A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF JNTO

Japan is heading towards full-scale winter.
A distinctive Japan that can only be experienced in winter awaits you.

It's December and Japan welcomes its most bustling season as Christmas and the New Year approach. The country is enveloped in clear blue winter skies and refreshing air.

Winter in Japan offers the traveler a myriad of options. You can experience the beauty of a silvery landscape blanketed in snow and enjoy snow sports such as skiing and sledding in Hokkaido , northern Japan , and in other mountainous areas. You can experience the ultimate form of relaxation as you become one with nature in an outdoor hot spring amidst falling snow. You can look forward to culinary delights that can only be tasted in winter; sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, and regional hot-pot dishes will warm your heart and body. And you can enjoy the regional Christmas illuminations that compare to works of art and shop during the best of New Year sales. Winter is also the best time to catch a glimpse of Mt Fuji. And in contrast to this wintery weather, you can look forward to the cherry blossoms blooming in warm Okinawa .

Please see the following links:

Illuminations Information

Special Event Information
Meet The New Japan Campaign
Kansai Mega Sale

At the end of the year and the start of the new year in Japan you can experience both traditional and elegant New Year events and the country's energy of welcoming the New Year. Starting January 2nd, Japan 's shops and department stores are filled with shoppers for a specially planned sale period called "Hatsu-uri."

The Japan National Tourism Organization uses the web and social media to introduce Japan 's charm to people around the world. Japan can be enjoyed safely, securely and in comfort.

As always, we will continue to welcome all visitors warmly from the bottom of our hearts. We sincerely look forward to extending a hearty welcome to you on your next visit to Japan .

December 2012

Ryoichi Matsuyama
President
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)


EMBRACE THE SEASON IN EASTERN JAPAN

JR East has prepared their Winter Snow Fun Map to help you enjoy the winter season.  From glittering light displays to joyous winter festivals, the Winter Snow Fun Map has all the event details, including dates and times, fees, and directions.

Recommended events include:

  • The Hirosaki Snow Lantern Festival in Aomori prefecture
  • The Sendai Pageant of Starlight in Miyagi prefecture
  • The Zao Snow Monster Festival in Yamagata prefecture
For more events and full details, check out JR East's Winter Snow Fun Map.

THE SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL RETURNS

One of the largest winter events in Japan , the Sapporo Snow Festival attracts 2 million visitors from Japan and abroad every year. Hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures will be on display in Odori Park , the Community Dome Tsudome grounds, and the main street in Susukino. This year, the annual seven-day event will be held between February 5th and February 11th.

For useful information about the Snow Festival and Sapporo city, visit the Sapporo Snow Festival website.


SAY HELLO TO THE ODAKYU GROUP'S NEW WINTER CAMPAIGN

The Odakyu group is rolling out their 2013 Shinjuku, Hakone, Enoshima/Kamakura, Ito Winter Campaign, which will take place between January 20th and February 28th 2013.  Foreign visitors will be able to obtain coupons for exclusive services and discounts at the Odakyu Sightseeing Service Centers at Odakyu stations in Shinjuku and Odawara.  They will also be able to get a special discount on the Hakone Freepass and other great travel packages. Finally, visitors are encouraged to take advantage of activities at the Togendai terminal in Hakone, where they'll be able take pictures with a samurai and handmaiden or try their hand at calligraphy, origami, and other free activities.

For full details about the Odakyu 2013 Winter Campaign, please visit their website.


TAKE A TOUR THROUGH JAPAN'S HERITAGE

The Nohi Bus Compay is offering a special tour of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, 2 of Japan 's registered UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Enjoy traditional local food, gaze upon beautiful landscapes, and learn about Japan 's heritage on these popular bus tours.

English-speaking volunteer guides are available upon request with advanced reservation.  Tours depart daily from Takayama Bus Terminal until March 31st 2013.

To learn more, visit the Nohi Bus Website.

STRAWBERRY PICKING – DELICIOUS AND FUN!

Interested in joining a day tour?  Get a feel for the experience through a special article in the Japan Monthly Web Magazine!  Follow a young Japanese woman on her Club Tourism day-tour of Shizuoka as she samples vintages at a winery, goes strawberry picking in a greenhouse plantation, and cruises the waters of Suruga Bay .

Whet your appetite with Strawberry picking –delicious and fun!


KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN TAKES TO THE SKIES

Japan Airlines and Kentucky Fried Chicken have collaborated to create the 7th of JAL's AIR SERIES in-flight meals.  The AIR KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN will be served on select international JAL flights between December 1st, 2012 and February 28th, 2013.  Passengers travelling in Premium Economy and Economy Class from Narita airport to New York , Boston , Chicago , Los Angeles , San Diego , London , Paris , and Frankfurt will be served the KFC meal during the second meal service.

AIR KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN consists of two pieces of KFC Original Recipe Chicken, flat bread, a cup of coleslaw, and lettuce leaves, all contained in an exclusive package created specifically for this meal.

For details about the AIR KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN, read JAL's press release.


SPOTLIGHT ON OKINAWA

Okinawa Prefecture is a scattered collection of 160 islands at the southernmost tip of Japan .  Its subtropical location makes it a warm and comfortable place year round, and home to many species of rare plants and animals. For 450 years, Okinawa was known as the Kingdom of Ryukyu , a state independent of Japan 's central government.  To this day, it preserves its unique culture and traditions and hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year.

JAPAN MONTHLY WEB MAGAZINE presents an 8-part Special Extra series on Okinawa .  In the November/December 2012 issue:

Part 3: Visit "Yanbaru" – a great natural environment exclusive to Okinawa

CULTURE CORNER

Test yourself!  How well do you know Japanese culture?  In this section, we'll give you a photo and a question to test your knowledge about Japan and its culture.

What Japanese folk art takes the form of an embroidered ball?

Curious?  Visit the Newsletter section of our website for the answer!  You can also view previous editions of the newsletter.


COME CHECK US OUT!
www.ilovejapan.ca

Features
A Message from the President of JNTO
Embrace the Season in Eastern Japan
The Sapporo Snow Festival Returns
Say Hello to the Odakyu Group's New Winter Campaign
Take a Tour through Japan's Heritage
Strawberry Picking - Delicious and Fun!
Kentucky Fried Chicken Takes to the Skies
Spotlight on Okinawa
Culture Corner
JNTO Toronto
What's Happening
Newsletters
About Us
Reference
Brochure Request
Your Guide to Japan
Japan Photo Library
Tourism Statistics


CONTACT:
Japan National Tourism Organization
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