Japan Travel Newsletter
FEATURED HIGHLIGHT

Japan Redesigns the Campaign
In Japan’s Visit Japan Year, the Japan Tourism Agency unveiled the new campaign logo on April 6, 2010. The new logo is accompanied by a new copy "Japan. Endless Discovery," and is designed with Japan’s iconic cherry blossom element, which represents Japan’s natural beauty, tradition, culture, cuisine and arts. Japan’s new copy implies that Japan is the destination with countless cultural and historic interests, encouraging travelers to see Japan as a destination for multiple visits. >> Read More


Interested in discovering the ideal Japanese experience for you?
Visit our new quiz site , answer the questions and find out which category you fall into and where you should go during your next trip to Japan! Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is also proud to announce some of the new features on our website, including an updated cruise site, an official guide for Anime lovers, and more! Visit our updated website and explore the best Japan has to offer.
>> www.japantravelinfo.com

Capitol Tokyu Hotel   ANA "Inspiration of Japan"   Narita Sky Access
   

"Capitol Tokyu Hotel", which ceased operations in 2006, boasted an impressive forty-three years of distinguished history. It will be reborn on the same site in autumn of 2010 as “The Capitol Hotel Tokyu". More Info >>

 

ANA launched its new brand "Inspiration of Japan," starting from April 2010, on its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, beginning on Tokyo-North America followed by Tokyo-Europe routes.
More Info >>

 

Narita Sky Access will Debut on July 17th! Nicknamed "Narita Sky Access", this new brand Keisei Sky Liner connects Tokyo and Narita Airport and travels at 99.5 miles per hour.
More Info >>

Japanese Baseball   John Lennon Museum   Himeji Castle
   

Japanese Baseball Season Opened! Baseball season finally opened in Japan this March! A seven-month tournament is played by the teams within each of Japan's two professional baseball leagues (the Central League and Pacific League).
More Info >>

 

John Lennon Museum will close on September 30th, 2010. Opened on October 9th, 2000, the John Lennon Museum has displayed Lennon's widow Ms. Yoko Ono's collection of his memorabilia, as well as other displays.
More Info >>

 

Himeji Castle starts its renovation in April. Built in the middle of the 14th century and gradually enlarged through the years, Himeji Castle is unrivaled for its size, as well as the beauty of its pure white tower which causes the castle to also be called "White Heron Castle."
More Info >>

More international flights        
   

More international flights between the U.S. and Tokyo Tokyo International Airport, commonly known as Haneda Airport, has increased its capacity and opened up to eight flights per day between the U.S. and Japan.
More Info >>

 

 

 

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

japan JAPAN

 

US US

Tenjin Festival, Osaka, late June - late July

Tokyo International Anime FairLocated next to Kyoto, Osaka has a long history as a flourishing commercial center of Japan. The festival has a history of over 1,000 years, beginning when the Osaka Tenmangu Shrine held a ceremony to stimulate people's health for the summer and town people set a boat adrift down the Okawa River to welcome the Shinto god Tenjin.

 

Japan Day @ Central Park 2010, New York, June 6th

Tokyo Auto SalonJapan Day @ Central Park will return this year! The event was designed by the Japanese community in New York City for promoting and communicating Japanese culture to everyone at the grassroots level. The festival will kick off with the Japan Run, a mini-marathon, at 8 AM, followed by a series of traditional Japanese and family-friendly activities.

More Events >>

Gion Festival, Kyoto, July

Setouchi International Art Festival 2010The Gion Festival has a history of over 1,000 years in Kyoto and covers the whole month of July. If you have a chance to visit Kyoto during this month, please witness the pith of Japanese culture through this festival.

 
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STORY OF THE MONTH

A Father and Son's Bike Adventure Across Japan – Part 2 Friendly Encounters

A Temple Stay in KoyasanOne of the best parts about our ride was encountering a variety of fascinating people. In Hokkaido, we met a traveling Buddhist monk who had been walking along the coast of Japan for the past 6 years, relying on handouts for meals and sleeping on a thin plastic mat. He told us that it took him about 1 year to walk an entire loop around the country, and that he was on his 6th circumnavigation! We also met Saito-san, a 61-year old man who had recently retired from a career as an elementary school teacher. To kick off his retirement, he set a goal of cycling along the entire coastline of the country over 4 months. We hit it off, and Sho and I spent two weeks of our ride traveling together with Saito-san, who proved to be a wonderful traveling companion. Read more >>

