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Visitor numbers to Japan continue to climb with figures released by JNTO showing an overall 49.1% increase from (Jan-Aug) compared to the same time last year! With four months to go, we're well on track to beating last year's record visitor numbers of 13 million by quite a lot.
We're also pretty proud that Tokyo was ranked #6 in the 100 Most Incredible Cities in the World
survey conducted by International Traveller Magazine.
Insider Tip #7:
Autumn leaves (koyo)
Most people are aware of Japan's iconic cherry blossoms in spring, but the beauty of the autumn leaves season is extremely underrated. Imagine walking through an ancient temple and gazing out the window to a sea of fiery red and gold autumn foliage. The season for autumn leaves viewing is called 'koyo' and can be enjoyed for much longer than the cherry blossoms, starting as early as late September up north and as late as late December in the south.
In this issue:
News from Japan
Upcoming trade events
Japan Bus Lines - new website
Japanbuslines.com opened 1 Sep 2015 and allows you to book tickets on 54 highway bus routes in Japan on one convenient website. Highway buses are great for price-conscious tourists with the luxury of time. Visit the site
Important update - volcanic alerts
* Mt Hakone (Kanagawa Prefecture)
11 Sep: the volcanic alert level was reduced to level 2 (do not approach the crater). Accordingly, the restricted area has been reduced to a 1km radius centred around Owakudani. The Owakudani ropeway is still not operating and replacement buses are running between Sounzan and Togendai Stations.
* Sakurajima (Kagoshima Prefecture)
1 Sep: the volcanic alert was reduced to level 3 (do not approach the volcano). Accordingly, the restricted area around the Showa and Minamidake craters has been reduced to a 2km radius.
* Mt Aso (Kumamoto Prefecture)
14 Sep: the volcanic alert level was raised to level 3 (do not approach the volcano). Accordingly, the restricted area has been raised to a 2km radius around Mt Aso.
For more information, visit the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)'s official site.
Kochi launches new website "VISIT KOCHI"
Kochi Prefecture, located on Shikoku island is blessed with beautiful and abundant nature, including clear rivers such as the Shimanto River and deep green forests. It has a history and environment which produced many pioneers and great men such as Sakamoto Ryoma. Visit the new site
JAL to offer Diamond Premier Lounge Service and revamp Sakura Lounge at New Chitose Airport
Japan Airlines (JAL) decided to provide Diamond Premier Lounge service at Sapporo (New Chitose) airport. New Chitose will become the second airport for JAL with this supreme service following Tokyo (Haneda) airport. Additionally JAL’s Sakura Lounge will be revamped in line with the renovation of domestic terminal at New Chitose airport. Read the official release
Order a Prepaid SIM for JAPAN and get a free gift
Be one of the first 300 to order a "Prepaid SIM for JAPAN" and receive a Japanese fan as a gift. This special gift will help keep you cool during Japan's hot summer days. The fans feature one of two designs of Mt Fuji, one of the most well-known symbols of Japan! Get yours here
Note: reservations are only available online from 1 month prior. If your clients would like to reserve one further in advance they should submit an enquiry here.
Japan's Top 3 Rankings (Rakuten Travel)
Japanese people love to rank their favourite tourist attractions, giving birth to Top 3 rankings. These include the "Top 3 Views of Japan", "Top 3 Night Views", "Top 3 Gardens" and maybe some you're not familiar with. Read more about them and recommend them to your clients!
Saitama Products & Tourism Fair
Experience the exciting products and tourism locations that Saitama Prefecture has to offer! Discover new opportunities and create connections for your business at this industry event. [ download invitation ]
Date and time: Monday, 26 October 2015, 10:00 - 16:00
Venue: Pinaroo rooms 1-3, level 1, The Grace Hotel Sydney, 77 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Free event, registration essential. Register here.
Celebrate the 35th year anniversary of the sister-city relationship between Nagoya and Sydney at Nagoya Day. Come along with your friends and family and enjoy free Nagoya cuisine, Japanese cultural activities and more.
Time: Sunday, 1st November, 10:00 - 17:00
Venue: Hyde Park, Sydney
Until next month!
JNTO Sydney Office
Top news from last month's issue: