Japan Travel Newsletter
FEATURED HIGHLIGHT - Win a free trip to Japan in 2010

Don't miss your chance to win a FREE TRIP to JAPAN! Visit Japan Year 2010 contest is running until November 30th. Prizes include free air tickets, hotel accommodations, train passes, day tours, Visit Japan 2010 Original Goods and many more. So why wait? Just follow your imagination and submit an essay or upload a photo for a chance to win a life-time experience in Japan! More Info >>

FEATURED HIGHLIGHT

JNTO NEW OFFICE   KYOTO WINTER SPECIAL   NARA
JNTO NEW OFFICE   KYOTO WINTER SPECIAL   NARA

Japan National Tourism Organization New York Office relocated. More Info >>

 

Kyoto Winter Special comes back for 2010! Come and immerse yourself in the timeless magic of winter in Kyoto. More Info >>

 

Nara, the birth place of Japan, is celebrating its 1300th anniversary in 2010!
More Info >>

NARITA EXPRESS   NEW PRIME MINISTER   LOUIS VUITTON FOREST
NARITA EXPRESS   NEW PRIME MINISTER   LOUIS VUITTON FOREST

The brand-new Narita Express debut! It connects Narita Airport with major railway stations in Tokyo. More Info >>

 

Did you know the new prime minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama had once been nicknamed "The Alien?"
More Info >>

 

LOUIS VUITTON creates a "LOUIS VUITTON FOREST" in Komoro City, Nagano, in cooperation with "more trees". More Info >>

TETSUJIN 28-GO   YUSEI KIKUCHI   GUINNESS RECORD!
TETSUJIN 28-GO   YUSEI KIKUCHI   GUINNESS RECORD!

Gigantor, a 59-foot tall monument, is now awaiting you in Kobe! More Info >>

 

Major league teams who young Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi. More Info >>

 

Hakone Ropeway received Guinness World Record for the "busiest gondola lift" in the world! More Info >>

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UPCOMING EVENTS

japan JAPAN

 

US US

Tokyo Auto Salon Jan. 15-17

Tokyo Auto SalonThe world’s largest auto exhibition will have more than 600 vehicles on display.

 

Art of the Samurai at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Oct. 21-Jan. 10

Don't miss the first comprehensive exhibition ever dedicated to the arts of samurai! From the 12th century through 19th century, samurai had been the military nobility of Japan and they followed the path of "The Way of the Warrior".

Tokyo International Anime Fair,
March 25 - 28

Tokyo International Anime FairCome and meet some of the most famous anime creators and characters in the world!

 

Orlando Japan Festival,Orlando,FL,Nov.8

This half-day festival will entertain you and your family with a series of Japanese dances, music, martial arts demonstrations and unique food & drink vendors! Meet JNTO staff at the booth, too!

Setouchi International Art Festival 2010 Jul. 19 – Oct. 31

Setouchi International Art Festival 2010On the seven islands of the Seto Inland Sea and in Takamatsu port, this art festival will see people gather throughout Japan and rest of the world. Historically, the Seto Inland Sea has been a marine traffic route and also abundant with fish and seafood.

 

Anime USA, Arlington, VA, Nov. 20-22

As in its beginning in 1999, Anime USA's mission is to educate the public about and promote Japanese arts and popular culture. And they remain a convention of fans, by fans, and for fans. We at JNTO will be there to promote how you can experience Japanese arts in depth while traveling in Japan. Meet JNTO staff at the booth!

