An old, traditional-style tea house presides over a sea of spring irises at the Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens in Tokyo.
©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO
JNTO JNTO MICE

Newsletter

May 2010   

HOT TOPICS
Nagano's Onbashira Festival is a two-part festival held every six years to renew the Suwa Taisha shrine. In April during Yamadashi, local men cut down massive fir trees and drag their trunks with ropes down the mountain toward the shrine. This is also when Kiyotoshi takes place, where young men prove their bravery by riding the logs as they are pulled down the mountain. During Satobiki in May, the logs are placed upright at the shrine.
©Nagano Prefecture/©JNTO

News Updates

Meet Japan 2010 a resounding success!

Upcoming Events

A rundown of the notable upcoming meetings and conventions being held in Japan.

Supplier Corner - Hotel Meeting & Incentive Developments

Our new section, Supplier Corner, presents some of our Japan suppliers' products and services, as well as available facilities. This month's focus is on new meeting & incentive packages and strategies from hotels in Japan.

ICC Highlight – Yokohama

The first of our new installment featuring Japan's 51 government-designated International Convention Cities focuses on Yokohama.

 
News Updates
 

Meet Japan 2010 a resounding success!

Ten leading association executives and meeting planners, including two
from North America, visited Japan for city inspections during Meet Japan 2010.


 
JNTO staff and Meet Japan guests pause for
a photo in front of Matsumoto Castle.

©JNTO



Our annual familiarization trip "Meet Japan 2010," in which international conference organizers are invited to inspect convention cities in Japan, was held from February 25th to March 4th. This year, ten international conference organizers and meeting planners from nine different countries participated, including two from North America. Thanks to the kind support from JAL and ANA, the program went swimmingly and all our guests enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

The participants were divided into four groups and went on three-day study tours to different cities suitable for international conferences to gather information about the conference facilities, hotels, tourist attractions, etc. in each city. The three different tour itineraries were Chiba and Kobe, Matsue and Gifu, Matsue and Kobe, and Matsumoto and Gifu. At the end of the tours, everybody assembled in Kanazawa for business negotiations with convention bureaus and representatives from other cities than the ones included for inspection.

On March 3rd in Kanazawa, a welcome party was held in the 400-year-old Kanazawa castle park, where the participants could enjoy a view of the illuminated castle and delicious local foods and drinks. ANA Crown Plaza Kanazawa also hosted a party and provided the venue for business negotiations.

Our next installment of "Meet Japan" will be held next year! If you are thinking of holding an international conference in Japan, why not take the opportunity to visit candidate cities and beautiful scenic spots around the country, inspect the top-notch convention facilities and tourist attractions, and experience Japan's warm hospitality for yourself? Stay tuned to JNTO at www.japantravelinfo.com for more updates and information about Japan MICE Year and Visit Japan Year 2010.

 
Upcoming Events
 

A rundown of the notable upcoming meetings and conventions being held in Japan.

7th International Conference & Convention on Undersea Telecommunications (SubOptic) 2010

Pacifico Yokohama

©JNTO
Green Dome Maebashi in Gunma Prefecture

©Maebashi Convention & Visitors Bureau/©JNTO
Nara Prefectural New Public Hall

©Nara Convention Bureau/©JNTO
Banquet Room at InterContinental Yokohama Grand

©JNTO

7th International Conference & Convention on Undersea Telecommunications (SubOptic) 2010
Venue: Pacifico Yokohama, InterContinental Yokohama Grand Hotel
Dates: May 11th – May 14th
Website: http://www.suboptic2010.org/

Wireless Technology Park 2010
Venue: Pacifico Yokohama
Dates: May 13th – May 14th
Website: http://www.wt-park.com/eng/index.html

XXth World Congress of the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR) 2010 Venue: Kyoto International Conference Center
Venue: Kyoto International Conference Center
Dates: May 13th – May 16th
Website: http://www.ishr2010.com/index.html

49th Annual Meeting of the Particle Theory Co-Operative Group (PTCOG)
Venue: Green Dome Maebashi (Gunma), Hotel The Manhattan (Chiba)
Dates: May 17th – May 22nd
Website: http://heavy-ion.showa.gunma-u.ac.jp/~ptcog49/index.html

