Archive for the ‘Japan’ Category

Pacific Delight Tours Introduces Air-Inclusive Japan & China Program; 10-Day ‘Highlights’ from $3599

February 6, 2014
Meiji Shrine, a Shinto monument to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, in Tokyo, one of the highlights on the 10-day air-inclusive Pacific Delight Tours © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Meiji Shrine, a Shinto monument to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, in Tokyo, one of the highlights on the 10-day air-inclusive Pacific Delight Tours © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Pacific Delight Tours (www.PacificDelightTours.com), is launching new air-inclusive itineraries, such as the 10day Highlights of Japan & China program, starting at $3,599 per person, based on double occupancy, which features some of the most recognizable and iconic sights in Asia.

The tour begins at Tokyo Tower, where guests will enjoy a stunning panoramic vista of the city, followed by a visit to Meiji Shrine, a Shinto monument to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.  Next, the program moves to Tokyo’s Imperial Palace located at the former site of Edo Castle, which was demolished after the Tokugawa shogun was overthrown in 1867.  The Imperial Palace now serves as the royal residence of Japanese Emperor.  Guests will pass the Akasaka Guest House as well as the meeting place of the Japanese House of Representatives and the House of Councilors on their way to the Ginza, Tokyo’s upscale shopping district.

Visitors will drive through Japan’s picturesque Kanagawa Prefecture to Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest, stopping halfway up the mountain for remarkable views.  They’ll view the volcanic terrain of Hakone from the vantage point of a double-wired gondola lift on their way to Owakudani Boiling Valley, referred to locally as the “Valley of Hell” due to the steam escaping from its rugged mountains.  Their experience of Tokyo’s countryside culminates with a tranquil cruise along Lake Ashi revered for its views of Mt. Fuji.

In Kyoto, guests will see Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the Tokugawa Shogunate era in the 17th century, before continuing to Kinkakuji Temple, a Zen temple and garden complex dating back to the late 14th century.  They will also visit Kyoto Imperial Palace, the former residence of Japan’s emperors until 1869.

The program concludes in Beijing, where travelers will observe Tiananmen Square and the extravagant Ming-era Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City.  They’ll also visit the renowned Great Wall as well as the Summer Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the last night of the tour, visitors will have the chance to attend an optional Legend of Kung Fu performance.

This World of Difference® Escapade experience provides travelers with three nights in Tokyo’s New Otani Garden Tower hotel, two nights at the New Miyako hotel in Kyoto and three nights at the Marriott City Wall in Beijing.  The tour also includes transpacific air (LAX/SFO, add $200 for JFK), intra-Japan transportation, an intra-Asia flight, guaranteed land transportation with two passengers, initial arrival and departure transfers, English-speaking guides, eight breakfasts, three lunches and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program.  The program starts at $3,599 per person, based on double occupancy.  Transpacific airfares include all government taxes, fees and airline surcharges.  There is a single supplement available starting at $899.

Travelers seeking a longer tour may opt for Pacific Delight’s air-inclusive 15-Day In-Depth Japan & China program, extending the highlights experience to Xi’an, Shanghai and Wuzhen from $4,199 per person, based on double occupancy.

For more information or to book, consult your local travel agent, contact Pacific Delight Tours at 800-221-7179, 212-818-1781, or visit www.PacificDelightTours.com.

See also:

TOKYO: TURNING A STOPOVER INTO A SOJOURN-Part 2

TOKYO: TURNING A STOPOVER INTO A SOJOURN

HANGZHOU: CHINA’S CITY OF ROMANCE

HANGZHOU: ANCIENT & MODERN COME TOGETHER IN CHINA’S RESORT CITY

ZHEJIANG PROVINCE PRESENTS MICROCOSM OF CHINA, OLD & NEW

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New Tourist Information Center Opens in Tokyo’s Marunouchi District

December 29, 2011

The view from the Conrad Hilton in the Marunouchi district of Tokyo, where a new tourist office has opened © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Even with thorough research in advance and digital travel guides and apps, many travelers would like to gear up more with in-person the updated travel information before getting around the country of the rising sun. Tourist Information Center (TIC), the JNTO-operated information center that has been a must-stop for many foreign travelers, will relocate and be reborn in Tokyo’s city center. In Shin-Tokyo Building, a commercial and cultural complex ¼ mile (about a 5-minute walk) from the current location in the Yurakucho Station area, the new TIC will be accompanied by a new café “Marunouchi Café SEEK” with a gallery space.

