2016 in review; Insider tip; Onsen etiquette; Haneda-Hakuba bus; and more!
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Hi <<First Name>>,

2016 was a huge year for tourism to Japan. We were in Lonely Planet's Top 10 Best In Travel, and Hokkaido rightfully scored the coveted #1 Destination in LP's Best in Asia! Japan also topped Conde Nast Traveler's charts, with Tokyo taking #1 and Kyoto #2. 

Whilst we won't have the total numbers for visitors into Japan until next month, by October we had already hit 20 million international visitors, the highest number ever recorded in a year - and there are still two months' worth of passenger figures to add to that, including all those people flying on Qantas's new Melbourne-Narita route!
Thank you so very much for your support this year in helping Japan to grow even more in popularity, and we look forward to an even better year in 2017!

Don't forget - snow has been falling in Japan since November!
Read more about ski facilities in the various regions of Japan and find links to their sites
(with updates on snow status) here.

JNTO Sydney Office Holiday Closures
Our office will be closed on the following dates:
  • Friday 23 December: Emperor's Birthday
  • Monday 26 December: Boxing Day
  • Tuesday 27 December: Christmas additional holiday
  • Thursday 29 December through Tuesday 3 January: Japanese New Year's holiday
We will reopen on Wednesday 4 January and resume normal trading hours.
Insider Tip #19: Enjoy your noodles - slurp!
Most people from English-speaking countries are taught to make as little noise as possible when eating, and that it is rude to slurp your noodles or soup. However, in Japan, it's quite the opposite! If you don't slurp your noodles, the cook will think that you're not enjoying your food, so the next time you go out for ramen in Japan, make as much noise as you can, and try not to splash the soup on yourself!

Practically speaking, slurping can allow you to get a mouthful of noodles even when using chopsticks (as opposed to twirling your spaghetti noodles around the tines of your fork), and you can eat hot foods more quickly as the rush of air cools the noodles as they're sucked into your mouth. Furthermore, aerating the soup this way releases more of the flavours and aromas, similar to how wine connoisseurs gurgle when tasting wine.
Akita Fair in Sydney
Why Visit Onsens in Japan?
Akita Fair in Sydney
Hosted by the Akita Prefectural Government, this event is an opportunity to discover the prefecture’s diverse tourist, cultural and natural assets and sample its unique food and sake offerings. There will also be a lucky door prize!
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Featured blog: Why Visit Onsens in Japan?
"With body exfoliated, pores steamed, and muscles relaxed, I feel clean inside and out. I generally visit in whatever clothes I’m wearing, and bring the clean yukata (casual robe) furnished by the hotel to change into..."
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2016-2017 Furano Resort Guide
2016-2017 Furano Resort Guide
Furano city is a well-known ski resort area in Hokkaido, Japan. At Furano Ski resort, kids under 12 ski free! To claim this offer...
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Haneda Airport to Hakuba Direct
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Hakuba, one of the top favourite destinations for ski and snowboard fansfrom all over the world, is now within reach from Tokyo Haneda Airport by the newly launched Haneda-Hakuba direct bus.
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Akita Nairiku Line: Winter Wonderland by Rail
5 State-of-the-Art Karaoke Boxes in Tokyo – Not Just for Singing!
In Japan, karaoke is generally done inside private soundproof rooms, but these days, the karaoke boxes in the country have become more cutting-edge and have rolled out various unique services. Here are five recommended state-of-the-art karaoke boxes in Tokyo.
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Guide to Taking Buses from Kyoto Station
The Beauty of Kusatsu Onsen in Winter: Snowflakes and Hot Springs
Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma prefecture is one of the best quality hot spring resorts in Japan. When winter comes, the snow covers the houses creating an amazing landscape. Visit Kusatsu Onsen and get warm in its wonderful hot springs!
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Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto now open!
Intimate and contemporary, Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is set in the scenic district of temples in Higashiyama. 
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Japan National Tourism Organization
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Sydney, NSW 2000

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