1st International Particle Accelerator Conference (IPAC) 2010
Venue: Kyoto International Conference Center
Dates: May 23rd – May 28th
Website: http://ipac10.org/

Annual Symposium on Advanced Computing Systems and Infrastructures (SACSIS) 2010
Venue: Nara Prefectural New Public Hall
Dates: May 27th – May 28th
Website: http://www.hpcc.jp/sacsis/2010/

9th International Symposium on Selenium in Biology and Medicine 2010
Venue: Kyoto University
Dates: May 31st – June 4th
Website: http://selenium2010.jp/index.html

Compound Semiconductor Week 2010
[Joint session of 22nd International Conference on Indium Phosphide and Related Materials (IPRM) 2010 and 37th International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors (ISCS) 2010]

Venue:Takamatsu Symbol Tower (Kagawa)
Dates: May 31st – June 4th
Website: http://www.iprm.jp/
http://www.iprm.jp/html/iprm_top.html
http://www.iscs2010.org/index.php?FrontPage

13th Asian-Australasian Congress of Anaesthesiologists (AACA) 2010
Venue: Fukuoka International Congress Center, Marinemesse Fukuoka, Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Fukuoka Sunpalace
Dates: June 1st – June 5th
Website: http://www.aaca2010.jp/

 

 
Supplier Corner – Hotel Meeting & Incentive Developments
 

Our new section, Supplier Corner, presents some of our Japan suppliers' products and services, as well as available facilities. This month's focus is on new meeting & incentive packages and strategies from hotels in Japan.

 Hilton's Tokyo and Nagoya hotels renovate and refurbish their banquet and event halls.

Hilton Tokyo’s Kiku Ballroom in classroom format.

©Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Tokyo completed its 3-year multi-million dollar renovation last fall with the full renovation of the main ballroom. Following the refurbishment of the guest rooms, the Executive Lounge, lobby, ‘Marble Lounge' and fitness center, which was completed in March 2008, the Hilton Tokyo has implemented the next stage in the hotel's transformation into a luxurious five-star property. The new ballroom, the Kiku, and the banquet lobby were reopened as a totally new function space, "where meeting are convened and relationships created", at the end of September 2009.

The 932 square meter ballroom Kiku is the largest function room in the hotel and can be divided into 4 smaller rooms. The flexibility of the space allows it to cater for events ranging from sophisticated gala dinners to smaller intimate gatherings. The room accommodates up to 600 diners for a stylish gala dinner style and up to 1,200 people in theater style. The core interior design concept of the renovation is taken from the Japanese word "IKI," loosely translated as "stylish," and is inspired by the striped patterns of the traditional Kimono of the Japanese Edo period (1603 – 1868). This era was known as the beginning of the early modern period of Japan and a marriage of modernity and tradition is instrumental to the unique and stylish function space created by the Design Studio Yukio Hashimoto.

With warm, light beige and vivid vermilion tones, special wall paper made of cloth with pleat patterns to create the impression of a patterned Kimono and enhance the room's acoustics, and vermilion carpeting resembling a traditional kimono "obi" or sash, the room is designed to be aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. The lighting design is inspired by the famous lattice doors of Kyoto, and audio/visual systems include an LED color changer system, a 250-inch screen and a 12,000 lumen projector. In addition, the new banquet lobby features a stylish bar counter centerpiece and comfortable sofas, where guests can relax and feel free to interact as they enjoy the living room atmosphere. The new bar counter works effectively as a stylish pre-function and interval space, welcoming banquet guests to enjoy refreshments before and during events.

Meanwhile, on April 23rd, Hilton Nagoya completed the 2.3 million-dollar renovation of its roof-top bar on the 28th floor into an extensive Sky Chapel and Banquet Space. This Sky Chapel, Sky Banquet "One O Five" is a master planned development designed by Mr. Yukio Hashimoto, a world-famous Japanese space designer, with the theme of modern simplicity. With its new and innovative multi-functional design concept, this space is uniquely positioned to cater to both weddings and the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) industry. Hashimoto Design Studio was engaged to enlarge and turn a roof-top bar into a multi-purpose venue suitable as a Chapel, Sky Ballroom, and Meeting Space. The design expands an already spacious area with panoramic views in a simple, stylish design. The design of the space is deliberately uncluttered with the focus being on the breathtaking view both day and night.

