Quarterly Newsletter: December 2007
In this Issue:
News Updates
- New Landing Procedures
- Michelin Releases the First Edition of the MICHELIN Guide Tokyo
- J.R. Online Reservation System
- Four JNTO Microsites Launched!
Upcoming Festivals and Events
Japan Tour Updates
Hotel Updates
All About Luggage
Local News

New Landing Procedures
Beginning November 20, 2007, all foreign nationals landing in Japan (excluding special permanent residents, persons under the age of 16, and others specified as eligible for exemption) will be required to submit fingerprints and have their photo taken. Fingerprints and photos will be taken electronically. A video explaining the procedures and the reasons behind it is available online in English. This video runs for about five minutes.

Michelin Releases the First Edition of the MICHELIN Guide Tokyo
Tokyo has more "star" than any other city in the world Nov. 19, 2007.

JR East Pass purchases made easier!
As of August 20, 2007, travel agents can now use the Internet for the sales of the JR East Pass by accessing the "RailNet" page of "AccesRail", in addition to GDS (Global Distribution System). Agents using this website can also print the Exchange Voucher of JR East Pass for their customers.

Four JNTO Microsites Launced!
Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO) has launched four new microsites. Click them and surf them all!

Take Yourself on a Trip to Japan
The Official Japan Guide for Individual Travelers
www.japantravelinfo.com/individualtravelers
Welcome to the official Japan guide offering all the tools needed for individual travelers to Japan. Plan your trip with essential information on Japanese culture, festivals, tours, history and much more."

Tokyo Specials
www.japantravelinfo.com/tokyospecial/
Welcome to the official Japanese Guide offering all the tools needed for individual travelers to Japan.

Cruise It! Japan and Beyond
www.japantravelinfo.com/cruise

Embark on a voyage to the exciting port cities of Japan! Indulge yourself to a luxury cruise and also discover the culture and history. Explore the countless beautiful and unforgettable destinations of Japan and beyond.

Japan Outdoor
www.japantravelinfo.com/outdoor
Ski, scuba dive, kayak, hike, bike, sprint marathons, train for triathlons, golf and more. It's all here in Japan! What is your favorite outdoor activity in Japan? More winter activities...

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New Years Day     Jan. 1
On New Years Eve, it is more common in Japan to visit a shrine or temple than to go to a party or bar. This important visit, the first of the year, is called hatsumode and it allows people to make wishes for the New Year and share a good time with friends and family.

Toshiya Archery Contest in Kyoto     Jan. 13
20 year-olds (20 marks entry into adulthood in Japan) come from all over Japan to witness this long-distance archery contest at Kyoto's Sanjusangendo Temple.

Shikaribetsu Lake Kotan (Igloo Village)     Jan. 26 - March 30
Here in winter, gone in spring, this Kotan (village) is built every year on Shikaribetsu Lake in Shikaoi Town in western Hokkaido.

Sapporo Snow Festival     Feb. 5 - 11
Japan's largest snow festival attracts 2 million visitors each year.

Tokyo Animation Festival (TAF)      March 27 - 30
As stated on their website, the Tokyo International Anime Fair (known as "TAF") is the world's largest anime exhibition.

Cherry Blossom      Spring 2008
"Sakura" is the Japanese word for "cherry blossom." The first forecast is updated at midnight (EST) on March 2nd by the Meteorological Agency, Japan. This forecast will be updated every Wednesday at midnight (EST) until the end of the season.

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PACKAGE TOURS  
Bauman Travel January 2008 Kyoto Arts and Culture - Join Art Professor Roger Baumann on this exciting 12 night excursion of Japan's ancient capital, Kyoto and the surrounding area.
IACE Travel The Samurai Banner of Furin Kazan Tour - This tour will visit many places that has connections with historical TV drama series, "FurinKazan" in Nagano and Yamanashi regions.
JALPAK Flexible Package - Split Stay 7days 5nights
Let's visit Japan in the breathtaking cherry blossom season with Jalpak Flexible Plan - Tokyo and Kyoto Split Stay!
Japan Deluxe Tour Kyushu - Sanyo 8 Days
Visit the historic port city of Nagasaki, to the steaming hot spring town of Beppu, via the green slopes of Mount Aso’s huge calderas, natural wonders of Akiyoshidai Caves, Hiroshima, a city which has blossomed in the sixty years since the devastation caused by the A-bomb."
JTB USA Inc.

Niseko Ski Tour - Niseko is the north of Hokkaido and very popular area for foreigners and is famous for its deep and fluffy powder snow.

Kintetsu

"Ichiban" #1 Package - Proud to offer Kintetsu’s most popular tour package to Japan including Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka!

Pacific Holidays

Japan Express - 6 Nights/7 days in Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Nikko, Kyoto and Osaka.

Pleasant Holidays Cherry Blossom Festival Tour - Experience Tokyo and Kyoto during its most beautiful season, Spring.
   
CRUISE IT!  
High Country Passage Travel Springtime in Japan - Aboard the Sprit of Oceanus, travel throughout mainland Japan and disembark in South Korea too!
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New Otani Hotels
Hotel New Otani Tokyo is proud to announce the official opening of The Main Building.

The Peninsula Tokyo
The Peninsula Tokyo, opened on September 1, 2007, is superbly located in the prestigious financial district of Marunouchi, opposite the Imperial Palace and a three-minute walk to the shopping capital of Ginza.

Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza, Novotel Associate
This stylish, 4-star hotel, designed by renowned Italian designer Piero Lissoni, has recently joined the Accor Hotel Network in Japan as a Novotel Associate hotel.

Good Deal Hotel Winter Special
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Luggage is not such a problem in countries where rental cars and taxis are the norm, but in train-dominated Japan, it pays to study up on the alternatives to luggage lugging.

Limousine Buses
These buses go from the airports straight to major hotels, and offer a space to store luggage.

Luggage on Trains
JR's official restrictions on luggage are within what’s allowed by most airlines, but physical restrictions make carrying luggage on trains difficult for some.

Takuhaibin (Courier Service)
Courier service in Japan is very fast and cheap in comparison to the same in the U.S.

Coin Lockers and Luggage Storage
Oftentimes, the most convenient thing to do is leave luggage in one place and travel around blissfully hands-free.

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JNTO NY supports JTB USA Inc.!
At the New York Anime Festival: Dec. 7-9th, 2007

Win a double set of Japanese washi chopsticks! This is your last chance to win JNTO's beautiful chopsticks by taking our In and Around Airport survey. Surf the site and answer some questions here.

JNTO LA will attend two smashing events next year!
Seattle Travel Trade Show:  Jan. 26th-27th, 2008

LA Times Travel Show: Feb. 9th-10th, 2008

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Travelers' Page as a courtesy to readers of this newsletter. Though the JNTO endeavors to ensure the information is accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own judgment and at their own risk. Neither the JNTO nor any holder of copyright to the information shall be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any loss or misunderstanding, either direct or indirect, that is incurred as a result of utilizing the information.

Publisher:
Japan National Tourist Organization,
N.Y. Office
Japan National Tourist Organization,
L.A. Office
One Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 1250
New York, NY 10020

email: visitjapan@jntonyc.org
URL: www.japantravelinfo.com
  515 South Figueroa St., Suite 1470
Los Angeles, CA 90071

email: info@jnto-lax.org
URL: www.japantravelinfo.com

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