August 18th, 2011

Five months have passed since the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. During that time, we have received all manner of support from people across the globe. The Japan National Tourism Organization, on behalf of the country it represents, would like to express its heartfelt gratitude. Thanks to your support, the number of those visiting Japan is gradually recovering. We will continue to do our utmost to repay the kindness of our friends overseas by getting things back to normal as soon as we can.

We at the Japan National Tourism Organization have kept the world informed with up-to-date, accurate and in-depth information about Japan, and have sent out a positive message that from a tourism point of view, Japan is in good shape.

We have also made sustained efforts to get members of the media and those in the travel industry not just to take our word for it, but to come and see for themselves how the Japan of today offers as memorable and diverse a travel experience as ever.

The allure of Japan as a tourist destination remains unchanged. Numerous visitors over the past five months have told us that they found Japan to be as memorable as ever. Such comments give us the confidence to continue to send out our positive message that Japan is an attractive tourist destination.

Japan is currently in the midst of a lively summer. As we head into Autumn, the green foliage covering our mountain ranges will gradually metamorphose into a glorious seasonal display of many colors, just like a traditional Japanese woodblock print picture. Japan is a country where each of the four seasons has its own distinct character. We are ready to greet travelers from all over the world with unparalleled hospitality to make their “Japan experience” even more enjoyable. As a way of expressing our thanks for the support shown to us since the earthquake, we are doing all we can to encourage as many people from all over the world to visit our country. Please do come and see Japan!

Tadatoshi Mamiya, President
Japan National Tourism Organization


The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is set to hold their 12th annual Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Japan on April 16th – 19th, 2012.  While the majority of the 4-day event will take place in Tokyo, the WTTC Annual General Meeting and Executive Committee Meeting will be held in Sendai on April 17th, 2012.  Sendai, on the northeastern coast of Japan, was struck by the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11th. The city has been working hard to rebuild since the disaster; they quickly brought important services like the Shinkansen bullet trains and Sendai Airport back on line within a matter of weeks and are now fully prepared to host large-scale international meetings.

Over 1000 participants are expected to attend the 2012 summit, and some 400 delegates will attend the meetings on April 17th in Sendai.  Along with the regular Executive Committee and General meetings, there will be an additional focus on the recovery of Japan's tourism industry, risk management, and crisis response. The President and CEO of WTTC, David Scowsill, feels that bringing the industry's leaders to Sendai for the summit clearly demonstrates the industry's commitment to showing that all of Japan, including the affected Tohoku region, has recovered and is ready to resume its position as a leading tourism destination.

ABOUT THE WTTC: Established in 1990, the World Travel & Tourism Council brings together leaders in Travel & Tourism from around the world.  They promote the industry as a generator of economic growth, support public-private travel partnerships, and encourage governments to adopt policies that will benefit the industry.  The annual Global Travel & Tourism Summit brings together over 1000 delegates to discuss the opportunities, challenges and issues facing the industry.  The Council also recognizes the industry's power as a positive force for sustainability through their Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

For more information about this topic you can contact the Japan Host Committee for the 12th WTTC Global Travel & Tourism Summit by phone at: +81-3-3221-2351 or email Tetsuo Nakayama or Fumio Kanaya.


We've added some new content to our website!  Come see our updated FAQ and Transportation pages – they're better than ever!

We've also added 2 new pages to our line-up.  Check out our Modern Attractions page under the "What to Do" tab for information on anime, theme parks, shopping, outdoor activities, museums, and other attractions. 

Want to brush up on your Japanese etiquette? Find everything you need to know to keep your trip running smoothly, from eating out to visiting a hot spring, our Cultural Tips page will tell you what you need to know!


For all the runners out there, Kintetsu International wants to bring you to Japan!

The 1st Kobe Marathon Tour will be held on November 20th, 2011.  Kintetsu International-Kinki Nippon Tourist co., Ltd. is offering a marathon package for November 19th – 21st, including Hotel accommodation, marathon entry fee, and a charitable donation.  Click here for details about the package.

You can also check out the Kobe Marathon website.

If you're looking for a little more time before the big run, the 12th Annual Tokyo Marathon 2012 will be held on February 26th, 2012.  Kintetsu International Express (Canada) Inc. is offering a 4-night hotel package (February 23rd – 26th), including hotel breakfast, marathon fee, transportation between Narita Airport and your hotel, and a donation to earthquake and tsunami victims.

For details about this package, go to: www.kiecan.com/toronto/tokyomarathon2012/

And visit the Tokyo Marathon website.


Come experience the newest technologies, products, systems and software.  CEATEC JAPAN is Asia's largest interactive exhibition in the communications, information and imaging fields. The 2011 exhibition presents the industries' latest achievements and trends through exhibition stages and zones with different objectives. 

The exhibition will be held at the Makuhari Messe convention complex in Tokyo, from 10am – 5pm on October 4th – 8th, 2011.  The event is special-invitation-only on October 4th, open to the public from October 5th – 7th, and free on October 8th.  Admission at the gate is ¥1000 for adults and ¥500 for students, but free for children under 12, groups of 20 students or more, or people who pre-registered online.