The Sky Banquet makes an ideal destination for business meetings or social gatherings, allowing one to complement the occasion in a choice venue. This simple, modern space totaling 384 square meters is accented by sweeping views, natural light and the latest equipment. In the evenings, the city lights also illuminate the entire space with an enchanting glow, creating the perfect mood for any evening event. The state-of-the-art audio/visual system, including a ceiling mounted projection screen, LCD projectors, digital video recording and amplification, CAT cabling and an LED floor lighting system, have been designed to meet various customer's needs. The adjunct boardrooms will also feature projectable walls and soundproofing, ideal for principal meetings.

"To maintain competitiveness, this modern multi-purpose design will allow for space utilization and a unique venue in the marketplace" said Jamie Mead, General Manager of Hilton Nagoya. "Given the strong loyalty to the Hilton brand in the region, and our growing worldwide profile, we see great potential for our new dramatic venue. We are committed to further develop the already strong reputation of our hotel."

For more information:
Hilton Tokyo
Email: tokyo@hilton.com
Hilton Nagoya
Email: mail.nagoya@hilton.com

 

Hotel New Otani Tokyo unveils its 2010 meeting packages.

Hotel New Otani Tokyo is conveniently located near the downtown business and financial districts of Tokyo, providing easy access and an ideal location for business travelers and meeting guests. Hotel New Otani Tokyo offers complete meeting packages that include everything you need to make your event successful – meeting/event rooms, equipment, overnight stay and meals.

The following packages are in effect until March 31st, 2011: (Hotel banquet rooms are 10 – 100 capacity)

Hotel New Otani Tokyo

©Hotel New Otani Tokyo
LAPIS Banquet Room

©Hotel New Otani Tokyo

Garden Tower 2-Day Meeting Plan - ¥46,000/person*
The Main 2-Day Meeting Plan - ¥58,000/person*

Meeting Plan details:
1st Day: Meeting Room
(available until 9:00 PM) + Lunch + Dinner + Guest Room
(Garden Tower Standard Room or The Main Standard Room
– rooms are based on the plan)
2nd Day: Meeting Room
(available until 5:00 PM) + Breakfast + Lunch
Plans include: Whiteboard, projector screen,
conference kit for each participant
(5 sheets of A4 writing paper and ballpoint pen),
KIOSK (2 cups of coffee/tea, 2 bottles of mineral water and candies)

*The above rates include service charge and taxes.
*The above period and rates are subject to change without notice.

For more information, please contact the New Otani Hotels North American Sales Office at:
Tel/Fax: 646-216-2188
Email: nyoffice@newotanihotels.com
Website: http://www.newotani.co.jp/en/tokyo/

 

Hotel Okura Tokyo unveils its 2010 meeting packages.

Ideally situated in the heart of downtown Tokyo, Hotel Okura Tokyo is only minutes away from the city's foremost cultural, entertainment and business centers. No matter the occasion, the number of people in attendance, or the desired cuisine and decor, Hotel Okura has the perfect banquet space to meet your requirements and your budget.

For meetings with a 5-39 person capacity, Hotel Okura Tokyo offers two packages:

4-hour meeting package
Single Occupancy (Double or Twin) ¥29,000 per person per night
Double Occupancy (Double or Twin) ¥24,000 per person per night
(Above package includes)
- Meeting room rate
- One night stay in a standard room (30-33 m2)
- Breakfast buffet coupon
- Refreshing coffee break x1
- White board, four microphones*, projector, and screen in the room
- A bottle of mineral water, original candies, and a notepad

8-hour meeting package
Single Occupancy (Double or Twin) ¥34,000 per person per night
Double Occupancy (Double or Twin) ¥29,000 per person per night
(Above package includes)
- Meeting room rate
- One night stay in a standard room (30-33 m2)
- Breakfast buffet coupon
- Refreshing coffee break x2
- Lunch in Hotel Okura Tokyo’s restaurants and coffee shops
- A bottle of mineral water, original candies, and a notepad

A very special rate for non-staying guests:
4-hour meeting package: ¥14,000
8-hour meeting package: ¥19,000

For groups with 40-300 guests, the same packages are offered with the following further discounted rates:

4-hour meeting package
Single Occupancy (Double or Twin) ¥27,000 per person per night
Double Occupancy (Double or Twin) ¥22,000 per person per night

8-hour meeting package
Single Occupancy (Double or Twin) ¥32,000 per person per night
Double Occupancy (Double or Twin) ¥27,000 per person per night

One of the many available meeting rooms at Hotel Okura Tokyo.

