~July 2012~

Japan Travel Updates is a publication of the Los Angeles Office of the Japan National Tourism Organization.
For more information, or for promotional opportunities, e-mail: info@jnto-lax.org


Smiles of Japan
Last year a writer and a photographer volunteered their time to spend over 100 days traveling all over Japan visiting communities and spreading the word that areas affected by the Earthquake were recovered and other areas continued to welcome travelers from all over the world. The couple visited cities large and small. Using their journalistic skills they made almost daily blog entries and now that their trip is over there is an electronic book available detailing their journey. Please visit the Travel Volunteer - Smiles of Japan page for more details and to read all about their fantastic and inspiring journey.

"Toy Story Mania" at Tokyo DisneySea®
Join the fun at Tokyo DisneySea's® Toyville Trolley Park, where the new Toy Story Mania! ride is located. The Toyville Trolley Park is an old-fashioned amusement park as was held decades ago in New York. On the new ride, the whole family can have fun by participating in a 3D action game, popping balloons, throwing rings and more. Everything is over sized as you join the toys at their size. Toy Story Mania brings the total number of attractions at Tokyo DisneySea® to a fantastic 35!

Amanohashidate Tourism Introduces the Navi-Oto audio pen
Stunning Amanohashidate just outside of Kyoto has now started to offer multi lingual audio guide pens and guidebooks to tourists visiting the city! The aim is to assist visiting with having the most comfortable and convenient time possible. Four languages are available: English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. You can use the pen at many accommodations, restaurants, souvenir shops and tourist facilities that are members of the Amanohashidate Tourism Association. You can borrow the pen from information counters at Amanohashidate & Miyazu Stations for only 500yen. Amanohashidate Tourism Welcomes you!

Hakuba Village Summer Beauty Video
Hakuba City in Nagano Prefecture has released a beautiful video of the natural summer scenery in the area. Please take a look at their youtube channel to soak in the warmth and mountain freshness of the Japan countryside. Hopefully you will also be inspired to visit Hakuba!

Shimane Prefecture Tourism Releases Special Mythology Website
Shimane Prefecture is said to be part of the birthplace of Japan. This was chronicled in the ancient Japanese text called the Kojiki or in English "Record of Ancient Matters". The Kojiki is the oldest written record of the history of ancient Japan. This year marks the 1300th anniversary of the compilation of this record. To celebrate, Shimane Prefecture Tourism has released a new educational website to introduce everyone to not only the exploits of the ancient Japanese gods but also the places where even today you can find traces of a people lost since past. Why not head over a take and gander at this interesting text and find a new travel destination! Home of Japanese Mythology - Shimane.

New Niseko Product Directory
The Niseko Area in Hokkaido, famous for its fabulous winter skiing, has published a great new manual for travelers and meeting/incentive planners. The over 70 page guide, not only lists the area facility information but also gives details on area activities (not just skiing!) places to see, places to relax, and even local delicacies. If you or your clients are looking for a great getaway please read this guide, it has everything you need to know! Niseko Product Directory.

New "Seven Stars in Kyushu" Cruise Train
Starting October 2013 a new luxury way to travel will roll out in Kyushu. The Seven Star Cruising Train will travel past some of the best sights of Kyushu all the while offering luxury moving accommodations and a way to experience the countryside at a relaxing pace. There will be 2 and 4 day courses available both starting from Hakata Station in Fukuoka. Ticket sales begin October 2012, please see the Seven Stars Website for more details.

Seven Bank now offers Western Union Money Transfers
If you didn't know already, convenience stores in Japan are really super convenient! Seven Elevens in particular have offered international ATMs and similar banking services for many years through their Seven Bank. Seven Bank also offers money transfer services through a partnership with Western Union! The transfers can be done in many places 24/7, 365 days a year through the internet or using the Seven Bank ATMs at a convenient Seven-Eleven most anywhere you are traveling in Japan! Seven Bank services are fantastic for travelers as you don't have to worry about not being able to access your money even while in Japan! Please see the Seven Bank website for more details.

New ICOCA & Haruka Pass for Tourists - Kansai
Japan Rail West is now offering a new discount set for travel from Kansai Airport to Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto! The Set includes either a one-way or round trip ticket on the Kansai Airport express train the "Haruka" and a ICOCA card pre-loaded with 2,000yen in e-money which can be used to pay fares for most public transportation in the Kansai area as well as for shopping or buying snacks during your travels! The ICOCA card is a smart card and the balance can be checked or reloaded at any automated ticket machine in JR train stations in the Kansai Area. This particular card is also of a special design specifically for foreign visitors, and it can either be refunded at the end of your trip or kept as a keep sake and reused for your next trip! Please see the ICOCA & Haruka Pass page for more details and how to purchase this set.