More Events >>

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STORY OF THE MONTH

A Temple Stay in Koyasan, a Buddhism Sanctuary

Koyasan, or Mount Koya (san means mountain in Japanese), has been a Buddhist sanctuary for over 1200 years. It was founded in 816 by Kukai, the founder of Buddhism's Shingon sect. Long ago it was far and secluded, but it is now very accessible, and yet still held a mystic atmosphere when I visited it in September. Read more >>

A Temple Stay in Koyasan
Inaka: My Sweet Home

Inaka: My Sweet Home

How many of our savvy readers have heard of Iya, which is remote part of Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku Island? Situated in the western part of Tokushima and nearly in the center of Shikoku, the Iya area is one of the three large “hidden mountain regions" in Japan with impossibly steep gorges. Read more >>

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ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Special Package Special Package > Hotel Details Hotel Details > Airline Specials Airline Specials >
Quiz Quiz > Useful Words Useful Words > Editor's Note Editor's Note >
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Special Tour Packages

For more special deals: http://www.japantravelinfo.com/special/index.php

SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL TOURS!
http://www.japantravelinfo.com/news/news_item.php?newsid=181

JTB USA, Inc. : Continental Tokyo Package 2009 (From $899, including air)
http://www.jtbusa.com/en/tour/cotokyo/

IACE Travel - Ultimate Value Package (From $759, including air)
http://iace-asia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=800&Itemid=49

Samurai Tours - Winter Wonderland Tour (From $4,994, not including air)
http://www.samuraitours.com/tours/winterWonderland/

Pacific Holidays: Japan Bullet Train (From $2245, including air)
http://www.pacificholidaysinc.com/ASIA/2009/JapanBulletTrain.htm

General Tours: Best Buy Japan (From $2099, not including air)
http://aarp.generaltours.com/tour/?tid=297

Asia Luxe Holidays (From $1,125, including air)
http://www.asialuxeholidays.com/packages.php?id=50

E.S. International Tours: Hokkaido Ski Package (From $2130, including air)
http://www.esitour.com/pdfs/Hokkaido_Ski_2009.pdf

Ten Thousand Waves Tours: Ten Thousand Waves Ski & Soak Japan Tour 2010
http://www.skiandboardjapan.com/ski_and_board_japan_a_trip_of _niseko_skiing_at_its_best.html

Pinnacle Travel Ltd. EXPERIENCE THE PINNACLE DIFFERENCE IN JAPAN
(Perfect for ski clubs and councils, students, and groups of any and all types)
http://www.pinnacletravel.co.uk/location/Japan

Holidaze Ski Tours: See & Ski Hakuba Japan (For groups & individuals!)
http://www.holidaze.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?current=11&subcurrent=85&site=holidaze

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Hotel Deals

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo has just launched a package plan for foreign guests called, "Sake Sampler Package" till mid February, 2010. It includes hotel stay, breakfast and 3 kinds of Japanese sake sampling along with the appetizers that are specially made to go with the sake. Guests enjoy sake sampling at the "Amanogawa Bar" (Amanogawa means Milky Way) on the 2nd floor of the hotel. Sake are specially selected to suit even first timers' pallets, perhaps a bit like fruity wines. Explanatory cards of featured sake are also distributed.

Availability Through February 11, 2010

Special Room Rates Conversion rate $1 = 89 yen (October 2009)
Superior room (323-355 sq. ft.):From 18,000Yen ($202)Single/Double Occupancy
Plaza Premier (355-388 sq. ft.):From 22,000Yen ($247)Single/Double Occupancy

Features
*Rates include Daily Breakfast in the Lounge and Sake Sampler Voucher for AMANOGAWA (Sake Bar) *Sake Sampler Voucher is exchangeable for a Meal Voucher of 4,000JPY value.

NOTES
*10% service charge, 5% consumption tax and Tokyo City tax will be added to these rates
* Rates will be changed depending on occupancy
For more Information and Reservations
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo Los Angeles Office
Tel: 800-222-5346
Fax: 213-362-7772
Email: reservation@keioplazatokyo.com
Website: http://www.keioplaza.com/index.html

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Airline Specials

 

From NY to Tokyo From LA to Tokyo
Japan Airlines $ 560 USD + tax ~ $ 490 USD + tax ~
All Nippon Airways $ 740 USD + tax ~ $ 590 USD + tax ~
American Airlines $ 758 USD + tax ~ $ 588 USD + tax ~
Continental Airlines $ 736USD + tax ~ (from Newark to Tokyo)
  $ 736 USD + tax ~ (from Houston to Tokyo)
Delta Airlines $ 758 USD + tax ~ $ 588 USD + tax ~
United Airlines $ 620 USD + tax ~ $ 420 USD + tax ~
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Quiz: Where in Japan?