©Hotel Okura Tokyo Co., Ltd.

Non-staying guest rate:
4-hour meeting package: ¥12,000
8-hour meeting package: ¥17,000

These packages are available 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Meeting times outside that time range will entail an additional ¥2,000 per person per hour.
*Microphones would be either wireless or standing, depending on the size of the meeting room.
Note: Meeting rooms with a size of less than 43 m2, there will be no microphone service.

For more on these packages:
Hotel Okura USA Sales Office:
Tel: 303-404-2137
Fax: 303-404-2146
Email: hot_sales2@tokyo.hotelokura.co.jp
Website: http://www.okura.com/tokyo/

 

Imperial Hotel, Tokyo celebrates its 120th anniversary with wide-scale renovations.


©Imperial Hotel, Ltd.



©Imperial Hotel, Ltd.

The Imperial was founded 120 years ago in 1890, under the direction of the Meiji government and at the urging of aristocratic businessmen. The Imperial Household Agency was the largest investor until the end of the Pacific War. At its origin in 1890, The Imperial was located next door to the Rokumeikan, a nationally sponsored social center in an elegant, Victorian-style building specifically designed for exchanges between Japanese and foreign visitors and residents and where the country's first dance parties were held. The Imperial was opened in order to offer, for the first time, full deluxe western hotel services to VIPs from overseas and also to prominent Japanese citizens. This emphasized a period when Japan had realized that the west had overtaken Asia in terms of technology and innovation and was hurrying not just to catch up but also to overtake the advances in other countries after several centuries of isolation.

After all its history, this year marks The Imperial's 120th anniversary, and since 2003 it has spent about ¥18 billion (about US$190 million) on wide scale renovations, including guestrooms with new air refinement systems and new bathrooms, restaurant and banquet room renovations, public spaces and back of the house areas. All the renovations were completed last year in order to coincide with the 120th anniversary celebrations.

Imperial Hotel, Tokyo

©Imperial Hotel, Ltd.

Imperial Hotel, Tokyo receives bookings for numerous social events and business functions and indeed markets its facilities for these events most actively. The Imperial has hosted international conferences, meetings and other functions for many decades, and is capable of receiving large volume delegations. Last year it was the venue for global meetings of many international conglomerates and Japan-America related financial leaders. It has a total of 27 banquet rooms, including ballrooms that can accommodate up to 2,000 people, as well as smaller rooms for more intimate groups. The Imperial also offers meeting rooms without charge for registered guests in the Executive Services Center. With 931 rooms from luxury suites to standard layout, The Imperial is equipped and experienced to handle all types of MICE business. Furthermore, the addition of an extra runway at Haneda Airport and subsequent increased international arrivals has resulted in The Imperial starting limousine bus service to and from Haneda Airport.

In conjunction with its 120th Anniversary, the Annual Assembly of the Leading Hotels of the World will be held this autumn in Tokyo for the first time in 27 years. The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. is a prestigious luxury hotel reservations and marketing group of more than 450 hotels with over 84,000 rooms in 80 countries. In addition, to enhance its civic duties The Imperial is taking ongoing measures to improve guest security and environmental awareness, such as heat zone neutralization through rooftop greenery, water recycling and LED illuminations. Imperial Hotel, Tokyo also is striving to actively participate in and support the Japanese government's strategies to make Japan and the city of Tokyo more inviting for tourism and leisure travel and increase foreign arrivals.

For more information:
Imperial Hotel New York Sales Office
Tel: 212-692-9001
Fax: 212-867-4470
Email: teikoku@teikoku-nyc.com
Website: http://www.imperialhotel.co.jp/e/tokyo

 

InterContinental Hotels Group Japan (IHG ANA) started its original MICE Program
"InterContinental Meeting" at InterContinental Yokohama Grand in April.

One of the many meeting rooms available
at InterContinental’s numerous properties in Japan.

©IHG

The program is created based on InterContinental Hotels’ concept called “In the Know,” offering community-based or experience-based meeting plans. InterContinental Hotels and Resorts launched the program globally last autumn. Jean Baptiste Pigeon, general manager of InterContinental Yokohama Grand, said that his hotel would like to have a bigger share in the MICE market by offering original and high quality services by introducing this program. He is positive about working with the neighboring facilities to generate MICE demand and is quoted as saying, "We are ready to collaborate with the adjacent PACIFICO Yokohama and the Convention Bureau to make Yokohama a high-profile city for MICE."

Ryozo Oya, COO of IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan, along with confirming his dedication to promoting MICE business under the InterContinental brand name, is determined to upgrade its contents and services to bring the program to near perfection. Keeping sustainable growth in view, he is eager to make MICE business the mainstay of the hotel's income as it expects increased demand for accommodation. The aforementioned program will start operating, according to Oya, in ten cities around the world including London, Paris, and Hong Kong, as well as Yokohama. The program's Yokohama debut was the first in Japan and the fifth in the world. The program is scheduled to be adopted later this year at five other InterContinental hotels in Japan.

The program's reservation website is being carefully developed to enhance its convenience to the user. A visitor to the site can virtually walk through the property as the site is loaded with an "interactive floor plan" whereby one can confirm the space and layout according to the meeting's purpose. The system is able to reply to an initial enquiry within two hours and to make an e-proposal within 48 hours so that the customer can approve the plan without loss of time.

In addition, each hotel of the InterContinental brand seeks to differentiate itself from its sister hotels by offering unique optional services under the "Insider Collection" plan, which provides guests with the chance to become acquainted with the local culture and history or to socialize with the surrounding community. InterContinental Yokohama Grand provides ten options under five themes. To give a few examples, there is an "Insider Break" in which guests are invited during a meeting recess to a party to taste Chinese tea and dumplings or Japanese tea and cakes. In another instance, there is an "Insider Interaction" in which guests are encourage to build teams and go out for treasure hunts in Yokohama's China Town.

For more information on InterContinental Hotels:
InterContinental Hotels Group North American Sales Office
General information & reservations: 1-800-ICHOTELS (1-800-424-6835)
Meetings & events: 1-800-MEETING (1-800-633-8464)

 

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo has launched its "Sake Sampler Package" for foreign guests
to accompany the renovation of its Concord Ballroom.

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo’s Concord Ballroom

©Keio Plaza Hotel Co., Ltd.

The Sake Sampler Package will be available until December 29, 2010, and includes a hotel room, breakfast and a tasting of three kinds of Japanese sake along with appetizers designed to perfectly complement the sake. Guests can enjoy the sake sampling at the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo's Amanogawa Bar (Amanogawa meaning "Milky Way") on the 2nd floor of the hotel. The sake is specially selected to suit even the first timer's pallet, and can perhaps be compared to fruity wines. An explanatory card of the featured sake will also be distributed. For meeting purposes, guests will want to make use of Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo's completion of the renovation of its Concord Ballroom in December of 2008. The Concord Ballroom is large enough to accommodate up to 900 people for a sit-down dinner and up to 1000 people for a reception or other event. The Concord is complete with lighting equipment and audio systems facilitating simultaneous interpretation of up to eight languages. A warm environment and top-notch technology make it the perfect place for large international conferences, seminars and lectures, or even a grand dinner.


Sake Sampler Package Details

Available through December 29, 2010
Includes special room rates:
Superior Room (323 – 355 ft2) – From ¥23,000 for Single/Double Occupancy
Plaza Premier (355 – 388 ft2) – From ¥29,000 for Single/Double Occupancy
Features and Details:
*Rates include daily breakfast in the Lounge and Sake Sampler Voucher for Amanogawa Bar
*Sake Sampler Voucher can be exchanged for a Meal Voucher value of ¥4000.
*10% service charge, 5% consumption tax and Tokyo City tax will be added to these rates.
*Rates will be changed depending on occupancy.

For more information and reservations:
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo Los Angeles Office
Tel: 800-222-5346
Fax: 213-362-7772
Email: reservation@keioplazatokyo.com
Website: http://www.keioplaza.com/index.html

 

Prince Hotels has begun a full-blown campaign in April to focus on drawing
in international meetings and foreign corporate incentive trips.