Nankai Railway Special Kyoto, Nara & Kobe Access Tickets
Also in Kansai Transportation news, Nankai Railway Company has always offered a variety of discount tickets and passes. Now they are offering three more separate Kyoto, Nara and Kobe Access Tickets. Each different ticket will get you from the Kansai Airport to your city of choice using the Nankai and other rail systems for a discounted price. These discount passes can be purchased at either the Kansai Airport Station or other Nankai Electric Railway stations. Please see the Nankai Railway page for more information and pricing.

Repair at Byodoin Temple - Uji City
A Japan National Treasure & UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Phoenix Hall of Byodoin Temple will be undergoing repair starting from September 2012 till March 2014. During that time the Phoenix Hall will be covered by a temporary roof and scaffolding structure to ensure that the World Heritage site is kept safe during the repair to its roofing. Tours inside the Hall will be suspended during the work but the other facilities on the site will be open as usual, including the Byodoin Museum which houses the majority of the site's National Treasures. Please see the Byodoin Announcement for more information.

First Avenue Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station is one of the biggest stations in Japan, serving over 20 train & subway lines, including the famous bullet trains, as well at multiple buses... oh and it's also linked by underground to 5 other stations. Above all of this, to me, Tokyo station is a fantastic place to shop and eat! One of the best areas is the First Avenue Tokyo Station, a three story commercial and retail facility starting at the first basement through the second floor of the station (Yaesu Exit side). It features many different stores, including the official factory stores of three of the top confectionaries of Japan - Gilco, Morinaga Seika and Calbee! Then there's the Tokyo Ramen street, where you can have your choice of many of the regional varieties of ramen. Try more than one and discover their tasty differences! For more information on the stores and location of First Avenue Tokyo Station, please visit their website.

New/Renewed Japan Tourism Webpages
New JNTO corner "Feel Japanesque"!
Tokyo's renewed official Website! GoTokyo
Shizuoka's Mt. Fuji Report
Keihan Railway New Tourism webpage

New Electronic Brochures & Newsletters
JR Hokkaido Mail Magazine July
Tohoku Guidebook - Tohoku Your Way
Gifu Prefecture Newsletter July
Hakodate City new Ebrochure


Message from Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)
A revival of inbound tourism, please enjoy Japan's picturesque summer!

According to statistics released by JNTO in July 2012, for the first time since the Great East Japan Earthquake in March of last year, the number of international visitors to Japan has risen to pre-earthquake levels. For June the number of visitors was actually the highest ever recorded. Being able to make such a turnaround in only 14 months was only possible due to the warm support given to us by country and regional governments as well as various organizations, companies, media and individual travelers the world over. For this kind understanding and support I again offer thanks from the bottom of my heart.

At the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) annual Global Summit, held this April, WTTC Chairman Michael Frenzel said, "There is no doubt in our minds that Japan is well and truly open for business." However, for us, it was only after seeing the June numbers that we could be sure that inbound tourism had in fact made a substantial revival and was indeed swiftly progressing towards growth. There is no greater happiness than this.

In May, the 634m Tokyo Skytree, the tallest free-standing broadcast tower in the world, opened near the Asakusa area of Tokyo and it is attracting long lines of visitors every day. And now, Japan has entered the key stage as summer starts, bringing traditional festivals and firework displays. Historic sights are abundant in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara while Tohoku and the rest of the country are enthusiastically offering various entertainments for travelers. Also, there are the many mountain and plateau resorts of Mt. Fuji, the Japan Alps and Hokkaido and the world class marine resorts of Okinawa which are continuing to grow. Every day on the JNTO website and facebook page we are uploading information about these various sightseeing locations and Japan travel products.

We at JNTO are also feverishly working hand in hand with all of our partners in Japan in order to expand inbound tourism even more. Please do not let this picturesque Japan summer pass you by and we ask that you make your Japan travel plans soon! We would like to welcome all visitors from around the world with our customary hospitality.

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)
Ryoichi Matsuyama
JNTO President
July 20, 2012

Summer is coming to a close and the heat finally starts to fade. Let's venture to some lesser know spots in Japan to enjoy a bounty of food and the wonderful fall colors!

