A Message from the President of JNTO

My name is Ryoichi Matsuyama, newly appointed as the president of JNTO on the 1st of October 2011.

First of all, on behalf of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the support for Japan from all over the world after the 3.11 Earthquake this year.

Since March, strong efforts have been put into recovering from the damage caused by the earthquake. The number of visitors to Japan has been picking up over the past few months and those who have come have found Japan is safe and still a fabulous place to visit. I appreciate those who understand and support Japan.

Japan's tourist attractions are open and functioning well, just as they were before the earthquake. During the last seven months, we have heard many comments from people who visited Japan saying Japan stands unchanged and full of incredible things to see and do. JNTO will work hard to spread those words to the world.

Autumn is coming, temples and shrines, Japanese gardens, and castles will be full of beautiful coloured leaves all over Japan. We are ready to greet travellers from all over the world with unparalleled hospitality to all parts of Japan - from the popular destinations of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto to the lesser-known Tohoku area, with hits stunning natural onsen spas and beautiful autumn foliage.

I, as the president of JNTO, would like to take the lead and to do my best to present Japan as a country of endless discoveries with my deepest appreciation to all the people who supported Japan after the earthquake. Please do visit Japan and do not miss out on our beautiful autumn season in Japan.

Ryoichi Matsuyama, President
Japan National Tourism Organization

October 2011


Every 20 years, the two main buildings in the grand shrine of Ise are disassembled and reassembled in a ceremony called Shikinen Sengu. The Shikinen Sengu system began approximately 1300 years ago and the next rebuild, held in a series of small ceremonies over the course of 2012 and 2013, marks the 62nd event.

The grand Shrine, known officially as "Dai-jingu-san" or lovingly as "O-Ise-san", is the most revered Shinto shrine in Japan. The two main buildings, Kotaijingu ("Naiku") and Toyouke-Daijingu ("Geku"), are situated on equal-sized lots, side-by-side, one facing East and the other facing West. As the buildings are reconstructed, apparel for the shrine's deities and other treasures and artefacts are also refurbished or replaced, and a ceremony is performed to ask Amaterasu Omikami, the supreme deity of Shintoism, to move to the newly built shrine.

For more information about this historic event, and for a calendar of the ceremonies and festivals of the Shikinen Sengu, click here.

Or go to the Grand Shrine of Ise's website: www.isejingu.or.jp/shosai/english/index.htm


On September 26th, in a ceremony adjacent to the factory where the airplane was assembled, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh presented Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO of All Nippon Airways, with a ceremonial key to the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Made from composite materials, the Dreamliner allows for unprecedented fuel economy and low operating costs. It is the first mid-sized airplane capable of flying long-range routes, allowing airlines to open up new, non-stop routes to popular destinations. The new craft also features a host of new technologies designed to enhance the passenger experience.

For details, click here.


On September 15th, Japan Airlines announced that it will begin offering high-speed internet onboard select international flights in the summer of 2012. The airline intends to install Panasonic's eXConnect system on their fleet of Boeing 777s and begin by introducing the new service on routes between Japan and its gateways in Europe and North America. They will eventually expand this to their entire long-range fleet, subsequently expanding the service to the rest of their international network.

The new in-flight service will allow customers in every cabin to not only check emails, connect to social media networks and browse the web, but also to transfer large data files in the same way you would in a Wi-Fi environment on the ground. The fee for this service has not yet been announced, but will be revealed closer to the launch date.

For more information, click here.

On a gastronomic note, JAL is also collaborating with popular convenience chain LAWSON Inc. to offer a new chocolate sweet to its premium economy customers.  Between October 1st 2011 and February 29th 2012, JAL will offer Lawson's original Uchi Café Sweets to customers in their award-winning Sky-Shell seats, on flights from Narita to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Sydney, London, and Frankfurt. They will also be available on the tri-weekly round-trip flights between Moscow and Japan.

Uchi Café Sweets first went on sale in November 2010 at over 9,800 LAWSON stores across Japan. They are made from fresh Hokkaido milk and premium Dillon Rum from Martinique. Those sweets offered on JAL flights will come in a specially-wrapped 6-piece pack.

For details, click here.


Until June 30th 2012, overseas visitors can buy a 2-day sightseeing pass at the Hotel New Hiroden reception desk. The Hiroden Nice Pack includes 1-night accommodation with breakfast, one free lunch, and a Hiroden Nice Pack Passport. Choose your lunch from among 3 delicious options: a California roll at Momiji Honjin, a sandwich for take-out at Momiji Honjin or the Hotel New Hiroden Lunch. The Nice Pack Passport allows you to use any of the Hiroden tramways within Hiroshima and Miyajima, and gives you access to the Matsudai Ferry and Miyajima Ropeway.

Book your accommodation via Expedia.com to take advantage of this opportunity.

For more information, visit Hiroshima Electric Railway Co., Ltd.


Looking for a new way to experience Japan? Oita Prefecture invites you to trek, cycle, and hike your way through its beautiful landscape. Oita's Official Sightseeing Information Site provides some excellent options for places to experience the natural world, from trekking through the rare highland plants in the Tadewara wetlands to cycling along the coast of the Kunisaki Peninsula.  You can even bring the kids to the mini cycling course at Kurotsuzaki beach. With information on the location, how to get there, and key information for pertinent services, the site will get you on your way to an outdoor adventure in Oita!

To find out more about sightseeing in Oita, visit Oita Prefecture's Official Sightseeing Information Site.


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 do these red, papier-mâché dolls represent?

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


Message from the President of JNTO
Shikinen Sengu Returns
Boeing Delivers the First 787 Dreamliner to A.N.A.
J.A.L. Ramps Up Their Service
Visit Hiroshima, Stay the Night
Oita Adventures
Culture Corner
JNTO Toronto
What's Happening
About Us
Brochure Request
Your Guide to Japan
Japan Photo Library
Tourism Statistics

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