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Language Schools in Japan

Want to attend Japanese language school in Japan? Then check out the Intercultural Institute of Japan! The school offers not only various curriculum programs, from weekly courses to long-term courses, but also unforgettable experiences such as Japanese culture programs and frequent school trips. And on top of it all, you will make a lot of friends from all over the world! Weekly programs begin every Monday and the curriculum is developed very carefully to match your current Japanese language skills. You will be able to use what you learn after just a day of lessons, whether by talking about your family or about your country, with accurate pronunciation.
Please do not miss out on attending various Japanese cultural programs such as indigo dyeing, cooking classes, kimono wearing, sporting events and a lot more! The school also offers frequent school trips and celebrates annual festivals together with native students to help you more fully understand Japanese life.
The dormitory is only a 5 minute walk from the school located in Akihabara, and home stays can also be arranged by the school. There are many guesthouses where students can stay in Tokyo, too. Sakura House has been providing students with safe and exciting residential experiences for a long time. Sakura House organizes various get-togethers and activities, such as local tours, karaoke parties and dinner gatherings, so you will stay connected with their multinational community. Sakura House apartments are hassle-free and for students who value their privacy and individual moments.

Japanese language schools in Japan:
Intercultural Institute of Japan (http://www.incul.com/eng/index.html)
Edo Culture Center (http://www.edocul.com/index.html)
Kyoto Institute of Culture and Language (http://www.kicl.ac.jp/index.php)
Arc Academy Japanese Language School (http://en.arc-academy.net/)

Guest houses in Tokyo:
Sakura House (http://www.sakura-house.com/)
Oak House (http://www.oakhouse.jp/)

Some travel agencies in the U.S. also coordinate short-term overseas educational programs at language schools and home stay programs.
JTB USA, Inc.
JTB Homestay Japan Program (http://www.jtbusa.com/en/other/o-homestay.asp )
IACE Travel
Okinawa Youth Exchange Program (http://www.iace-usa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=601 )
Summer Camp in Gifu 2010 (http://www.ujeec.org/summeren10.htm )
H.I.S.
Kamakura Home Stay Experience (Stay in a local Japanese house)

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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 >

Special Tour Packages

Go Ahead Tours: Highlights of Japan
Want to discover the mesmerizing treasures of Japan? You can! From the tranquil gardens of Kyoto, Nara and Osaka, to the bustling streets of Tokyo, from Mt Fuji to the Sumida River's popular fish market, experience something new—and unforgettable—during your Japan vacation. What's more, when you travel with Go Ahead Tours, you'll explore some of the world's most culturally rich destinations at an incredible value. Go Ahead's 13-day Highlights of Japan tour includes round-trip airfare, transportation, hotels, a local Tour Director and exceptional sightseeing. Reserve by May 31 to save $400 per couple. Call 866-746-2927 to learn more.

IACE Travel: Japan Gourmet Tour 2010
The perfect tour for an incredible Japanese culinary experience! Tour features include popular highlights of Japanese gourmet culture: Tsukiji Fish Market and sushi breakfast, lunch at Iron Chef Restaurant, Soba noodle making & sushi roll making, summer festivals and Chofu Fire Works Festival, along with accommodation at a luxury hotel. You can also join the Kansai extension plan, which includes a stay at Japanese-style ryokan, daily breakfasts, a Kobe beef lunch, sake tasting, making your original Cup Noodle, and unique excursion tours to Kyoto, such as a Maiko/Samurai transform tour and a Kyoto Maiko night with dinner. 6 nights, 8 days for $2,498, July 12th – 19th. For Kansai extension, 3 nights, 4 days for $899. For more information, call 1-310-533-6450.

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Hotel Deals

 The Prince Park Tower Tokyo
The Premium Floor 2010 Special Rate Promotion is available until December 30th, 2010. The promotion includes free access to the Premium Lounge, complimentary use of their Membership System (Spa & Fitness club), welcome champagne service and more!

For more information:
Website: http://www.japantravelinfo.com/hotel/hotel_item.php?groupid=10

 RIHGA Royal Tokyo & RIHGA Royal Kyoto
Special room rates for a double-occupancy when booked two weeks in advance. Availability is until December 31st, 2010.

Please visit www.rihga.com or here.

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Airline Specials

 

From NY to Tokyo From LA to Tokyo
Japan Airlines $ 782 USD + tax ~ $ 722 USD + tax ~
All Nippon Airways $ 992 USD + tax ~ $ 882 USD + tax ~
American Airlines $ 820 USD + tax ~ $ 1032 USD + tax ~
Continental Airlines $ 757 USD + tax ~ $ 814 USD + tax ~
  (from Newark to Tokyo) (from Houston to Tokyo)
Delta Airlines $ 721 USD + tax ~ $ 628 USD + tax ~
United Airlines $ 757 USD + tax ~ $ 1032 USD + tax ~
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Quiz: Where in Japan?