Utsunomiya City's Famous Food

How about trying Utsunomiya Gyoza on the way to Nikko, Kinugawa, and Nasu? Utsunomiya is the capital of Tochigi Prefecture. It takes only 50 minutes to get to Utsunomiya from Tokyo by Bullet Train, and it is located in the direct path of some famous tourist spots: Nikko, Kinugawa, and Nasu. Utsunomiya is well-known for Chinese food, specifically Gyoza, and boasts the one of the largest Gyoza consumption ranks in Japan. The most common Gyoza shape is a round shell of wraps that is made from flour and water, and most commonly contains minced pork, finely chopped Chinese cabbage, leek, and garlic inside.

There are around 30 specialty Gyoza stores in Utsunomiya city, and each store has its own unique menu items such as Cheese Gyoza, Seafood Gyoza, and Japanese Basil Gyoza. It is not only delicious and fast, but also the prices are very reasonable. You can enjoy 6 pieces of Gyoza for about 300 yen ($3.75). If you want to taste a wide variety of flavors at once, Kirrase is the place that meets with the request. Kirrase is a combined store with 27 specialty Gyoza stores, so you can taste all kinds of Gyoza in once place without going around the city. They even sell takeout Gyoza so that people can enjoy them in their house. Furthermore, there is annual event, Utsunomiya Gyoza Festival in fall. Around 20 stores serve their Gyoza to people for only 100yen ($1.25). 125,000 people visited the festival in 2010, which was an all-time record. Gyoza is just one element of attraction in Utsunomiya, so it will be nice to stop over Utsunomiya city to explore. Go to these web sites for more information: Gyoza festival Group (Japanese) & Utsunomiya City Tourism (English).


Natural Beauty in Central Japan - Shiga Prefecture

Shiga Prefecture located roughly in the center of the Japanese archipelago and a little ways from Kyoto, is a hidden gem often overlooked by tourists. Only a 20 minute bullet train ride from Kyoto, Shiga is home to Lake Biwa-Japan's largest freshwater lake with an area of approximately 670km² and a perimeter of about 235km (146 miles). Lake Biwa, referred to as the "Biwako" by the Japanese, is divided into four sections: the Northern Lake, Eastern Lake, Southern Lake and Western Lake, each with a different landscape that can be enjoyed by train, car or bicycle. Many outdoor sports enthusiasts enjoy water sports on the Biwako such as yachting, wind surfing, wakeboarding, canoeing, and windsurfing among others.

Shiga is also the proud mother of many cultural treasures such as Hikone Castle, one of the four national treasure castles in Japan, the maple trees surrounding the castle turn a brilliant crimson in the fall (as in the header picture of this newsletter.) Shiga also boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Hieizan Enryakuji Temple. The prefecture is also the host of the famous annual Hikiyama Festival where boys ages 5-12 perform kabuki on moving floats. For a truly Shiga'esque experience, be sure to try some of the famous local dishes including delicious Omi beef and funa-zushi, a fermented sushi made from the Crucian carps caught from Lake Biwa. For more information please check out the Shiga Tourism Webpage.

Mountains & Seas of Culture - Mie Prefecture

Mie Prefecture sits on the edge of central Japan facing the Pacific Ocean, its coastline spanning about 1000km (621 miles) from North to South, resulting in different geographic features and climates throughout the prefecture. The Northern area offers an abundance of natural greenery as well as hot springs resorts and is also home to the Suzuka Circuit where the F1 Japan Grand Prix is held.

The Central area is associated most with Matsusaka city where the world-renowned, high-quality Matsusaka Beef is produced. If in the area, a taste of this delectable beef is considered a must for both domestic and foreign visitors alike!

The Southern central region of Ise is one home town of Ama (female) divers who carry on the age old tradition of diving for shellfish without scuba gear or air tanks. Take an afternoon to stop by the Ama Hut where you can dine or share afternoon tea with the Ama to gain a deeper understanding of their unique lifestyle. Then watch the sun set between the rocks at Meotoiwa, two large rocks in the sea linked by ropes to symbolize marriage in Japan, for a breathtaking, picture perfect opportunity. Ise is the birthplace of the famous Mikimoto pearls-which make for great souvenirs or gifts!-and is also the location of the Ise Grand Shrine which is considered one of the holiest and most sacred Shinto shrines in Japan.

Iga/Ueno was formerly a castle town and is now well-known as the origin of Iga ninja spies. Visitors can transport back in time at the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum to immerse themselves in learning the stealthy ways of the Iga ninjas.

