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Kintetsu International Travel Consultants

New York, NY (December 15, 2005) ? Kintetsu International Travel Consultants (KIE), one of Japan’s top travel companies and also recognized among the top 30 travel agencies in the United States, has partnered with the Japan National Tourist Organization, Random House Publishers and Sony Pictures Entertainment to promote the Kintetsu International Memoirs of a Geisha Tour Program visiting the ancient Japanese city of Kyoto, where both the movie, which will be in theaters December 9th, and novel primarily take place. The tours are available from January 2006.

Shinagawa Prince HotelMemoirs of a Geisha Sweepstakes-Perfect for Book Clubs
One person will win a trip for themselves and up to five friends to Japan sponsored by Kintetsu International Travel Consultants. Entry forms are available at participating bookstores around the United States. To enter online and to view the official rules, visit www.memoirsofageisha.com/contest. The idea is, “Read the Book, See the Film, Take the Tour,” explains Kintetsu’s Administration Manager, Mr. Bill Sarcona.

Kintetsu International's Memoirs of a Geisha Tour Program includes a two-day supplemental program, which visits locations portrayed in the movie with a licensed guide, and includes entrances fees, and meals - featuring a traditional kaiseki multi-course lunch, a tea ceremony, and a chance to try on kimono and dress up and have your photo taken as a geisha. The basic "Experience Kyoto" package, includes round-trip airfare on American Airlines, five-nights stay at the New Miyako hotel in Kyoto, and a full-day sightseeing tour of Kyoto with lunch, for only $1,229. The geisha supplemental package can be added to this basic tour for an addi-tional $763.00. Further tour details are available at www.japanforyou.com/tour_geisha.html.
Adds Mr. Sarcona, “As a travel destination, Kyoto is a popular choice as it combines the serenity of the Japanese lifestyle and the magical flavor of a tradition that most Westerners are fascinated with ? the tradition of Geisha. Memoirs of a Geisha is a movie that portrays the famous Geisha culture, most evident in the history-rich city of Kyoto, Japan.”

Based on the internationally acclaimed novel by Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha is a sweeping romantic epic set in a mysterious and exotic world that still casts a potent spell today. The story begins in the years before WWII when a penniless Japanese child is torn from her family to work as a maid in a geisha house. Despite a treacherous rival who nearly breaks her spirit, the girl blossoms into the legendary geisha Sayuri (Ziyi Zhang). Beautiful and accomplished, Sayuri captivates the most powerful men of her day, but is haunted by her secret love for the one man who is out of her reach (Ken Watanabe).

Directed by Academy Award nominee Rob Marshall (Chicago) and produced by Lucy Fisher, Douglas Wick and Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Robin Swicord and Doug Wright, Memoirs of a Geisha features an all-star international cast including Zhang, Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Koji Yakusho (Shall We Dance?), Youki Kudoh (Snow Falling on Cedars) and Gong Li (Raise the Red Lantern).

The movie opened in select theaters on December 9 and will appear nationwide on December 23, 2005. Further information about the movie can be found at www.memoirsofageisha.com

For more information about travel to Japan including other geisha related tours, visit the Japan National Tourist Organization’s website at www.japantravelinfo.com

About the Japan National Tourist Organization
The Japan National Tourist Organization is a public-private partnership under the auspices of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, with the mission to encourage international travel to Japan and support Japanese travel suppliers. For more information on travel to Japan visit: www.japantravelinfo.com and www.jnto.go.jp.

About Columbia Pictures Columbia Pictures, part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

About Kintetsu International Kintetsu International is among the largest travel companies in the world, maintaining a full service travel agency whose specialty is Japan, but whose destinations are limitless. However, travel is only a segment of the multi-billion dollar Kintetsu conglomerate that operates railroad systems, freight forwarding companies, departments stores, restaurants, theaters, and hotel chains. Kintetsu is involved intimately in the way people move, the way they enjoy themselves and the way they conduct and run their businesses. This level of integration provides clients with a vast network of services that makes their travels exciting, cost effective, and efficient. Kintetsu maintains six offices in the United States and 272 others around the globe. For more information visit: www.japanforyou.com.

Information is provided as a courtesy to users of this website. Though the JNTO endeavors to ensure the information is accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own judgement 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.

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