Marunouchi has been an up-coming area with multiple redevelopments and renovation such as renewal opening of The Tokyo Station Hotel in April 2012 in the western style brick train station. On the western side of the historic Tokyo train station, the Marunouchi area stretches between the Imperial Palace, Tokyo International Forum convention venue and many 5-star hotels, and has become a popular district with concentration of art, culture, shopping and dining experiences. As the national center of 312 tourist information centers all over Japan, TIC serves about 30,000 walk-in visitors with free travel information to foreign tourists annually, and will expect more walk-in inquiries at the new location, drawing their attention to the café’s function as cultural and art information source.

The New Tourist Information Center (TIC) is located at:

ShinTokyo Building, 1F

3-3-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Phone: +81-(0)3-3201-3331

Open daily from 9a.m. to 5p.m. (Closed on January 1)

See also:

Day One in Tokyo: Hitting Tourist Highlights and slideshow

Day Two: A day in Tokyo spanning all the days of Japan and slideshow

Turning a stopover in Tokyo into sojourn starts with Conrad Tokyo

Hilton Tokyo puts you in the hub of Tokyo’s Metropolis

 

Sweepstakes Offers Chance to Win a Trip to Japan on Facebook

December 2, 2011

As holiday shopping time enters high season, there is a chance for a big Christmas gift for Japan fans. Starting November 30, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) runs a month-long sweepstakes campaign for the US market on Facebook with the grand prize of a customized trip for 4 to Japan.

From November 30 through December 30, the campaign is open to participants to enter the Japan Party Express sweepstakes on JNTO’s Visit Japan Facebook page. Each participant must enter with 3 other Facebook users who are also friends of Visit Japan’s page. Friends of JNTO’s Visit Japan can access to the sweepstakes at the Visit Japan Facebook page. The prize goes to one entry, a group of 4 lucky Facebook friends, who will travel to Japan with a theme chosen from 4 categories; food, tradition, adventure and pop culture. The winners will travel between January and the end of March, 2012.

The Japan Party Express Sweepstakes is part of an ongoing effort to raise more public awareness of the Visit Japan Facebook page among digital social network communities. The Executive Director of the JNTO New York Office, Ms. Yuki Tanaka, hopes to have more people becoming friends of Visit Japan page on Facebook as well as increase the presence of tourism to Japan in the digital world.

This campaign is exclusively for the U.S. market, and the entry eligibility requires Facebook users to be friends for Visit Japan page residing in the United States. Visit Japan’s US Facebook page currently has more than 70,000 friends, and provides daily updates on tourism to Japan, deals, Japan travel related news and Japan related topics.

See also:

TOKYO: TURNING A STOPOVER INTO A SOJOURN
How to Tackle One of the World’s Great Cities With Only Two Full Days
Day One: Hitting Tokyo’s Tourist Highlights

TOKYO: TURNING A STOPOVER INTO A SOJOURN
How to Tackle One of the World’s Great Cities With Only Two Full Days
Day Two: A Day in Tokyo Spanning all the Days of Japan

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

 

Japan National Tourist Office President Gives Update on Tourism Recovery Activities

June 15, 2011

Tadatoshi Mamiya, President, Japan National Tourism Organization

New York, NY, June 15:  As more and more international travelers reconfirm Japan’s recovery on tourism, Mr. Tadatoshi Mamiya, the president of Japan National Tourism Organization, released below message to update JNTO’s tourism recovery activities.

A Message from the President of Japan National Tourism Organization

On behalf of the Japanese people, I would like to express our most sincere gratitude towards the material and emotional support that we received from all over the world following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. On behalf of the Japanese travel industry, I would especially like to say thank you to all the assistance provided by the tourism industry partners from all over the globe.

Since the earthquake in March, our country has come together, working rapidly in the affected areas towards a quick recovery.  With the strenuous efforts of various personnel, we have made good progress towards the reconstruction of our transportation infrastructure. Sendai Airport, which was struck by the earthquake, was reopened on April 13, and the entire bullet train system in Tohoku region, a.k.a. Tohoku Shinkansen, was restored on April 29. Additionally, Tokyo Disneyland reopened on April 28, and many other tourist attractions and facilities are back to the same level of service and attractions as the pre-quake time.

In addition, many top officials from various tourism partners around the world have visited Japan’s famous tourist sites and encouraged us.  We have also exchanged honest opinions and received positive suggestions from multiple national government officials at various events, such as the Japan-China-Korea Trilateral Tourism Minister’s Meeting in Kangwon-do, South Korea and at the Japan-U.S. Tourism Export Expansion Conference in San Francisco.  We are greatly encouraged by this support, and we believe that our solidarity for diligent work towards the recovery is the only way to to respond to these supports.

