Japan Travel Newsletter
FEATURED HIGHLIGHT

Fly into the Heart of Tokyo at HANEDA Airport

Haneda Sweepstakes Coming Soon!
Check back with us for more details.


Tokyo has gotten closer than ever before. Although Haneda Airport has been serving Tokyo as a city airport for decades, it recently got bigger and better with the addition of a new, state-of-the-art international terminal, with direct flights from the United States. The airport is located actually within Tokyo, and it only takes 13 minutes by train to get on the Yamanote Line, Tokyo's main loop. And if you are catching a domestic flight onwards, Haneda is the logical choice since it also serves as Japan's major domestic hub.

The brand new international terminal is more than the one to pass through: Structural innovation is everywhere, on the rooftop is the observation deck with 270 degree panorama of the runways, the Edo style (the old Tokyo style) shopping façade has retro-style café, well-known ramen restaurants and more.

For more information about Haneda Airport and special deals, please click here!
http://www.japantravelinfo.com/hanedaspecials/



A New Route from New York to Osaka   Japan Restaurant Week 2011   Hot Spots in Kyushu
   

China Airlines will begin new flights from JFK (New York) to KIX (Osaka) on April 29th 2011, as a new stopover location of the New York - Taipei route, replacing Anchorage. This will be the first time for the Kansai International Airport (KIX) in its 16 years history to have non-stop flights from the U.S. East Coast.
For More >>

 

Looking for restaurants with great value for your money? Check out the "Japan Restaurant Week 2011", where you'll find hundreds of fabulous restaurants offering reasonable pre-fix menus until the end of February.
For More >>

 

Following the extension of the Tohoku Line, Japan Railways will open its new Bullet Train Route in the Kyushu area (the Southwest part of Japanese Archipelago) on March 12th 2011, which enables travelers to experience south western Japan with rich history, nature and onsen, hot springs more convenienly.
For More >>

Restaurant Search Site Opened!   Nebuta & Neputa Festival   Hello Kitty in Cosplay
   

JNTO has launched a brand new Restaurant Search Site on January 14th, 2011 in cooperation with Gourmet Navigator, Japan's largest online source of restaurant information. Within just a few clicks, you'll be able to search multiple databases to reach the right restaurants. Take your time and find your own favorite restaurants throughout Japan!
For More >>

  Aomori Nebuta Matsuri:
August 2nd-7th
Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri:
August 1st-7th
With the recent comppletion of Shinkansen Bullet Train extention in December 2010, Aomori Prefecture (the northernmost part of Japanese Main Island) is one of the hottest places to visit this year.
For More >>
  If you're interested in Japan, especially in its pop culture, you probably know "Hello Kitty," a kitten character with a red ribbon. But did you know that they do cosplays just like their fans all over the world?
For More >>
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UPCOMING EVENTS

japan JAPAN

Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival): March 3rd

Hina Marsuri or Doll Festival is a traditional event for girls. It originated from ancient China and then evolved in Japan in its own way. The festival dates back to Heian Period (794-1185), when the imperial family reigned Japan.
For More >>

 

Hakata Dontaku: May 3rd and 4th 2011

Let's dance in squares together! Hakata Dontaku is Japan's largest citizens' festival held in Fukuoka City, southwest part of Japan with a history of 800 years.
For More >>

Yosakoi-matsuri Festival

Yosakoi-matsuri Festival is the largest festival in Kochi Prefecture, located in Shikoku Island, which brings together 20,000 dancers nationwide. The festival is held annually between 9 and 12 of August and features dancers wielding wooden clappers who compete at various locations around the city. For More >>

 

US US

The Boston Globe Travel Show

February 11-13, Seaport World Trade Center, Boston
For Travel Trade: 11th Fri. 3:30-5:30pm
Open to Public: Fri. 5:30-8:00pm, Sat. 10:00am-6:00pm, Sun. 10:00am-4:00pm
Consulate General of Japan and JNTO will have a booth (#660). See you there!
For Further Information, please visit
http://www.bostonglobetravelshow.com/
index.htm

 

Carnegie Hall Japan NYC

Part Ⅱ March 14th - April 9th 2011,
A city wide festival led by Artistic Director Seiji Ozawa
At Carnegie Hall and other venues in NYC
Japan NYC explores the Japan of today, where newfound artistic sensibilities continue to transform and revitalize the cultural landscape.
More Detail >>