In the Southern region of Mie lies one route of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kumano Kodo-the old Kumano pilgrimage road. The cobblestone road winding through a cypress forest formerly served as a route for pilgrims journeying to the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano. Today, the Kumano Road is shared by both pilgrims and hikers alike. For more things to see and places to go, visit the Mie Tourism Guide!


Upcoming Festivals and Holidays
More Information on these events can be found here.
August 26th - 27th Dai-Chochin Matsuri (Giant Lantern Festival) Suwa Shrine, Isshiki Town, Aichi Prefecture - This festival features enormous chochin (paper lanterns), also known as "amazingly gigantic lanterns," which measure over 5 meters in diameter and 10 meters in length. The 12 sets of paper lanterns appearing at the festival are depicted with pictures and Chinese characters which embody all kinds of meanings and stories. The scene of the Dai-Chochin Tsuriage when the huge brightly-colored paper lanterns are hoisted up very slowly is just breathtaking.
September 1st-3rd Owara Kaze-no-Bon Festival Yatsuo Town, Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture - This is a traditional folk event to appease the wind and pray for a bountiful crop, and is held every year for three days from September 1st. All the men and women of the town stop working during the days of the festival. They light small lampstands covered with paper and dance all night while singing the "Ecchu Owara Bushi" which is a folk song handed down in Yatsuo town.
September 14th-16th Reitaisai Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture - This 800 year old festival of the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine hosts a variety of events including horseback archery and classical Japanese dancing.
October 9th-10th Takayama Autumn Festival Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture - The Autumn Hachiman Matsuri, which is held annually on October 9th and 10th prompts the local inhabitants to start their winter preparations. The greatest attractions are the eleven yatai floats which are designated as significant intangible folk cultural assets. Their splendid motifs produced by the skills of the master artisans called Hida no Takumi are so gorgeous that they are often described as 'mobile Yomeimon' in association with the renowned Yomeimon Gate of Nikko Toshogu Shrine.
October 7th-9th Nagasaki Kunchi Festival Kaminishiyama Town, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture - This is an autumn festival held at Suwa Shrine which has a history of 370 years. Today, this festival is held every year for three days starting on October 7th in accordance with the solar calendar, drawing large numbers of tourists from both inside and outside Nagasaki Prefecture. The greatest highlight is the Hono-Odori in which the towns in charge, called Odori-cho, take turns every year to perform dances.
October 27th-28th Hiroshima Food Festival Hiroshima Castle & Central Park, Hiroshima Prefecture - Join the Hiroshima locals for their annual Food Festival. Enjoy over 400 different food stalls, free admission, traditional Japanese costumes and a variety of shows on the various stages. As well the Chrysanthemum Exhibition will be showing at the Hiroshima Castle Park at the same time so you can enjoy your eats while admiring the bright blossoms! Please see the Foodfest Page for more information.

Upcoming Large Conventions
Please visit the individual Conference Websites for more information.

October 12th-14th IMF and World Bank Group 2012 Meeting Tokyo - The Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group, held in the autumn of each year, are formal gatherings of the Boards of Governors, the highest decision-making bodies of the two organizations. Held in Tokyo, there should not be too much impact on hotels in the area, though one or two near the convention center may be full. Expected Attendance: 20,000+

Summer will soon be gone, but it's time for cooler temperatures and good food! Check out these late summer and fall tours from our partners!

Adventures in Japan
Japan: A Perfect Introduction (Special 5% discount on November Tour) & Tokyo on a Budget - 10% commission.

All Japan Tours
Japan In Depth - Takayama Autumn Festival Tour 2012 & The Golden Route Japan Tour Autumn - commissionable.

Destination Japan (HIS)
Tokyo Maximum - Tokyo Game Show 2012 - 10% commission.

Geographic Expeditions
Japan, A Cultural Feast - 10% commission.

Inside Japan
Small Group Tour Kyushu Elements & Small Group Tour A Northern Soul - 10% commission.

JapanQuest Journeys
The Essence of Japan & Contemporary and Traditional Japan - 12% commission.

JTB USA
6-Day Sunrise Combination Tour : Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto & Nara & 9-Day Highlight of Japan Tour - commissionable.

PacSet Tours
Narrow Road Tour & Japan Holiday Tour - 5% or more commission; inquire for details.

SuperValue Tours
Get a taste of Japan in a week: 7-Day Kanto Tour & Take the trip of a lifetime: 9-Day Japan Classics - Don't miss the best all-inclusive packages to Japan - starting from just $2250 with air! Commissionable for agents. Call for our guaranteed departures 877-388-1777.