In response to this support from our friends all over the world, Japan has developed the following strategies and projects, some of which are being implemented immediately:  Along with providing accurate information on conditions in Japan just as before, we are hosting tourism industry people from overseas markets and media partners for observation tours to showcase the progress that Japan has made and the sufficient safety level in Japan.  We are hosting an unprecedented number of guests from different parts of the world between late May and July.  We believe that vigorous promotion of vibrant and appealing side of Japan will not only impress people from overseas, but will also become a support source for the people and societies in the disaster-affected areas.

The next step will involve promoting Japan tour offerings so that travelers will know about them.

Outside of the affected areas, local people are living their usual lives, and the beauty of these tourist destinations remains unchanged.  Food is also inspected and controlled by strict guidelines for appropriate level of food safety.  Recent travelers to Japan have been satisfied with their experience, feeling that they are glad that they visited Japan at this time, and they are certain that they would like to come again.

Japan is a country with four distinctive seasons, blessed with beautiful nature, world heritage sites, rich culture and respected traditions. At the same time, these all co-exist together with modern high-tech attractions and pop culture.  We encourage you to visit our country, and we look forward to welcoming you with omotenashi, our traditional spirit of hospitality.

– Tadatoshi Mamiya, President,

Japan National Tourism Organization

See:

 TOKYO: TURNING A STOPOVER INTO A SOJOURN
How to Tackle One of the World’s Great Cities With Only Two Full Days
Day One: Hitting Tokyo’s Tourist Highlights

and slideshow

TOKYO: TURNING A STOPOVER INTO A SOJOURN
How to Tackle One of the World’s Great Cities With Only Two Full Days
Day Two: A Day in Tokyo Spanning all the Days of Japan

and slideshow

 

 

Kyoto’s Endangered Historic Townhouses Being Revived to Accommodate Foreign Tourists

July 24, 2010
Tojuro performing Kabuki in Tokyo

Staying in a Machiya historic townhouse gives tourists an opportunity to become immersed in Japanese culture and heritage, such as the Kabuki theater (© 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com)

Living history takes on new meaning in Kyoto, Japan’s city most famous for its ancient temples. Thousands of Machiya, Japan’s historic townhouses, are being turned into inns to accommodate foreign tourists, affording visitors an incomparable opportunity to be immersed in Japanese culture and heritage.

The historic townhouses were listed under the “2010 Watch List of Cultural Heritage Sites at Risk” by the World Monument Fund, a private organization dedicated to saving the world’s historical heritage, but a company, Machiya Residence Inn Group, has found a way to sustain them, and keep them from the wrecking ball, through a new use as accommodations for tourists.

Serving as both residences and workspaces for merchants and craftsmen, Machiya are Japan’s traditional townhouses that developed after 794 AD predominantly in Kyoto. There are approximately 48,000 Machiya within Kyoto, and most of them are more than 100 years old.

However, much like many other traditional architecture throughout the world, Machiya are rapidly disappearing. Every year, around 1,000 Machiya are demolished and replaced by new buildings due to maintenance being difficult and expensive, and their style considered outdated and old-fashioned in the minds of many. Unfortunately, reconstruction of Machiya is extremely difficult under the current Japanese building regulations, and as a result, the traditional townscape of Kyoto is on an inevitable path to extinction.

Amid mounting concerns in the local communities over the destruction of Kyoto’s traditional townscape, Machiya Residence Inn Group is refurbishing the Machiya that are about to be demolished and reviving them into life as accommodation facilities for foreign tourists.

Kohakuan, their latest accommodation facility, opened July 14, 2010. The facility rents out one entire townhouse for one group, and it is fully equipped with kitchen, washing machine, cloth dryer, computer and Internet, making it suitable for both short and long-term stay. In addition, English-speaking staff will be on hand to attend reservation and customer service inquiries.

The facility plans to organize various cultural activities for the guests such as tea ceremony, pottery class enabling foreign travelers to experience Japanese culture on request.

Machiya Residence Inn Group aims to revive the number of Machiya by developing five of these accommodation facilities each year, ultimately offer them in the real estate market as investment properties and, using refurbished Machiya as a model, promote usage and utilization of Machiya.

For further information on Machiya or reservation, contact via telephone, fax or e-mail: Mahchiya Residence Inn /AJ InterBridge Inc., tel: +81-75-708-5610, fax: +81-75-708-5611, email: info@kyoto-machiya-inn.com, or visit http://www.kyoto-machiya-inn.com.

See also:

TOKYO: TURNING A STOPOVER INTO A SOJOURN
How to Tackle One of the World’s Great Cities With Only Two Full Days
Day One: Hitting Tokyo’s Tourist Highlights

TOKYO: TURNING A STOPOVER INTO A SOJOURN
How to Tackle One of the World’s Great Cities With Only Two Full Days
Day Two: A Day in Tokyo Spanning all the Days of Japan

–Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate

http://www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate