|VISIT JAPAN WITH HELLO KITTY |
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As part of the Visit Japan project of 2012, the Japan Tourism Agency and Sanrio Co., Ltd. present the "Visit Japan with Hello Kitty" iPhone app. Developed by NEC BIGLOBE, Ltd., the app will help to introduce the appeal of each region of Japan with the
help of Sanrio's world-famous character Hello Kitty.
Fifty-three "on-site" local Hello
Kitty images have been carefully crafted to represent each prefecture and administrative division of Japan. Each image provides tourist information about the famous landmarks and products in that region.
While in Japan, users can activate the augmented reality camera function and the Hello Kitty image for the area will appear on the screen for a commemorative photo. All photos from the app will be grouped as an album collection and users will receive wallpapers for their mobile phones featuring each of the local Hello Kitty images from their photos.
The "Visit Japan with Hello Kitty" iPhone app is available in English, Korean, traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese. The software can be downloaded from the Mac App Store until March 31, 2013.
| SHARE YOUR WOW MOMENTS |
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The Japan Tourism Agency has also
created a new global campaign for Facebook and Sina Weibo entitled,
"Share your WOW! –Japan Photo contest." From September 1st, 2012 until February 15th, 2013, travelers to Japan can share their favourite photos
of Japan for a chance to win one of several amazing prizes. Entrants
register on the campaign website and upload photos to 1 of the following 6 categories: Cool, Delicious, Happy, Beautiful, Funny, and Miracle, and the website will connect to Facebook and Sina Weibo. "A WOW! Button" on the site will allow viewers to vote for their favourite
images and the best photos will be invited to an award ceremony in Japan and receive their prizes.
Prizes available to be won are:
Visit the Campaign website in English, Korean, Traditional Chinese
or Simplified Chinese.
| NEW JAL IN-FLIGHT DELIGHTS |
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Japan Airlines is changing up their
in-flight menu on international flights once again. From September 1st,
2012, several new menu options will be available.
First and Executive class passengers will be offered an array of Japan-made cheeses with unique
flavours, including sake and miso yeast.
Premium Economy and Economy Class passengers on flights departing from Tokyo Haneda Airport bound for San Francisco, Bangkok, and Singapore will be offered a special NORIBEN Bento box. The NORIBEN is a special collaboration with Soup Stock Tokyo, a franchise of Smiles Co., Ltd. From September to November, the side dishes will include grilled salmon, whitebait, and chikuwa. From December to February, they will change to grilled chicken and fried burdock.
JAL has also partnered with a well-known Nihonbashi restaurant, Taimeiken, which serves a variety of western-style dishes and is bringing its famous Dandelion Omelet Rice to the skies. The Air Yoshinoya beef bowl is also making a comeback on JAL's daily flight from Los Angeles to Narita. Both Air Taimeiken and Air Yoshinoya will be served in Premium Economy and Economy Class during a 2nd meal service and will be available to First and Executive Class anytime as part of the "Anytime you wish" service.
For details, read the Japan Airlines Press Release.
| VISIT JAPAN WITH VISA |
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Visa Worldwide is offering special discounts and shopping offers to tourists in Japan.
Until October 31st, 2013, shoppers
can get discounts or free gifts from participating shopping merchants
in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, and Sapporo. Retailers include BIC
CAMERA, Don Quijote, and Tokyu Hands, among others. Details are
available online or in booklets available at major hotels, tourist information centers, and participating merchants.
The "Open Table" promotion allows diners who make reservations online through "Open Table" to enjoy a complimentary aperitif at selected restaurants in Tokyo, including Sant Pau and AIMEE VIBERT, until March 31st, 2013.
The "Enjoy Okinawa with Visa" campaign involves special offers in the Ashibinaa outlet mall and 54 stores along Kokusai Dori, until December 28th, 2012.