Quiz: This is a picture of the standard and very popular Hida souvenir doll. Please give us the name of the doll in the Japanese, which means “Happy Monkey Baby" in the Hida dialect.

Hint: The Hida area in Gifu Prefecture is a region that is popular for sightseeing spots such as World Heritage "Gassho-style thatched-roof houses in Shirakawa-go," "Hida-Takayama" and the hot spring "Gero." Long ago, there were no toys for children in snowy Hida. So grandmothers and mothers created the "Happy Monkey Baby" for their youngsters as a wish for happiness and good health. Do you think this doll would bring you happiness and good health if you owned one?

Prize: Five lucky winners will be chosen among all correct answers submitted to receive the doll courtesy of the Gifu Prefecture Government Office in New York.

How to enter: You can enter from November 1 to November 30, 2009.
http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB229U35FE32C

Let’s review the last quiz. The answer to the last issue’s quiz is Nagoya Castle. Out of 105 replies, 96 (91%) had the correct answer!

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Useful Words When Traveling in Japan - Onaka ga suita

This month's useful words are ones that everyone can use when they're in Japan.

Anyone with a moderate knowledge of Japan knows that it is a gourmet Mecca and a foodie's paradise. To hammer this point home, Michelin, the French company that is renowned for its tires and travel guides, has just released a new guide focused on Kyoto and Osaka, bestowing upon the two cities' restaurants a total of 189 stars, consisting of the single, double, and highly lauded triple-star rank, of which Kyoto received six and Osaka one (a triple-star rank is the highest and most coveted, a rare and humbling honor). Together with Tokyo's 227 stars (nine three-stars, tied with Paris for the highest), Japan now boasts a whopping 416 stars, and Tokyo is still named the world culinary capital by Michelin. With all this in mind, it is no wonder that while in Japan you'll want to savor as much of this first-class goodness as you can. So how do you let people know you're ready to eat? By telling them you're hungry of course.

In Japanese, this is best conveyed with the phrase "Onaka ga suita," which literally translates to "My stomach is empty." Used around formal company, this phrase will let people know you're ready to eat. Among closer circles, such as family and friends, you can also use the phrase "Hara Hetta," which literally means "My stomach got smaller." While this might sound like you're referring to an ulcer or a hernia, it really means that you have hunger pangs. Please be aware that "Hara Hetta" is typically used exclusively by men, as it is a very masculine phrase.

Finally, if you're feeling very informal and lazy, you can say "Nanka tabetai," which simply means "I wanna eat something," and while you won't be awarded any points for style or eloquence, it'll get the point across. And remember to impress your hosts and show your gratitude by saying "Itadakimasu" before and "Gochisosama" after each meal, which mean "I humbly receive" and "Thank you for the meal" respectively. Now go get your hashi (chopsticks) ready, because you're ready to tackle Japan's amazing food culture!

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Editor’s Note

Thank you for reading our last newsletter for 2009!

We hope 2009 has been a great year for all of you, and, as many of you may know, the year of 2010 will be a blast for all fans of Japan! With many events and special offerings for travelers to Japan, we would love for you to have once-in-the lifetime experiences visiting Japan in 2010.

We are also proud to announce that the Visit Japan facebook page has reached over 2,000 fans! It is great to hear all your voices and have a chance to communicate with you all! We appreciate your comments and beautiful photos of Japan and hope to communicate with all our friends out there!

Wishing you all a great holiday season and New Year!

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JNTO
Publisher:
Japan National Tourism Organization,
New York Office
Japan National Tourism Organization,
Los Angeles Office
11 West 42nd Street
19th Floor,
New York, NY 10036

email: visitjapan@jntonyc.org
URL: www.japantravelinfo.com
  Little Tokyo Plaza 340 E. 2nd Street, Suite 302
Los Angels, CA 90012

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

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