The two hotel complexes in Tokyo's Shinagawa district – the Shinagawa Prince Complex and the Takanawa Prince Complex – will establish full-time sales departments in order to acquire international business travelers, who use exhibition space for meeting exhibitions, as well as other available amenities. Due to the expansion at Haneda airport this autumn and its new runway, business travelers are expected to increase in number, and in three years the sales for all the hotels combined is expected to reach ¥15 billion (about $150 million), twice the current amount.

Map layout of the four Shinagawa Prince properties.

©Prince Hotel, Inc.

The hotels comprising the two complexes, such as the Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa (in Tokyo's Minato district), have together established a combined sales department. With many of its exhibitions and exhibition attendees coming from other Asia countries – in addition to attendees from across the globe – the department will be working toward attracting international meetings and incentive travel companies to booking Prince Hotel, aiming at drawing in 500-person scale association meetings and incentive trips. The first will be in April when it hosts for the first time an exhibition in Shanghai.

Prince Hotels has had the help of ten exclusive business trip planners to prepare for the meeting and get things ready, not only in reserving meeting space and sleeping accommodations but also in proposing the entire itinerary throughout the participants' stay in Japan. For example, if there are attendees who golf, then they arrange for golf at a Prince Hotels administrated golf course the day after the meeting, along with means of transportation to get there. As for international meetings, apart from the 2-3 day stay in Japan, attendees often bring their families with them, so Prince Hotels also places great importance on scheduling excursions outside of the meeting.

The reason for the hotels' earnest venture with attracting international meetings lies in the internationalization of Haneda airport. Also known as Tokyo International Airport, it is located just outside of downtown Tokyo and has faster and easier access to downtown areas than Narita airport. While it has traditionally handled most of the domestic traffic, leaving international flights to Narita, the opening of a new runway this autumn, along with other expansions, will open up access to more international service. Accompanying these additions and renovations, demand for rooms by business travelers at the Shinagawa hotels close to Haneda is expected to increase. Since 2004, the hotels have invested upwards of ¥11 billion (about $110 million) in carrying out remodeling and construction projects for their banquet halls and guest rooms as they arrange preparations for hosting international conferences. They will also be complementing their airport proximity – only about 20 minutes – with airport bus service to and from the Shinagawa properties at select times.

If Prince Hotels succeeds in increasing business to the Shinagawa area hotels, it will also have the advantage of being able to refer meeting attendees to other Prince Hotels throughout Japan once the meeting has concluded. The Japanese government has set a goal for 2011. It wants to increase the number of international conferences held in Japan by more than 50% of 2005's number, a total of over 255. While striving for that mark, the city's hotels will be strengthening and expanding their international meeting hosting capabilities.

For more information:
Tel: 1-800-542-8686
Website: http://www.princehotels.com



Swissôtel Nankai Osaka has been accelerating its meeting & incentive package development. Raymond R. Tait lll, Director of Revenue & Marketing at Swissôtel Nankai Osaka, introduces to you what his hotel has to offer.

Raymond R. Tait III and the Swissôtel Nankai Osaka.

©Swissôtel Nankai Osaka
When we speak of MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) in Osaka, it is particularly popular to conduct incentives here. Why? Well, Osaka lies in the heart of Kansai and offers a day trip springboard to a wide variety of enticing incentive options. These options coupled together with world class hotels, restaurants and shopping make up that reward experience that is associated to an "Incentive". The actual list of day trip options is too long to do it justice here, but the sub-destinations of Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Wakayama and Mie surrounding Osaka say it all!

The next part of "I" in MICE that demands attention is the all important Gala Dinner or Climax event that recognizes these high achievers on an incentive trip. Here in Osaka, we have some great options to not only recognize individuals but also entertain the group as a whole. Organizers usually want to buy something unique and representative of the country they are visiting. In the past, we have directed these organizers to nearby major department stores or specialty stores in Shinsaibashi and Namba with unique gifts. They are so pleased to see a wide selection of mementos that represent JAPAN as a keepsake memory of their achievement and trip to JAPAN.

Entertaining these high achievers is also an opportunity to showcase Japanese Culture; from the sublime sounds of the Koto to the pulsating rhythms of Taiko Drums. Costumed clad performers and companions at the reception time before the dinner is another excellent way for guest to experience JAPAN and take souvenir photos with Samurai, Geisha and Kabuki actors (the three most requested). Decorations range from traditional red cloth bench sitting with umbrellas to giant Japanese Scenery backdrops covering the wall of the function space.