Finally, when shopping at Premium Outlets until March 31st, 2013, shoppers can present their promotion booklet or downloaded coupons to receive an additional Coupon Booklet with extra savings of up to 20% at various stores.
For details, visit the VISA website.
| HUIS TEN BOSCH RAMPS UP THE FESTIVITIES |
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Nagasaki's famous European district,
Huis Ten Bosch, is celebrating the fall with a series of festivals and events from September 1st to October 31st. You can check out "Visionary Art: The Gogh Exhibition" at the Huis Ten Bosch art museum between July 29th and October 28th from 9:00am to 8:00pm (hours vary by day).
Visit Japan's premier garden and flower show, the Gardening World Cup Flower Show 2012 JAPAN, between September 28th and October 8th and watch the world's top gardeners compete under the event theme of "Flowers, Greenery and A Prayer for Peace and Restoration." There will also be booths, tours and demonstrations.
Other events taking place this fall:
| CELEBRATE THE FEUDAL ERA IN HIKONE |
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The Hikone Castle Festival, the largest festival in Hikone, will make its annual reappearance between October 6th and November 25th this year in the Hikone Castle area and other locations throughout Hikone City. The festival takes place in celebration of fabled daimyo lord of Hikone, Ii Naosuke. During the festival there are plenty of activities for everyone; you can take a self-guided walking tour, dress up in a historical costume, or watch the parade that includes marching bands, costumed children and adults, and performances.
There will also be a flea market and an exhibition of food and local
products in the parking lot of the Hikone City Culture Plaza from
November 1st to 4th.
While you're in the area, make a stop at some of the shrines and temples across Shiga Prefecture for some night viewing of their illuminated fall foliage, or take part in the Koka City Tourism Trade Fair and see the many attractions of the birthplace of ninjas and Shigaraki ware. Booths will be selling food and local products at the Diamond Shiga Country Club from November 9th to 10th.
For more information, check out the Shiga tourist information newsletter.
| TAKE A MINI TRIP THROUGH HOKKAIDO |
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Until November 30th, JR Hokkaido is
holding their "Autmn Mini Trip in Hokkaido" promotion. Rail pass
holders can get a discount at the JR Tower Observation Deck and select
Snowbrand Parlour stores, and are eligible to enter a photo contest.
Entrants submit a questionnaire with the names of the Hokkaido spots
they visited between September and November 2012, along with a photo in
which a JR Station is in the background. Winners will receive a stuffed
toy or key holder of JR Hokkaido's mascot, KITACA.
Find all the details on the Autumn Mini Trip in Hokkaido page.
| TRAVEL SERVICE CENTER GRAND OPENING |
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On October 1st, JR East is opening
the JR East Travel Service Center in Tokyo Station. The new Center will
be staffed by English-, Chinese-, and Korean-speaking staff to give foreign travelers access to tourism information and free Wi-Fi. Open between 7:30am and 8:30pm every day of the year, services will include JR East and All Japan Rail Pass purchase and exchange, holding and delivery of hand luggage, and money exchange.
For full details, visit the JR East website.
| SAPPORO TOURISM INFORMATION ON THE GO |
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In cooperation with the Greater
Sapporo Tourism Region Promotion Committee, Hokkaido Broadcasting Co., Ltd. has developed "Sapporo Info," a free tourism application for
iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. The app offers tourists a wide
variety of content including discount coupons, maps, brochures, a location service, and recommended local information such as the latest events. The app can be used in the planning process or while travelling, with over 160 videos and images to introduce a variety of tourist attractions. Thanks to the program's online caching, users can
download the content in advance and access it whenever they want without connecting to the internet.
The Sapporo Info app is available in Japanese, English, Simplified & Traditional Chinese, and Korean.
For more information, click here.
| CULTURE CORNER|
Test yourself! How well do you know Japanese culture? In this section, we'll give you a photo and a question to test your knowledge about Japan and its culture.
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Curious? Visit the Newsletter section of our website for the answer! You can also view previous editions of the newsletter.
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