Quarterly Newsletter : September 2007
In this Issue:
News Updates
Japan Tour Updates
Hotel Updates
How to Get Yen (Currency in Japan)
Other News
Local News
Upcoming Festivals and Events
Be a Winner!

Customs Declaration Form Updated
On July 1, 2007, the Customs Declaration form will be updated to increase processing speed and ensure that restricted items do not enter Japan. All travelers are asked to complete the form before arriving at customs. The new form lists prohibited and restricted items and requires passengers to declare certain effects. Passengers with unattended articles (such as luggage mailed separately) must fill out a duplicate form detailing the contents. The new form is available online here in English, Chinese and Korean. Log on to http://www.customs.go.jp/english/summary/passenger.htm or contact your nearest Consulate General of Japan for complete Customs procedures.

At United, the world is truly flat
This fall, United's international premium cabins will begin a remarkable transformation, featuring the first 180, lie-flat business class seat to be offered by a U.S. airline.

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Escorted Autumn Japan Tours available from the U.S.
Aberdeen Tours "Japan Hida Takayama Shirakawago Hot Springs 7-Day Tour"
Adelsman Tours Fall Colors Tour - November 7 - 20, 2007
Asian Transpacific Journeys Quintessential Japan - October 27, 2007
Bauman Travels "Japan Garden 15 Day Tour" - November 2, 2007
Cosmic Tours, Inc. "Japan Grand Tour 9 Days" - Tokyo, Atami, Hakone, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe.
General Tours World Traveler Fall Foliage on the Golden-Route, Oct 4, 2007 & more.
Geographic Expeditions The Essence of Japan - October 24, 2007
Globus Journeys Discover Japan - October 30, 2007
Hermes Travel A Different View of Japan in Autumn - November 6, 2007
HIS International Tours, Inc. "Tokyo Summer Maximum" - Trip highlights: Tokyo Game Show 2007, Japanese Cultural Experience.
IACE Travel Inc. "Sake and Spa Tour" - Visit Kyoto, Kobe Arima Hot Springs and Osaka for 9 days 7 nights.
Japan Travel Bureau USA "Seven Cities & Seventy Teas" - Nov. 1st to Nov. 9th, 2007
Trip highlights: Tours of tea factories, tea museum, tea garden & teaware manufacturer, admission to the World O-Cha (Tea) Festival 2007 & more.
Journeys East From Farmhouse to Teahouse - October 20, 2007
Kobayashi Travel 2007 Autumn Hokkaido & Tohoku - October 11, 2007
Panda Travel Inc. Autumn Hokkaido & Tohoku Japan Tour - October 3, 2007
Pleasant Holidays "Handa Dashi Festival" - 6 nights from $2945
The Handa Dashi Festival provides travelers a unique cultural experience. Join Pleasant Holidays for an exclusive opportunity to participate in the parade by assisting in the pulling of floats down the parade route.
Travcoa Sensational Japan - October 11, 2007
Yamato Travel Bureau: Yamato Deluxe Autumn Tour to Japan - October 30, 2007

Saltwater Fishing Tours in Okinawa
IGFA Certified "Cap'n Billy" and his bilingual crew offer chartered fishing tours, commissionable 10% to travel agents (based on a $120 per person booking fee). Private charters are $1440.00 and offer a 10% commission as well. Whale watching tours are also available. Agents should contact Charter Manager Shawn Cotton by phone at (+81) 909-788-5266 or by email at Shawn@Saltwater-Fishing-Okinawa.com
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Sheraton Miyako Renovations (1-800-325-3535)
The Miyako Osaka and Miyako Tokyo have become part of the international Sheraton brand as of April 2007, turning them into the Sheraton Miyako Osaka and Sheraton Miyako Tokyo. Both hotels are undergoing renovations to their guestrooms and meeting facilities.

Prince Hotel Reveals its New Brands (1-877-783-8787)
Effective April 1, 2007: In an effort to enhance brand awareness, Prince Hotels & Resorts has announced the launch of a new corporate logo and 3 new hotel brands. The three brands include "The Prince", "Grand Prince Hotel" and "Prince Hotel". According to Prince, "The branding is not a measure of ranking or level, but rather, a way in which to establish and identify a consistency in quality for guests."

  New Brand Previous
The Prince Park Tower Tokyo
The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo
The Prince Hakone
The Prince Karuizawa
Tokyo Prince Hotel Park Tower
Takanawa Prince Hotel Sakura Tower
Hakone Prince Hotel
Karuizawa Prince Hotel
     
Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka
Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa
Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa
Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto
Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima
Akasaka Prince Hotel
Takanawa Prince Hotel
New Takanawa Prince Hotel
Kyoto Takaragaike Prince Hotel
Hiroshima Prince Hotel
     
Prince Hotel Shinagawa
Prince Hotel Shin Yokohama
Prince Hotel Naeba
Prince Hotel Karuizawa East
Prince Hotel Otsu
Shinagawa Prince Hotel
Shin Yokohama Prince Hotel
Naeba Prince Hotel
Karuizawa Prince Hotel
Otsu Prince Hotel
  And others. (Total 35 hotels under this brand).