Los Angeles Times
Travel & Adventure Show

March 19-20, Los Angeles Convention Center Travel Trade: Saturday 8 - 10 am
Public: Saturday & Sunday 10 am - 5 pm
The Los Angeles Times Travel & Adventure Show is the West Coast's largest travel event. Come visit the Japan booth (#1207) to meet the Japan Specialists for updated information!
http://events.latimes.com/travelshow/

 

Kashu-juku Noh Theater

Day & Time: Thursday, March 24, 7:30 PM
Friday, March 25, 7:30 PM
Saturday, March 26, 7:30 PM
Place: Japan Society, New York
The performance of Noh & Kyogen with Live Music will be held at Japan Society in conjunction with Carnegie Hall's JapanNYC festival. More Detail >>

Washington DC Sakura Festival

Date & Time: Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 11:00 am – 6:00pm,
Place: 12th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC
Miss the chance to visit Japan to see Cherry Blossoms this year? Why not going to Washington DC instead to join the largest Japanese Street Festival in the United States, featuring Sakura (cherry blossoms)? More Detail >>

 

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STORY OF THE MONTH

We're always willing to share readers' experiences and feedbacks about their trip to Japan. Please tell us about your own story about your visit to your dream country!

Izumo: City of Myths and Dreams
A once in a lifetime journey

Izumo City is situated in the central eastern part of Shimane Prefecture, which is itself located on the western side of Honshu, the main island of Japan. Bordered by the Japan Sea to the north and west and by the saltwater Lake Shinji to the east, the plain on which Izumo rests was formed by the Hiikawa and Kandogawa rivers, so that Izumo is blessed with abundant greenery and fresh water. The northern and western coastline of the Shimane Peninsula is home to a "ria" (drowned valley) and has been designated a National Park. Izumo City is known as the home of the Izumo Myths, tales full of romance and adventure from the birth of ancient Japan. The Izumo Taisha, or Grand Shrine at Izumo, pays homage to Okuninushi-no-kami, the god of matchmaking, whose story is documented in two important written collections of Japanese history and mythology, the Kojiki and Nipponshoki.
Read More >>

Japan Life: Insider's View

I visited the ninja village of Iga in Mie Prefecture. There were (are?) two major ninja clans in Japan: Iga Clan in Mie and the Koga clan in Shiga.

I boarded the train bound for Kamo, Kyoto then switched to the super rural trains to get to Iga. It only took me about 1 and half hrs to get there. The scenery of Mie was very pretty, but also pretty empty. It's hard to believe there is a prefecture more rural than Nara. It was also snowing. I have experienced a little bit of snow in Nara City, but it was just a small dusting. ACTUAL snow was falling in Mie. The Floridian in me was actually excited, especially because I was warm and cozy in the train.

The city of Iga is covered in ninja imagery. Ninja cartoons animals, fake weapons shops, and tourist pamphlets line the streets near the train station. I met with my crew (about 11 other Nara JETs) and we made out way to the ninja museum. Read more >>

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ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Special Package Special Packages > Hotel Details Hotel Deals > Airline Specials Airline Specials >
Useful Words Practical info> Quiz Quiz > Useful Words Useful Vocab>

Special Tour Packages

Kintetsu International : KIE Discover Kyoto Winter Package
Find out why Kyoto is the #1 destination in Japan by US travelers! If Tokyo is the pulse of Japan then Kyoto is surely her heart and soul. Kyoto was the seat of Japan's imperial court for over one thousand years, a time during which Japan's culture flourished. Kyoto should be first on your list of Japanese cities to visit, whether you are a first time visitor to Japan or a frequent guest. Kintetsu's "Discover Kyoto" package will allow you to explore all these attractions and more. Please call 1-800-422-3481 for more details or visit KIE website japanforyou.com.

IACE Travel : Alpine Hokuriku Snow Wall 2011 May 11- May 19, 2011
"Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route" a 3000m trek is the way to travel across Japan's Northern Alps by cable car, local bus and trolley. A world above the clouds, enjoy the ride and sights including the famous "Tateyama Snow Wall" Experiencing the traditional hand dyring "Kaga Yuzen" and visiting the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site Shirakawago are also the highlights of the tour. The beauty of Japanese nature awaits you, and it is something you'll never forget. For more information website: http://www.iace-asia.com

Collette Vacations: Japan's Hidden Treasures (12 days, 17 meals, from $3,699)
Discover how Japan has undergone centuries of transformations, from its first ancient capital Nara, to its present capital of Tokyo. From Nagano to Kyoto, temples to stunning gardens, this exclusive tour gives you a better understanding and appreciation for this East Asian land. Starting at $3699, per person, land only, double occupancy. Save up to $1500 per couple over 2010 prices!*
*$1500 per couple savings is based on 2010 Smithsonian Journeys Travel Adventures departures in comparison to Collette Vacations departures made after May 1, 2011.