Quiz: In 1963, Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy), based on the work of Tezuka Osamu, was the first successful animated TV series broadcasted in Japan. Which train station has adopted the Tetsuwan Atomu theme song as its boarding chime?

Hint: The station is in Tokyo, and is also in the area where Tezuka Productions has its studios.
Click this link to find out more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaFgTzR6fEc

Prize: One lucky winner will be chosen from among all the correct answers submitted to receive The Otaku Encyclopedia by Patrick W. Galbraith, courtesy of Kodansha America. (www.kodansha-intl.com)

How to enter: You can enter from April 21 to May 12, 2010. http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22ACKT4GUCZ

Let's review the last quiz. The answer to last issue's quiz is Lake Ashi. Out of 135 replies, 112 (83%) had the correct answer!

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Practical Info - Traveling with Baggage?

Imagine you are traveling from one city to another on the Shinkansen bullet train. You may think it is burdensome to carry your baggage with you the entire time. Here’s our recommendation for an easier journey.

If you have one or two suitcases, you may carry them with you on the bullet train. The Japan bullet train has overhead racks for handbags, and if you can get a seat at the end of the carriage there is a little space behind the last row of seats where a suitcase will fit.

Here's the official restriction from JR companies regardless if you take the bullet train or other types of trains:
 - Bags must not exceed 8.2 feet (a total of length, width and height), 66 pounds, and only two pieces are allowed at maximum.
 - Umbrellas, canes and handbags do not count toward your limit.
 - You can also carry sporting gear (i.e. skis and surfboards) and musical instruments. Even if they are taller than 6.5 feet, it doesn't matter so long as you can put it into a special bag or case and stand them on the train.

Another way is to ask your hotel in advance for a delivery service to send baggage ahead from a hotel in one city to hotel in another city. Some experts say they usually send their large bags directly from the airport to their second stop and only carry a small bag with essentials while in their first stop. So if you arrive at Narita Airport and stay in Tokyo for a couple of days, you can ask for a delivery service at Narita and receive your luggage at your next destination, such as Kyoto or Osaka.

For Baggage Delivery Service at Narita Airport:
http://www.narita-airport.jp/en/guide/service/list/svc_05.html

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Useful Words When Traveling in Japan - Keitai

One of the biggest, most influential and most rapidly changing aspect of modern Japanese culture is the keitai, or cell phone. Keitai, pronounced "kay-tie, is short for keitai-denwa, which literally translates to "handheld phone." Always a step ahead of us, the Japanese keitai is proof of Japan's technological acumen and one of the symbols of the country's ability to stride confidently and innovatively into the future. Today's keitai are much more than just a cell phone. They are a lifestyle device, incorporating telephone service, email, text messaging, web browsing, music, video, and more.

Japanese keitai are also renowned for their sleek, aesthetically-pleasing designs, prompting some people to spend large amounts of money to acquire one and adapt it for use in the US. They are also a way to express your individuality, as almost everyone in Japan buys strap-like accessories to decorate their phone, which come in an infinite number of varieties featuring artistic designs, anime characters, sports teams, places, celebrities, and more. Japan has continually been on the forefront of cell phone technology, as they were among the first to come up with innovative additions, such as swiveling camera phones, MP3 phones, being able to use your cell phone as an ATM card for purchases, and the newest and most interesting trend – QR code readers.

Many products, services and advertisements nowadays in Japan have a small, box-shaped bar code, called a QR code, which can be scanned by your keitai. The codes correspond with all aspects of a product, including the company producing it, product advertisements, product website and so on, so scanning the code will bring up much more information about the product that you can access right through your phone.

It is important to note, though, that Japan's wireless system is set up differently than in the US and corresponds to different frequencies, so standard US phones will not work in Japan unless they are built to use Japan's wireless system (some 3G phones will be able to work on an international plan, but check with your provider). However, visitors to Japan are able to rent phones with a prepaid plan or a pay-as-you-go plan. PuPuru is one such company and offers a variety of phones and services for you to use during your stay in Japan. For more information on renting phones with PuPuru, please visit: http://www.pupuru.com/en/.
I wonder what the next keitai innovation will be?

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Editor's Note

We hope you enjoyed reading our April issue.

Spring is already welcoming us in Japan with many beautiful cherry blossom spots throughout the country, and when the weather warms up even more, we need to get ready for the exciting summer festivals!

Weather you are a foodie, social butterfly, or even an adventure junkie, you will enjoy the festivals experiencing the local food, traditional performances, and mingling with the friendly locals out there. Before visiting Japan, you can also find out your ideal experience through our "Follow your imagination test" and find out the perfect destinations that fulfills your inner desire!

Japan is blessed with many attractions throughout many cities & towns you never even thought of, and we hope you enjoy both the virtual and the real Japan tour in the upcoming exciting season.

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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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