New Luxe Hotels in Japan (1-866-LUXE-411)
As of March 28, 2007, Luxe Hotels has added 7 properties in Japan to the Luxe Worldwide Collection.

In Tokyo: Kitano Arms & Hotel Monterey Akasaka.
In Kyoto: Hotel Monterey Kyoto & Hotel Heiannomori.
In Osaka: Hotel Monterey Osaka & Hotel Monterey La Soeur Osaka.
In Kobe: Hotel Pearl City Kobe.

Hotel Discounts
Fujiya Hotel Hakone, 129 Years Special Anniversary Plan.
Since 1878, the Fujiya Hotel has had the privilege of welcoming many distinguished foreign guests. To celebrate over 129 years of service Fujiya Hotel Hakone has special offers for all holders of foreign passports. Through July 14, 2008 (Except 2007/ 8/5~8/25, 12/28~2008/1/5 ).

For details, email: shukuhaku@fujiyahotel.co.jp or visit http://www.fujiyahotel.jp/english/stay_plan_129th.html

Yokohama Excel Hotel Tokyu, located only one minute from Yokohama station and walking distance from various attractions in Yokohama, is now offering a special discount rate of 13,000 yen for single rooms (25% off rack rate), 16,000 yen for twin rooms (35% off rack rate) and 23,100 yen for triple rooms (30% off rack rate).

Tokyu Inn Group, Autumn Promotion 2007
For details, call their U.S. Sales Rep. in New York at 1-800-42-TOKYU (86598) or email to reservation@tokyuhotelsjapan.com

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Seven Bank: As of July 11, Seven Bank, Ltd. has made all of its ATM machines compatible with foreign-issued cards. This is significant for travelers because there are over 12,000 Seven Bank ATM's located all over Japan (35 prefectures), many near hotels and tourist attractions. This makes getting yen as easy as finding a 7-11 convenience store (most, but not all 7-11's have Seven Bank ATM machines). Another great advantage is that Seven Bank ATM's can be used 24 hours (subject to individual store operating hours). Service is available in English, Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean.

Read more...

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News from J.R. East Railway Company
1. From July 1, 2007 through October 1, 2007, East Japan Rail will be selling a "JR East Pass Special," (valid for travel in greater Tokyo, Nikko, Nagano, and the entire Tohoku Region ). The price, at 10,000 yen for a three-day pass (valid for any three days in a one-month period), is half that of the usual four-day JR East Pass (20,000 yen). For details, please see the press release

2. Starting July 1, 2007, the JR East Pass Special (and the Special JR East Pass mentioned above) will be sold on major GDS ticketing systems (Galileo, Sabre, Worldspan, Apollo, Amadeus), making them much easier for agents around the world to procure.
For details, please see the press release

JTB Launches New Website
JTB has launched a new website, http://www.japanican.com. The new website allows individual travelers to book hotels and tours and has a wealth of practical information in its Japan Info section.

Kyoto City's New Website
Kyoto City has launched its first official website, http://www.kyoto.travel. The website has been designed for usability, providing a hotel booking function and the latest information on transportation, dining, events, and places of interest.



Wa-Shoi! Free Bus Service between Narita and Akihabara
H.I.S. Experience, Japan Co. Ltd. is a relatively new company that offers various services to overseas tourists visiting Japan. One of their more notable services is free bus service between Narita Airport and Tokyo's Akihabara electronics and anime district. Some buses even go as far as Shinjuku. Passengers will need to register and earn 1000 points on the website, which involves getting friends to register and posting and answering questions on the Wa-shoi! Sensei. This service is perfect for budget travelers and anime fans. For details about the bus and to become a member of the Wa-shoi! Web, logon to http://wa-shoi.com

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VJC to Attend Autumn Moon Festival     Sep. 22 - 23
Visit Japan Campaign (VJC) will participate again this year in the Autumn Moon Festival Street Fair in San Francisco's Chinatown district. Japan, like China, traditionally used the lunar calendar and still celebrates the Autumn Moon Festival with the tradition of Tsuki-mi (see last month's newsletter for details). Please come see us at the festival if you are in the San Francisco area.

Japan Fest, Georgia     Sep. 29 - 30
Pick up travel tips and freebies for your next visit to Japan in the Atlanta area. At the same time, indulge in Japanese food and culture all weekend long on Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm at The Convention Center at Gwinnett Center.

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Autumn and Winter Festivals and Events in Japan 2007
Find out exactly where you will find koyo, the autumn foliage in major tourist hot spots from all over Japan. Plus, details to your non-stop festivals and events you can actively participate in from now until New Year's 2008! E.g. Tokyo Game Show, Moon Watching, Formula Grand Prix and more...

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JNTO's Visitor Survey No.2
Spend a few minutes and browse our "In and Around Airports" micro site and take a survey. You never know, you might just be a winner. New winners are selected at the end of each month until December 2007, so take a chance!

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Travelers' Page as a courtesy to readers of this newsletter. Though the 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 the JNTO nor any holder of 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 Tourist Organization,
N.Y. Office
Japan National Tourist Organization,
L.A. Office
One Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 1250
New York, NY 10020

email: visitjapan@jntonyc.org
URL: www.japantravelinfo.com
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email: info@jnto-lax.org
URL: www.japantravelinfo.com