For more information about CEATEC JAPAN 2011 and to pre-register for free admission, go to: www.ceatec.com/2011/en/


Looking for somewhere new to explore?  Try Maniwa City, in Okayama prefecture.  The city has recently created an English version of their website so you can learn about Maniwa and what it has to offer. You can find brief introductions to Maniwa city's major events and festivals, hot springs, resorts, clubs, crafts, and delicacies. Learn about the Katsuyama cityscape preservations district, and Maniwa’s beautiful gardens, parks, and cherry blossoms.

Visit Maniwa City's new English site.


Calling all train enthusiasts, JR Central invites you to the SCMAGLEV & railway park museum.  People of all ages can learn about the history of railway and how it has impacted the economy, our society, culture, and lifestyle.  Come see, touch, and go inside the 39 trains on display, including the futuristic high-speed SCMAGLEV (Super-conducting Magnetically Levitated Vehicle).  Feel the thrill of driving the legendary Shinkansen bullet train in a Shinkansen/conventional train simulator.  Explore the largest diorama in Japan in the Greatest Railway Diorama Room.  Learn the history of railways and the mechanics behind the Shinkansen and the SCMAGLEV in a variety of zones, rooms, and theatres.

To learn more, visit: http://museum.jr-central.co.jp/en


On July 1st, 2011, Fujikyoko Co. Ltd announced the renaming of Fujiyoshida station to "Mt. Fuji Station".  The station is on the Fujikyoko rail line and is the nearest railway station to the famous mountain. 

The new name goes along with some new renovations. The station entrance boasts a new, 7-meter high Torii gate, revamped shopping area, food court, and tourist information corner.  Wood elements have been incorporated into the new design to symbolize the natural environs of Mt. Fuji. Platform signs are now written in 4 languages (English, simplified Chinese, Korean & Japanese), and there are new, multilingual displays on train information panels and ticket machines. At 6-stories high, the station also makes use of its status as the highest building in the area; a rooftop observation deck complete with wooden floors, benches, tables and plants, provides an unobstructed view of Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji station will also become a more important tourist information source, and the starting point of several walking trails and tours. The Fuji-Q Bus tour at Mt. Fuji station will begin a new half-day tour on the open-roofed Kaba bus, or the amphibious Yamanakoko-no-kaba bus.

For details on the new renovations, click here.

For those looking to get to Mt. Fuji from Haneda airport, the Keihin Kyuko Bus Co. Ltd began running two new airport limousine bus lines as of July 16th, one between Haneda and Mt. Fuji, and another between Haneda and Shizuoka. The lines open up these previously inconvenient locations to direct access from Haneda airport for half the price of taking a Shinkansen.

For more information on the new bus lines, click here.

Finally, for adventurers who want to conquer the mountain itself, check out the video clip for tips on climbing Mt. Fuji safely (available in English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Portuguese).


Wondering if your bank or credit cards will work on a Japanese ATM?  Not even sure where the ATMs are in the first place?  Seven Bank has the solution.  The Seven-Eleven affiliate has made International cash cards available at more than 15,000 ATMs in Seven-Eleven convenience stores across Japan.  The machines accept Visa, Plus, Mastercard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express, JCB, UnionPay, Discover and Diners Club International and are available 365 days of the year. You can withdraw money with your bank card or credit card almost 24 hours a day (there may be up to a 20 minute blackout period around midnight, depending on the card).  Seven Bank also has a convenient ATM locator in English & Japanese on their website, where you can search by area, postal code or keywords.

Check out the ATM locator & more details at: www.sevenbank.co.jp/intlcard/index2.html


Is there a Hello Kitty fan in your family?  Club Tourism is having a Yokoso Special 1-day tour of Sanrio Puroland, the Toei Animation Gallery, and Odaiba harbour.  Departing from Shinjuku, the tour begins with a 4-hour visit to Sanrio Puroland, where you can watch the parade, visit the attractions, and eat your Hello Kitty Special Lunch in your very own Hello Kitty Lunchbox.  You also get a Sanrio character goods gift, and the chance to win a special sanrio gift in a lucky draw on the bus.  From there, the tour moves to the Toei Animation Gallery, where you will watch storyboards and cells of dragon ball or Sailor Moon, and wind down the day with an Odaiba short cruise going under the Rainbow Bridge.

The tour is available on specified dates until the end of October, and you can request basic information and sightseeing brochures in English, Mandarin Chinese, or Korean.  For more information, go to:  www.yokoso-japan.jp/en/05582.html


You can now book your JR-West Rail Pass online! 

The Sanyo Area pass, valid between Shin-Osaka and Hakata, and the Kansai Area pass, for Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Nara, can now be reserved through JR's website.  Simply fill out the form online, print off the confirmation email, and bring your printout, your return air ticket, and your passport to the JR-West ticket office specified during the reservations process.  Once you present your documentation, you can pay for and collect your pass, and you're ready to go!


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.

Small, wooden plaques are often found hanging on racks at Shinto shrines.  What are they??

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
12th Global Travel & Tourism Summit
JNTO Canada Website Update
Kobe and Tokyo Marathon
Latest in Cutting-Edge Japanese Technology
Discover Maniwa City Online
JR Central SCMAGLEV & Railway Park
Mt. Fuji: Newly Renovated
Hunt for an ATM is Over
Let's Go To See Hello Kitty
JR West Rail Pass Online Booking
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