare opportunity to visit traditional residences in Kyoto.

For more information on the Gion Festival: www.kyoto.travel/


Where in Japan?

Welcome to an exciting new feature of the JNTO Toronto Newsletter: "Where in Japan?" In this section, you will find a photo of some location in Japan. Please enjoy guessing where you think it might be. Watch for the answer in our next newsletter to see if you were right, and to learn more about travel destinations in Japan!

Please note this is not a contest.  It is not necessary to contact JNTO Toronto with your answers.

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CONTACT:
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481 University Avenue, Suite 306 Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E9
Tel: 416-366-7140
Fax: 416-366-4530
E-mail: info@jntoyyz.com
Website: www.ilovejapan.ca

www.ilovejapan.ca