Lastly and most importantly, we need to be aware of recent terminology change when approaching these dinners and using the Gala or Awards Dinner is sometimes not appropriate in the current economic times and the recent scrutiny on what is perceived as "Lavish" or "Expensive" outlay of money. Therefore, we try relating to the customer with the key word of "Appreciation" Dinner. For the Dinner it is best to offer a fusion menu of local appeal mixed with some Western course favorites - this is the way to win them over and have a successful event. Again, the food options and combinations are endless, so I will not attempt that here. All of these ingredients will help differentiate your Venue / Hotel / Product and appeal to the overseas Incentive Market wanting to come to JAPAN.

For more information visit the following links:
MICE Package of Swissôtel Nankai Osaka
Swissôtel Nankai Osaka E-Brochure
Swissôtel Nankai Osaka Website

 

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu prepares for its grand reopening this autumn.

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu.

©Tokyu Hotels Co., Ltd.

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, which closed in 2006, will be reborn in the autumn of 2010 as The Capitol Hotel Tokyu in Akasaka, the heart of downtown Tokyo. The newly reconstructed hotel will have 251 rooms available, including 13 luxury suites, as well as top notch meeting and banquet facilities and services.

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu will feature six different meeting and banquet rooms, totaling over 15,000 ft2 in space, and a number of restaurants and bars comprising Chinese, Japanese, Western and casual dining options, as well as drinks and cocktails. In addition to all of this, the Capitol Hotel Tokyu will offer guests the use of its business center (complete with secretarial service, a PC station with high-speed Internet access, copy, fax and courier service, and more), spa and fitness center and exclusive library lounge reserved for guests of club rooms and suites.

For more information on The Capitol Hotel Tokyu:
Tokyu Hotels New York Office
Tel: 1-800-42-TOKYU(86598)
Fax: 1-212-490-0426
Email: reservation@tokyuhotelsjapan.com
Website: http://www.capitolhoteltokyu.com/en/#

 
ICC Highlight – Yokohama
 

The first of our new installment featuring Japan’s 51 government-designated International Convention Cities focuses on Yokohama.

Yokohama, the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture, is located just south of Tokyo on Tokyo Bay, is Japan's largest incorporated city with a population of 3.6 million, and is one of the country's biggest commercial, industrial and travel centers.

 

From meager origins to worldwide acclaim

Yokohama’s Minato Mirai 21 development area, featuring Pacifico Yokohama, Yokohama Bay Grand InterContinental Hotel, the Landmark Tower, Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris Wheel and more.
©JNTO

Yokohama started out as a small, relatively unknown fishing village during the Edo period. This all changed when Commodore Perry's black ships arrived off its coast, opening up Japan to trade and outside influence and establishing Yokohama as one of the few ports designated to allow foreign ships to dock, trade and do business. This quickly led to Yokohama developing into a major economic hub in Japan – a reputation still upheld today.

Yokohama has much to offer the MICE market. As one of Japan's leading 51 International Convention Cities, Yokohama hosts many diverse and meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive trips and other events. It boasts numerous luxury and affordable hotels alike. Its Minato Mirai 21 (translated as Future Harbor 21) district is a well-traversed locale for meetings and incentives, as it houses hotels, a convention/conference centers, restaurants, shopping centers, parks, museums and other prime facilities a stone's throw away from each other. It is also adorned with the 480-seat Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris Wheel, the world's second largest, which was built for the YES '89 (Yokohama Exotic Showcase 1989). It is also the site of Yokohama Landmark Tower, the tallest building in Japan. Taken altogether, Minato Mirai 21 is truly a one-of-a-kind spot and an ideal destination for meetings and events.

Perfect for meetings and conventions

Sankeien Garden
©JNTO

Pacifico Yokohama is Yokohama’s premier convention, conference and event facility, drawing prestigious and high-volume international meetings and events. Able to handle conferences and conventions with attendance upwards of 6000, all of its world-class facilities, including the National Convention Hall of Yokohama, the Conference Center, the Exhibition Hall and the InterContinental Yokohama Grand, have expanded the possibilities for conventions in Japan. Also noteworthy is its easy access from the urban core and the comfortable environment it is set in, surrounded by greenery and water. Plus, its modern facilities and experienced staff are available 24 hours every day, and its state-of-the-art communications, technology, A/V and other services will ensure your meeting goes off without a hitch.

