Season's greetings <<First Name>>
We would like, first and foremost, to introduce Sally Miles as our new staff member in charge of Agent Relations. She is taking over from Stephanie, who is staying with JNTO but moving into a role focusing on Digital Marketing.
Following our success with Japan being named the number two country in Lonely Planet's "Best in Travel 2016", we're also pleased to report that we made the cut in Skyscanner's Top 10 Destinations for Aussies in 2016
Thank you for your continued support!
Holiday Office Closures
Our office will be closed on the following dates:
Wednesday 23rd December
: Emperor's Birthday
Friday 25th December
: Christmas Day
Monday 28th December
: Boxing Day Observed
Tuesday 29th through Thursday 31st December
: Japanese New Year's Holiday
Friday 1st January
: New Year's Day
We will reopen on Monday 4th January and resume normal trading hours.
Insider Tip #9: Christmas & New Year swap roles in Japan
Christmas in Japan is a spectacular affair, with huge trees both real and artificial all decked out with lights and ornaments, and “light up” events across the country showing that when Japan decides to decorate, they go all out. However, one way in which Christmas differs in Japan compared to Australia (other than the weather) is that many shops will be open on Christmas Day, as it isn’t a national holiday.
Conversely, whereas New Year’s Eve is a major party event in Australia, the New Year holiday, which traditionally spans 29 Dec to 3 Jan but is now trimmed down to 31 Dec to 2 Jan for many, is the traditional family holiday. Many shops and restaurants will be closed over this period as well, so it is prudent for your clients to plan ahead.
The Tohoku Expressway Pass, launched November 2015, allows unlimited use of Tohoku expressways through the ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) system at a flat rate for overseas visitors to Japan. This is an economical option for visitors planning to drive through the Tohoku region, which includes areas like Sendai, Akita, and Aomori.
Launch of JR East Passes for Tohoku area and Nagano/Niigata area
From April 2016, the JR East Pass is being relaunched as two separate passes: the JR East Pass (Tohoku area) and JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata area). Learn more
Hayatabi Central Nippon Expressway Pass (CEP) Area Expanded to Kyoto
Free Wi-Fi on rap:it train from Kansai Airport to Namba Station
Nankai Electric Railway is now offering free Wi-Fi service on the limited express "rap:it" train operated between Kansai Airport and Nankai Namba Station. Learn more
Featured JR Pass: Takayama-Hokuriku Tourist Pass - Perfect for Winter!
From November 2015, the Central Nippon Expressway Company Limited expanded the area covered by their Hayatabi Central Nippon Expressway Pass (CEP) to include Kyoto. The CEP already covers central Japan tourist destinations including Shirakawago, Kanazawa, and Mt Fuji. Learn more
In wintertime, Takayama and Hokuriku regions are full of a unique and different charm, from beautiful landscapes cloaked in snow, to various foods that are only available in winter. The Takayama-Hokuriku Tourist Pass is perfect for travelers who want to see and eat their way around the region.
Read the article
The perfect combination: Japanese skiing and an onsen afterward
Japan ski resort aficionado Owain Price outlines his four best recommendations for where to go to experience the magic of onsen, natural hot spring baths, after a day on the slopes. Send the link on to your clients visiting Japan this snow season!
Read the article
Haneda Airport late-night and early-morning access buses now in service
Keikyu Transportation has begun offering late-night and early-morning airport access bus services from the Tokyo and Yokohama areas to Haneda Airport International Terminal.
Read the article
Japan's Year-End Seasonal Snacks (Taiken.co)
If there's one thing that Japan loves, it's their four distinct seasons. If there's another, then it's snack food. Combine the two and you get a wide variety of seasonal snacks. Micole Soh writes about her recommended selections for year-end seasonal snacks in Japan. Read more and recommend some to your clients
(and maybe they'll bring some back for you!)
What You Should Know About Japanese Trains (Etiquette) (Matcha Japan Travel Magazine)
Booking trains is one thing, but riding them is another. Matcha Japan Travel Magazine has written a convenient article with a guide to train etiquette for foreign travelers to Japan. Forward this handy guide to your clients
2016 Cherry Blossom Tours
There are still spaces left on Nippon Travel Agency's 2016 Cherry Blossom Tours! NTA is a Sydney-based wholesale travel agency specialising in travel to Japan.
- Late April Special [ download PDF flyer ], incl. return flights, 6 nights accommodation and a 7-day Japan Rail (JR) Pass - departs Sydney 21 April 2016
- Special Cherry Blossom & Universal Studios Japan [ download PDF flyer ], incl. 8 nights accommodation, transportation, some meals and an English-speaking guide. Departs Osaka 26 March 2016.
Both tours are travel agent commissionable. Contact NTA for more information.
We would like to wish you all Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year! Thank you for all of your support this year and we hope to continue our relationships through the new year.
JNTO Sydney Office
Top news from last month's issue: