OKINAWA IS HERE TO HELP

The Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau has opened the Okinawa Multilingual Contact Center to help foreign tourists get the most out of their trip to Okinawa .  The center is open 24-hours a day year round and provides translation services and tourist information.  Services are available in English, Chinese and Korean and can be accessed during the planning process, your stay, and even after your visit.  The latest tourism information is also available on their website in a number of languages.

You can contact the Okinawa Multilingual Contact Center at:

English: 098-916-6180
Chinese: 098-916-6181
Korean: 098-916-6182


OKINAWA ON THE WEB

The CNN Travel website currently features a page dedicated to Okinawa entitled, "Okinawa: Japan's laid-back alter ego".  Browse through a variety of articles and immerse yourself in Okinawa 's diverse wildlife, the famous Churaumi Aquarium, cherry blossoms, food, golf, luxury hotels, underground caves and more.  Read the articles on CNN Travel.

ICOCA & HARUKA: NEW COVERAGE & A NEW DESIGN

On March 23rd 2013, JR West's ICOCA card will be valid beyond the Kansai region and include major JR lines, subway lines, private railway lines and buses nationwide. Since July 2012, the ICOCA cards have been available in a special discount package with Limited Express "Haruka" tickets to inbound customers entering at Kansai International Airport. Typically decorated with the Wind & Thunder Gods of Kyoto's Kenninji Temple, the ICOCA cards are now available in attractive new designs featuring Hello Kitty and Osaka Castle.

"ICOCA & Haruka" packages are available to tourists who hold non-Japanese passports and have short stay visas.  Tickets are sold at JR Kansai Airport Station and can also be reserved online on JR West's website

For details on reserving your "ICOCA & Haruka" package and to see where you can use the ICOCA, visit JR West's website.


SHOW YOUR SHARE AND RECEIVE A GIFT

Keikyu Electric Express Railway has launched their "Keikyu Haneda Access Campaign" as part of the "Meet the New JAPAN Campaign 2013" in cooperation with the Japan Tourism Agency.  Overseas visitors who use Haneda Airport between February 1st and March 31st 2013 can receive free novelty gifts and special discount tickets by participating in the campaign.

Receive a novelty present by sharing the campaign page on Facebook or Weibo and then presenting a screenshot at any of the following locations!

Keikyu Tourist Information Center
Hotel Grand Pacific LE DAIBA
Heiwajima Natural Hot Spring
Shinatatsu Ramen Mentatsu Shichininshu and/or
Donburi Goninshu Shinatatsuya Souvenir Shop

The campaign page is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean.

Visitors who purchase a

PASMO & Keikyu Hane-Toku discount ticket,
Tokyo travel 1 day/2 day ticket,
Keikyu Haneda/Subway Common Pass,
Airport access ticket, or a
Keikyu Hane-Toku Discount ticket

at the Keikyu Tourist Information Center can also receive original novelty goods and special tickets.  The special tickets can be used for discounts and free gifts at

7-11 Haneda Airport International Terminal Keikyu Station
Café Ueshima Coffee Shop Haneda Airport International Terminal Station and
Seiyokan Massage Shop Haneda Airport International Terminal Station.

For details, visit the Keikyu Haneda Access Campaign page.


FIRST-CLASS BEEF ON A FIRST-CLASS FLIGHT

Japan Airlines has introduced award-winning Miyazaki beef as part of select in-flight meals to commemorate the launch of JAL SKY SUITE 777. Between January 9th and February 28th 2013, first-class passengers on international routes between Narita airport and Europe or North America will be offered a tender beef fillet "alla Rossini," served with fragrantly seared foie gras and apple.  A regular menu change will take place starting March 1st but Miyazaki beef will continue to be part of the new line-up until March 31st.

Miyazaki beef is a superior Japanese beef and is well-known overseas.  Produced in Miyazaki prefecture in the southern islands of Kyushu, it is rated over level A-4 by the Japan Meat Grading Association for outstanding quality. 

For full details, read the JAL Press Release.


SWEETS IN THE SPRING

The Hakone Sweets Collection returns with a new collection for spring 2013.  The exclusive range of sweets will be available at select tourist destinations in Hakone between February 1st and April 7th 2013.  Thirty-five Hakone-area stores, including stores in the Yumoto/Odawara, Gora/Kowakidani/Miyanoshita, Sengokuhara/Togendai/Gotemba, and Moto-Hakone/Hakone-machi areas, will offer a range of specialty sweets with a "Delicious Energy Boost!" theme. Specialty sweets will also be offered onboard the Limited Express Romance Car and the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise.

Visit the Hakone Sweets Collection page for details.


SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH

Visit the 26th National Confectionary Exposition in Hiroshima for all things sweets-related!  The Expo will be held on the grounds of the former Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium, Hiroshima Prefectural Sports Center , and the surrounding areas between April 19th and May 12th 2013.  Learn everything you ever wanted to know about sweets and have your fill.

Details and ticket information on the 26th National Confectionary Exposition in Hiroshima website.


CHERRY BLOSSOM VIEWING LIKE A PRO

Cherry blossom season is just around the corner and JAPANiCAN.com has released a cherry blossom viewing guide to help you make the most of this brief period.  From the best "Sakura Spots" in Tokyo , Kyoto , and the Mt. Fuji area, to a how-to guide on cherry blossom viewing, JAPANiCAN will help you enjoy Hanami like a pro.

View JAPANiCAN.com's Sakura Season 2013 Guide and visit JNTO's Cherry Blooming Forecast for more information on cherry blossom viewing.


FIND HELP WHEREVER YOU ARE

Need information?  JNTO operates Tourist Information Centers in Tokyo and supports tourist information offices operated by private and public sectors throughout Japan .  There are 342 qualified tourist information offices certified by the JNTO & JTA's certification program for foreign tourist information.  The offices are divided into 3 categories:

Category 1
These offices provide local information within their city/prefecture.  They are open more than 240 days of the year and do not have full-time foreign-language-speaking staff.

Category 2
These offices provide information on 2 or more prefectures in their region. They are open more than 240 days of the year including either Saturdays or Sundays and have full-time English-speaking staff.

Category 3
These offices provide information for all of Japan. They are open year-round and offer service in English, Chinese & Korean full-time. PC & Wi-Fi services are also available on site.

To find the nearest location, see the full listing of Tourist Information Offices.


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 wooden toy was once popular in many regions of Nagasaki prefecture?

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
Okinawa is here to Help
Okinawa on the Web
ICOCA & Haruka: New Coverage & A New Design
Show Your Share and Receive a Gift
First-Class Beef on a First-Class Flight
Sweets in the Spring
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Cherry Blossom Viewing Like a Pro
Find Help Wherever You Are
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