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For a great location to experience autumn foliage, consider heading to Hirosaki Castle and it's surrounding gardens, found in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture. 

Good morning, <<First Name>>!
 
Welcome to the September edition of Japan Agent Update.

Please mark your diaries and save the dates for our upcoming Japan Roadshow
Auckland: Thursday 29 November 2018
Brisbane: Tuesday 4 December 2018
Sydney: Thursday 6 December 2018
Times and locations to be announced in due course though official invitations. 

For information on the effects of the recent severe weather phenomena in Japan, see these links:
- Typhoon Jebi (Typhoon No.21) 04-05 September
- Hokkaido earthquake 06 September

As we head into October, the country starts to cool down, and autumn leaves (known as koyo) will soon sweep the country in a wave of red and gold, starting in Hokkaido late this month or early next month (Sep/Oct) and gradually making its way towards the south. Read more about autumn in Japan on our website.

It's now one year away from the Rugby World Cup 2019! Refer to last month's newsletter (August 2018) or scroll down for information on the event.

We are thrilled that this year we have won the Luxperience Destination Award! This shows not only that Japan is increasingly being recognised as a luxury destination and awareness is increasing, but that the industry acknowledges the work that JNTO has put into putting Japan on the map for all sectors of travel. We couldn't do it without your support, so thank you all for continuing to promote Japan as a destination to your clients and networks!

JNTO Head Office Calendar of Upcoming Events
Insider Tip #26: Onsen etiquette

Japan's volcanic terrain means there's no shortage of natural hot springs, called onsen in Japanese. Onsen are not only great for relaxation, but claim to provide other health benefits too. Here are some tips for first-timers:
  • Onsen are generally gender separated, usually marked with a red curtain for women and blue curtain for men. This can change throughout the day, so be careful!
  • When entering the onsen, there will be a change room with wicker basket shelves or lockers. This is where you undress. You can't wear swimmers and you can only take a small (modesty) towel with you into the bathing area.
  • The first thing you'll see is the shower/bathing area. Sit on a stool and clean yourself from top to toe, ensuring all soap/shampoo has been rinsed off. 
  • Now head to the baths. If you have long hair, it's better if it's tied up so it doesn't go in the water. Look for the rotenburo (outdoor bath) as they have the best views. It can feel a bit funny going outside completely nude, but it's worth it!
  • Keep your small towel to the side, out of the water. You can even place it on your head if you like.
Please note, most onsen do not permit guests with tattoos to use the baths. To get around this, guests should be booked in ryokan with in-room baths, rent out a private bath (called kashikiri), or if their tattoos are small enough to be covered up, skin-coloured tattoo seals (covers) can be bought from drugstores, allowing them to enter the large baths.

Here are some links that list tattoo-friendly onsen, as well. (Note that JNTO does not necessarily endorse these sites and the information should be verified directly with properties before recommending them to your clients.)
- Tattoo-Friendly.jp
- Tsunagu Japan: 8 Hot Springs & Bathhouses That Even Those With Tattoos Can Enter
- Live Japan: Tattoo-Friendly Hot Springs and Sento in Tokyo
Kansai Airport (Osaka) back to normal operations
Kansai International Airport is back to normal operations! To celebrate, a new campaign welcoming tourists to visit the Kansai area, “Welcome! KANSAI, JAPAN Campaign” has started. Learn more
Featured Blog: 50 Awesome Things to Do in Tokyo

"In this wild, wacky world of ours, Tokyo is surely the wackiest place of them all." Blogger CourtyStelt shares 50 ways to keep occupied in the incredible city of Tokyo. Read more
Featured wholesale tour: Japan in Autumn (Ross Garden Tours)
Who wouldn't love to see Japan in Autumn, serene natural beauty combined with the world's finest man-made chrysanthemum exhibitions, it's a gardeners dream destination? Let well-known gardening expert Graham Ross share with you the best gardens Japan has to offer. Read more
Forest Bathing in Japan
Japan is all about the nature, from watching cherry blossoms to autumn foliage. But if your clients are travelling to Japan outside of those seasons, you can consider recommending the simple act of immersing in a forest and soaking in the natural energy. Read more
Trade News
JR Kyushu Rail Pass
(Fukuoka Wide)

Use the pass to travel easily to main tourist spots within Fukuoka Prefecture. 
Learn more
Glamping in Shiga
Take a look at 4 accommodation facilities on Lake Biwa for the ultimate glamping experience. 
Learn more
View More Japan Updates
Partner Sites
Recommended Fall Color Locations Close to Tokyo 
(Tobu Group) 

As fall deepens, leaves gradually change color. The fall leaves are at their most beautiful from mid-October through to early November.
Read more (PDF)
8 Gorgeous Japanese Lantern Festivals (All About Japan)
Japanese lantern festivals are held to ward off evil or send off the dead, or just to warm up a chilly winter. Some date back centuries, while others are recent innovations. Whatever their provenance, they are a spectacle to behold! Read more
Last Month's Most Popular
Featured blog: 12 Things to do in Tokyo with Kids
Japan is a safe and family-friendly travel destination. There’s no shortage of activities and attractions to keep kids of all ages entertained. Here are 12 things to do in Tokyo with kids on your next visit. Read more
Rugby World Cup 2019 info
With the World Cup just over a year away, we've been getting increasing enquiries about who to book through and where to get information. JNTO has a dedicated website for information on the host cities: VisitJapan2019.com

The Official Travel Agents for Australia are:
- Events Worldwide Travel
- Gullivers Sport Travel
- Kingdom Sports
- Sportsnet Holidays
- We Love Rugby

The Official Travel Agent for New Zealand is:
- All Blacks Tours
Top 10 Regional Japan Experiences
Top 10 Regional Japan Experiences
A short trip from any major city, in any direction, is a Japan often overlooked. With plenty to see, do and eat, regional Japan is the place to be if you’re looking to avoid the tourist traps and discover the ‘other side’.
Learn more
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Japan National Tourism Organization
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