Sports, entertainment, shopping and more

Yokohama’a Chinatown
©JNTO
For other activities outside your meeting schedule and for corporate incentive trips, Yokohama has you covered. A bustling city with water access and breathtaking views of the bay, Yokohama has culture, history, entertainment, and nature of all kinds for you to enjoy. For the sports enthusiast, Yokohama is the home of the Yokohama BayStars major league baseball team, and two J-League soccer teams: the Yokohama F. Marinos and Yokohama F.C. For a unique cross-cultural experience, you can visit Yokohama’s Chinatown, the largest Chinatown in Asia and one of the largest in the world, where you can shop for Chinese merchandise and sample China’s distinct and diverse cuisine.

The beauty of nature awaits

For nature lovers, a visit to Sankeien Garden, a vast, Japanese garden built in 1906, offers wondrous views and sights. There are 17 old structures on the grounds, 10 of which have been designated important cultural properties. Your group can also experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony while surrounded by natural beauty, creating a memory to last a lifetime. Finally, you can witness wonders of the animal kingdom at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, an amusement park consisting of an aquarium, shopping mall, hotel, marina and amusement rides.

Convenient and reliable public transportation

Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
©JNTO

Yokohama also shares Japan’s affinity for reliable, convenient, and extensive public transportation. Yokohama is served by four railway companies, two municipal subway lines and a bus network that is operated partly by the city and partly by private bus companies. The city has two major railway stations: Yokohama Station and Shin-Yokohama Station ("New Yokohama Station"). Train lines of all four railway companies and the subway line pass through Yokohama Station, which is located in the city center. Shin-Yokohama Station is located outside of the city center, about ten minutes from Yokohama Station by the JR Yokohama Line or the municipal subway, and is where the Shinkansen (bullet trains) stop.

 

Conference and incentive subsidies available

In 2009, Yokohama introduced a new conference subsidization scheme in order to implement a high level of hospitality to the satisfaction of both organizers and participants alike. With a maximum subsidy amount of ¥10 million, this new system guarantees subsidies for conferences which are in the bidding process and where the candidate city is Yokohama. The new subsidy system is applicable to international conferences that meet the following four conditions:

1) A minimum of 2000 participants
2) A minimum of 800 foreign participants
3) A minimum number of 5 nationalities
4) A minimum duration of 3 days

Furthermore, in order to promote its rich tourism resources even more effectively, the city has established a subsidy program to encourage conference participants to partake in sightseeing in Yokohama as part of post-convention activities. The following programs qualify for a subsidy if they involve a total of 50 or more participants in a nationwide or international meeting, convention, exhibition or trade show held for at least two days in the city of Yokohama:

1) Receptions using unique venues such as tourist or cultural facilities in the city
2) Entertainment
3) Excursions including at least one visit to tourist or commercial facilities in the city (e.g. sightseeing)

If the following costs paid to local suppliers in the city of Yokohama total ¥100,000 or more, they will be subsidized by up to 50% of the total amount, with a maximum of ¥500,000 per convention:

1) Cost of reception venues
2) Cost of entertainment
3) Cost of chartering buses and other transportation

Yokohama has also developed a subsidy plan for incentive trips, with up to ¥2 million able to be provided for incentive tours with over 1000 participants.

Yokohama truly has something for everyone, and with its world-class facilities and hospitality, technology, convenience, and variety of entertainment options you will be ensured to have the meeting of a lifetime when you choose Yokohama as your next meeting destination. For more information on this 21st Century city or any of the subsidy plans, visit the Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau website at: http://www.welcome.city.yokohama.jp/eng/tourism/ or email the Bureau at convention@www.welcome.city.yokohama.jp.

 
 

For more Japan travel information, visit http://www.japantravelinfo.com


* Disclaimer:
The JNTO Newsletter is published as a complimentary service to our valued partners in the travel and convention sectors. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the official view of JNTO. While every sincere effort is made to ensure accuracy, readers should confirm prices and schedule information directly with the relevant organizer. All information is subject to change without notice. Neither 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.


© 2010 Japan National Tourism Organization

 

Japan Convention Bureau
Japan National Tourism Organization
Tel: 212-757-5641 ext. 21
Fax: 212-307-6754
Email: mmotegi@jntonyc.org