General Tours: Japan Sampler (8 days, from $3,599)
Journey along the fabled Golden Route on this fully escorted Small Group tour featuring city-center hotels, a 5-star Pacific resort, in-depth sightseeing, unique cultural activities and a ride on the Bullet Train.
For more, please visit http://www.smallgrouptraveler.com/tourDetail.aspx?id=4

InsideJapan Tours : Japan Enchantment 14 Nights
On this cultural tour of Japan, you'll be able to visit the ancient shrines, temples and gardens of Imperial Kyoto, soak up some samurai history and one of Japan's top three gardens in Kanazawa and marvel at the World Heritage shrines of Nikko. We'll be relaxing in the hotsprings of Hakone at one of Japan's most distinguished hotels, the Fujiya Hotel, whilst the stunning Japanese Alps await us during our stay in Karuizawa. In Nikko we stay at the historic Kanaya Hotel, whilst in Karuizawa we stay at a deluxe Japanese ryokan. This comprehensive 14 night tour will give you a wonderful feel for all the different aspects of Japan.
For more information website:
http://www.insidejapantours.com/japan-small-group-tours/i-je/japan-enchantment/?currency=2

ORIENT FLEXI-PAX TOURS: Family Fun Japan (6Days/5Nights, from $1,615)
Daily Departure, Valid Now till March 12th
Package Includes: 5 nights Deluxe Hotel, Daily Breakfasts, Comprehensive Sightseeing per Itinerary, One Day Pass to Tokyo Disneyland, Services of Local English-speaking Guides, Airport Transfers by Airport Shuttle Bus, and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program.
For more, please visit http://www.isram.us/ebroadcast/orient/japan/FamilyFun/

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Hotel Deals

 Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo is currently offering special Tokyo walking tours
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo is currently offering special Tokyo walking tours to guests staying at the property. Tours range from pop culture, art, nightlife, history, to even ghost stories!

For further information and pricing please refer to here.
http://www.keioplaza.com/walkingtokyo/index.html

 Nikko Hotels International: 2011 Winter Promotion
Nikko Hotels International (Hotel Nikko) has established a nationwide and worldwide network as we strive to fulfill our guests' needs. Rest assured your stay will be a pleasant one through our high-quality service, delivered to you with the unique blend of Japanese hospitality combined with a variety of local cultures. Nikko Hotels offers great deals during the winter season (from January 1st to March 31st 2011) on hotel rooms and reservations for both leisure and business travelers.

Please check this website for further information:
http://www.japantravelinfo.com/hotel/hotel_item.php?groupid=6

 Okura Hotels & Resorts: 2011 Winter Promotion
Okura Hotels & Resorts operates 15 hotels in Japan and 5 around the world. While these hotels differ by location and character, the common thread running through them all is a dedication to providing the finest service possible. We bring together various accommodations replete with functionality, world-renowned gastronomic delights, and cordial hospitality to ensure our guests enjoy the best in quality time.

Please check this website for further information:
http://www.japantravelinfo.com/hotel/hotel_item.php?groupid=30

 Happy New Year News from Tokyu Hotels Japan
With many locations throughout Japan and over fifty Tokyu Hotels within close proximity to train stations, Tokyu Hotel is suitable for both business and leisure travelers. The recently opened Capitol Hotel Tokyu (fall 2010) Tokyu Hotel's new flagship hotel is conveniently located in Akasaka, the center of downtown Tokyo. The hotel, with its own relaxing garden mixes in with the harmony of the surrounding natural environment. Here you will experience true Japanese hospitality with attentive high class service. Additionally, the Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyu is directly connected to the Terminal 2 Departure Lobby of Haneda Airport, making it extremely convenient for those traveling through the new international terminal at Haneda Airport. Tokyu Hotels offer many options that will fit your preferences.