Yusen Travel (USA)
Kyoto Tokyu Hotel & 1day Guided Tour / New Otani Osaka with Transfer / Yusen Special Private Tour (Chinese) Call 646-366-1557 Email yusen@pop.kdd.net or visit Yusen Travel for more information. - 5% commission.

Hotel Okura Co., Ltd. & JAL Hotels Co., Ltd.
Hotel Okura Co., Ltd. and JAL Hotels Co., Ltd., has launched a travel agent promotion in which selected member hotels offer 12% commission with the "Special Summer Promotion" rate to celebrate the brand affinity to link the GDS code of "NK" and "OC". The promotion will start from 01 July 2012 until 30 September 2012. The offer is valid for bookings and arrivals made through the GDS at the selected hotels during their period of participation. The Rate Access Code: use promotional rate code P85.

Hotel Nikko Nara
Starting from June 2012 to March 2013, we are pleased to offer to meeting planners a new MICE package (meeting and accommodation, valid from 50 guests and more). Meeting rooms are available for 6 hours maximum and provide free LAN internet and projector as a present. We can also arrange for optional meals in meeting rooms or at our 4 restaurants (Japanese, Western, Chinese and Teppan grill). Hotel Nikko Nara is directly connected to JR Nara station, convenient for both business trips and sightseeing. Our hotel offers conference facilities of various sizes, ideal for small meetings to large buffet parties (up to 1000 guests). As Nara is an historical city, you can also enjoy sightseeing and ancient atmosphere of Japan during your stay. Please contact us at info@nikkonara.jp for any reservation or further information.

Prince Hotels & Resorts
The Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima in cooperation with Swallow Travel Hiroshima is now offering complimentary travel services to guests from the Hiroshima Station Welcome counter. Services include a free shuttle bus from Hiroshima Station to the Hotel doorstep and Luggage Transfer. Feel free to drop all of those heavy bags off at the welcome counter and enjoy a day of sightseeing without having to go to the hotel first!
Shinjuku Prince Hotel is offering special FIT rates through March 31, 2013. Enjoy all the luxury and convenience of the Shinjuku Prince Hotel at deep discounts. 10% agent commission also available. Please call 800-542-8686 for rates and other information.

The Peninsula Tokyo
Family travel just got a lot more fun this summer at The Peninsula Tokyo with "Peninsula Family Moments," a program offering great value and fun for kids and grownups alike. Ideally located in the heart of Tokyo, The Peninsula Tokyo is the perfect place for an unforgettable family vacation, and from June 1 until December 31, 2012, "Peninsula Family Moments" offers a 50% reduction off the cost of an adjoining room for children under 12, who may also eat for free from the kids' menu. There is a range of amenities and programs tailored just for junior guests, including The Peninsula Kids' Academy's collection of cultural and fun activities. To book the "Peninsula Family Moments" room package, please visit peninsula.com or contact the Reservations Department at The Peninsula Tokyo at reservationptk@peninsula.com Also be sure to check out the Summer Splendour room packages! 10% commission available to travel agents.

Royal Park Hotel
New Summer Escape Executive special! Enjoy summer rates on both the single and double executive rooms, including breakfast access to the executive lounge, fitness center and swimming pool! 10% commission available for travel agents. The Royal Park Hotel also offers free wifi in all rooms, lobbies and restaurants of the hotel for the convenience of all guests. For more details or to book, please visit the Royal Park Hotel website. Also bookable through GDS.

All Nippon Airways

ANA to Provide OnAir Inflight Wi-Fi on its International Routes
ANA today announces that from summer 2013, Wi-Fi will be available on its international routes. The service will initially be made available on ANA B777-300ER and B767-300ER fleets serving ANA's international network. The OnAir Wi-Fi service, 'eInternet OnAir', will work in the same way as a Wi-Fi hotspot on the ground. Internet OnAir provides consistent global coverage, with a combination of over 80 regulatory authorizations, as well as its use of Inmarsat's I4 SBB network.
Shinichiro Ito wins "eExecutive Leadership Award"
Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO of ANA Group, has been honored with the "eExecutive Leadership Award" at the Airline Strategy Awards 2012, run by the Flightglobal publication Airline Business. The award ceremony was held last night, [8th July] at the Hounourable Society of Lincoln's Inn in London. Airline Business, one of the most respected publications in the airline industry, credited Mr. Ito with aggressively leading ANA Group to assume the leadership role, domestically and internationally, in the Japanese airline industry, and positioning the carrier for long-term financial prosperity through a number of strategic actions.

