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Kabira Bay, Ishigaki Island, Okinawa

Good afternoon, <<First Name>>!
Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu! (Happy New Year) from all of us at JNTO Sydney Office! We hope 2018 brings you happiness and success.

Ishigaki Island (Okinawa) has been named the #1 destination in TripAdvisor's 2018 Travellers' Choice Destinations on the Rise Awards. This hidden gem is known for its colourful coral reefs, white sandy beaches and sparkling blue waters. Highly recommended for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts or those looking for a relaxing end to their Japan holidays.

Email address changes - the JNTO staff email address domain has changed. The format is now [email protected] - please update your address books!

Volcanic activity at Mt Motoshiranesan - Mt Motoshiranesan in Gunma Prefecture erupted on January 23. View the latest updates here.
★ World Travel Expo★ 
JNTO is exhibiting at the World Travel Expos in Perth and Melbourne this year. Come by, grab some maps & brochures and say 'Konnichiwa'! Entry is free.
  • Perth: Sat and Sun 3-4 February, 10am-4pm at Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre
  • Melbourne: Sat and Sun 17-18 February, 10am-5pm at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
★ Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME)★
Visit us at the Japan booth, stand #2700. We're attending with 9 other co-exhibitors from Japan including hotels, DMCs, and local convention bureaus. Come to our stand at the end of day 1 and join us for Happy Hour.
  • Melbourne: Tue and Wed 20-21 February, 9am-6pm (day 1), 9am-5pm (day 2)
Insider Tip #25: 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. 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.
Japan Official Travel App
Wakayama Prefecture
Guide to Takayama, Kanazawa and Shirakawago
Japan Ski & Snow Guide
We've released a new 24-page Japan Ski & Snow Guide, available in digital or hardcopy. Explore trips for families, couples, and solo-skiing across ski terrains of Hokkaido, Tohoku, Nagano, and Niigata. Request a hardcopy today!
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Wakayama Prefecture
In the south of the main island of Honshu lies the mountainous Wakayama Prefecture, with gorgeous coastline and beautiful, mysterious forests ready to unlock their secrets for the discerning traveller. Check out our new destination guide.
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Guide to Takayama, Kanazawa and Shirakawago
Instagrammer, blogger, photographer and intrepid traveller Connie Cao from K is for Kani wrote a great guest blog for our website after her recent visit in late autumn last year.
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Trade News
Keikyu EX Inn Haneda Hotel Opened
Keikyu EX Inn Haneda Opened
This newly opened hotel is the closest hotel to Haneda Airport outside of the airport premises. The hotel offers free breakfast and free shuttle buses run late at night and in the early morning.
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Hi! Japan Podcast
Hi! Japan Podcast
Japan Youth Hotels Inc. has launched a new Japan travel podcast with must-know tips for listeners. The podcast is the first of its kind with in-depth information and professional quality. Share the link with your clients!
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Direct bus service from Hakuba to the Snow Monkeys
Direct bus service from Hakuba to the Snow Monkeys
Going to the Snow Monkey Park as a day trip from Hakuba is easier than ever with the new direct service from Alpico Bus (Hakuba-Shiga Kogen Line). Runs from 22 Jan to 28 Feb 2018. 
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Fuji-Q Highland Advance Ticket Sales
Fuji-Q Highland Advance Ticket Sales
Fuji-Q Highland has started offering tickets for overseas visitors via the tour activity booking site Viator. In addition to the Full Day Free Pass Ticket, special tickets include the Afternoon Pass and Afternoon Pass with Meal Coupon.
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Partner Sites
5 Great Ski Resorts Easily Accessed from Tokyo
5 Great Ski Resorts Easily Accessed from Tokyo (Taiken)
If you’re a fan of skiing, or snow in general, but don’t have the money or thermals for Hokkaido, then here are five great ski destinations that can be easily reached from Tokyo.
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Hotel Gajoen Tokyo: Art, Opulence, and a 100 Step Staircase (Taiken)
The Artistic World of Bonsai (Wa-Oh!)
The traditional Japanese art form of "bonsai" is now popular around the world. What, then, is bonsai? Delve into the tiny world of bonsai that is bursting with charm.
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Tour Hakone with the Hakone Free Pass
Tour Hakone with the Hakone Free Pass (Matcha)
Hakone is a popular hot spring resort area located just two hours from the world's busiest train station, Shinjuku Station. Use the convenient Hakone Freepass to visit Hakone and enjoy all the fascinating activities and amazing views in this area.
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12 Unique Japanese Foods You Have to Try
12 Unique Japanese Foods You Have to Try (Live Japan)
Japanese food favourites like sushi, udon, ramen and okonomiyaki are popular around the world. If you're looking to try something truly unique on your next trip to Japan, be sure to give these lesser-known dishes a go for a memorable dining experience on your next visit!
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Last Month's Most Popular
World2Cover now available for Agents

Keikyu Kannonzaki Glamping
Snow Peak Glamping Keikyu Kannonzaki has opened a multilingual website for their glamping facility, located just one hour from central Tokyo.
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The Japan Official Travel App
We’ve launched our first travel app, the “Japan Official Travel App”! The app aims to better assist international travellers in Japan with public transport guidance, restaurant listings, luggage-forwarding spots & ATMs, and much more!
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Keikyu Kannonzaki Glamping
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Japan National Tourism Organization
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Sydney, NSW 2000

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