Please visit the following Websites for further information:
http://www.japantravelinfo.com/hotel/hotel_item.php?groupid=12
http://www.japantravelinfo.com/hotel/hotel_item.php?groupid=13

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Airline Specials
American Airlines Vacations - Tokyo Travel Packages
The culture. The history. The sushi. How can you not go to Tokyo this winter? In celebration of American Airlines new expanded air service to Tokyo* beginning January 2011, American Airlines Vacations is offering exclusive winter deals on flight + hotel packages at select hotel properties. Book now and get flight + 6-night hotel prices that start as low as $965* per person. Offer is valid for travel January 11 – March 31, 2011, but these special packages must be purchased by March 15, 2010 (or while seats and rooms last). You can find full detail from the following link:
http://www.aavacations.com/specials/asa1037-japan-travel-deals.asp
     
And more discount rate from US to Tokyo

 

From NY to Tokyo (Narita) From LA to Tokyo (Narita)
Japan Airlines $ 860 USD + tax ~ $ 731 USD + tax ~
Japan Airlines   $ 731 USD + tax ~
(from SFO to Haneda)
All Nippon Airways $ 760 USD + tax ~ $ 782 USD + tax ~
All Nippon Airways   $ 782 USD + tax ~
(from LAX to Haneda)
American Airlines $ 777 USD + tax ~ $ 736 USD + tax ~
American Airlines $ 777 USD + tax ~
(from NY to Haneda)
 
Continental Airlines $ 777 USD + tax ~
(from Newark to Tokyo)
$ 866 USD + tax ~
(from Houston to Tokyo)
Delta Airlines $ 777 USD + tax ~ $ 736 USD + tax ~
Delta Airlines   $ 736 USD + tax ~
(from LAX to Haneda)
United Airlines $ 777 USD + tax ~ $ 736 USD + tax ~

Notice
* Unit: USD. Airfare includes carrier imposed fuel/insurance surcharge.
* All fares are subject to change without prior notice.
* All fares above are sample round trip fares for tickets issued by March 31, 2011.

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Practical Information - Table Manners in Japan

"Japanese food" is no longer the food for Japanese only. It prevails all over the world. Most people are accustomed to typical Japanese food such as sushi and tempura. However, some seem to be worried about the way they are eating, including the readers of this newsletter. We've got a number of requests for an explanation of table etiquettes in Japan. So here we go!
Read more >>

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Quiz

Quiz: What is the name of this sleek new Shinkansen "bullet train"?

Hint: This train now reaches as far north as the city of Aomori, home to the spectacular illuminated floats of the Nebuta Festival in summer. You can travel from Tokyo to Aomori in only 3 hours 20 minutes by bullet train !

Prize: Five lucky winners will be chosen from among all correct answers submitted to receive a small model of the E2 Series Shinkansen "bullet train".

How to enter:
You can enter from February 1 to February 28, 2011 at
http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22BT6QSX68Z/

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Useful Japanese Vocabulary: Toire By John Offer

Toirepronounced "toe-E-ray" is the Japanese abbreviation of "toilet" and is used in its place. Toire comes directly from the English word "Toilet," so it is extremely easy for any Westerner to remember and pronounce. The use of the word "toire," while used fairly widely before World War Ⅱ became particularly widespread during the time of the U.S. post World War Ⅱ occupation, and has become eclipse of the other most used Japanese word for toilet, "benjo" . Read more >>

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Editor's Note

Thank you for reading the first issue of the 2011 Japan Travel Newsletter! I went back to Japan to meet friends and family during holiday season. I was looking forward to the food and onsen, hot springs, as are the most tourists as well! On the way to Hakone, I found that I forgot my PC at Shinjuku Station. Noooooo Waaaaay! I couldn't believe myself making such a ridiculous mistake, but it was too late… I was on board already. I can do nothing but to ask the staff to check if my PC was found somewhere at Shinjuku Station.

Fortunately and unbelievably, they contacted me saying that they found the PC later on that day. Can you imagine how happy I was? THIS IS JAPAN, I thought. This is of course not always the case, and I should advise you to keep an eye on your own property. However I can't emphasize enough that Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, which consists of a tremendous number of anonymous kind people.

It may be difficult traveling in a foreign country, but in Japan, kindness of the people around you will help you out while you're there!

I wish all of our friends' best of luck in the new year and hope that many of you will visit our loving country this 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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