Japan Airlines

Reservations Now Open for JAL's New Nonstop San Diego=Tokyo Route
Japan Airlines recently announced that it will launch its new nonstop service between Tokyo (Narita) and San Diego starting December 2, 2012. The service will operate four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays and will be a joint business service with American Airlines (American). The route will be operated with JAL's new 787 Dreamliner boasting a more spacious cabin environment, improved overhead storage, LED lighting and a quieter ride. The two-class cabin includes JAL Executive Class, which is equipped with the JAL Shell Flat NEO seat and offers a 2-2-2 configuration ensuring either an aisle or window seat. Economy Class offers comfortable new seating and large 10.6-inch monitors to enjoy a wide range of inflight entertainment.
Japan Airlines and Virgin America Begin Interline Agreement
Virgin America (VX) and Japan Airlines (JL), now have an interline agreement in place so customers can book seamless travel between their respective North American and Asian routes. JAL offers daily service from Virgin America's home base San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND) and daily nonstop service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - a focus city for Virgin America -to JAL's hub at Tokyo's Narita International Airport (NRT), where travelers may connect onward to most major cities in Asia including Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai, and Taipei. In addition, JAL serves Narita from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and New York's JFK. Both airlines will transfer baggage between connecting flights to guests' final destinations. Interline electronic tickets for Virgin America and JAL connecting flights can now be booked through all the major Global Distribution Systems (GDS). Travel agents should refer to JAL's GDS reference pages for further booking instructions.

Malaysia Airlines

Special pricing on direct route LAX - NRT
Malaysia Airlines is proud to announce direct service from Los Angeles to Tokyo (4 times a week). Special debut pricing of $866.00 (all-in) for travel between May 1st - Jun 9th, Jul 16th-31st, Dec 1st - 9th & Dec 25th - 31st is now available. Even better pricing is available for travel between Aug 1st and Nov 30th, round trip for only $843.00 (all-in). Planes depart four times a week each way on Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun. For more details please contact your nearest Malaysia Airlines office!

Upcoming Events in the US!

August 11th - 19th 72nd Annual Nisei Week Los Angeles, California - It's time again for the summer fun of LA's Nisei Week! This annual tradition brings food, fun and laughter to Little Tokyo in downtown LA. Under the blazing summer sun there is everything from sports tournaments to car shows to parades. If you are in Southern California be sure to come out and enjoy all of the fun with us!
September 7th - 9th ASTA's Travel Retailing & Destination Expo THETRADESHOW Los Angeles, California - This September, JNTO will participate in ASTA's THETRADESHOW for the first time ever on behalf of the Japan Tourism Agency! The event will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Come visit JNTO at Booth #2432, talk to our knowledgeable staff, and discover for yourselves what you or your clients can gain from making Japan your next travel destination!

We will also give a 20 minute presentation on Japan from 1:30 - 1:50pm on Saturday, September 8 in the Presentation Pavilion. We hope to see you there!
September 8th - 9th Seattle 2012 Aki Matsuri Seattle, Washington - Celebrate the 15th annual Aki (fall) Matsuri at the Bellevue College Main Campus just across Lake Washington from Seattle. Join the Eastside Nihon Matsuri Association for a weekend of Japanese cultural events performances and learning fun.

Will your customers be able to find you when they click on that link from our website? If you have registered as a Japan Travel Specialist, the answer is yes. Just watch a few educational videos and take three short quizzes to become part of our JTS Program. See the website for details.
You can also contact our office for travel brochures and language handbooks. Please e-mail info@jnto-lax.org for more information.

JNTO is here to help! We can provide you with updated information, advice, brochures, and more to make yours a trip to remember. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office between 9AM and 5PM Pacific Standard Time. We look forward to assisting you!

JNTO Hotline: (213) 623-1952

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THE FINE PRINT/LEGAL STUFF
Information is provided in this Japan Travel Update as a courtesy to readers of this newsletter. Though JNTO endeavors to ensure the information is accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own judgment and at their own risk. Neither JNTO nor any holder of a copyright to the information shall be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any loss or misunderstanding, either direct or indirect, that is incurred as a result of utilizing the information.
Publisher: Japan National Tourism Organization, L.A. Office
340 E. 2nd Street, Suite 302, Los Angeles, CA 90012
email: info@jnto-lax.org
website: www.jnto.go.jp or www.japantravelinfo.com