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Mice Net : February 2009
japan crazy about kansai Story by Johanna Mc Kinnon Rich in cultuRe, there’s plenty to experience in Japan for convention delegates and incentive travel recipients. Japan’s capital tokyo is a dense, bustling city of bright lights and neon signs. but looking beyond the city limits, across to the other side of the country, awaits a world of tradition, innovation and one- of-a-kind cuisine. Japan is divided into many regions, two of which are Kanto and Kansai. Kanto is home to tokyo, while Kansai is made up of Kobe, Kyoto and osaka. For corporate groups it’s easy to explore Japan thanks to its efficient transport infrastructure, which includes the bullet train. your group will be able to get from one destination to the next in what really does feel like an instant. Japan offers a multitude of high-tech conference facilities and convention centres as well as a range of high quality accommodation. It is clean and safe, and offers an enticingly intriguing range of experiences for groups. Making Japan your next port of call will open up a world of kimonos, castles and cuisine that is unique to this nation. It offers surprises at every turn – from the cultural to the lesser-known adrenalin-charged side. Did you know, for example, that Japan has a burgeoning ski industry? Now there’s an idea… W First contact the meetings and incentive division of the Japan National tourism organisation (JNto) is an ideal first point of contact for professional conference organisers and incentive travel planners. the JNto Meeting & Incentive Planners Guide is a great reference and offers information about venues, incentives and planning tools as well as valuable contact details of local DMCs and PCos. Go to www.jnto.go.jp for more information. ABOVE: Cherry Blossoms and Mt. Fuji. Photo courtesy of Japanese National Tourism Organization. mice.net 191 hile hearing the word Japan may conjure up images of Sumo wrestling, cherry blossoms and sushi, this part of the world has plenty more on offer for the corporate events market. at a Population Estimated 126 million, with 12 million living in Tokyo. Geography Japan is made up of four major islands with more than 4000 smaller surrounding islands. Useful phrases Japanese Kon’nichiwa Wakarimasen Arigatou English Good afternoon I don’t understand Thankyou Religion Shintoism (which is indigenous to Japan) and Buddhism (which was introduced to Japan in the sixth century) are the two main religions and many Japanese practice both. Climate Japan has very defined seasons and during winter (December – February) the temperature rarely drops below zero degrees C along the Pacific coast. Northern and Central Japan gets the coldest and are highly reputed for winter sports. Spring (March-May) is a popular season with the inundation of cherry blossoms. The temperature generally doesn’t rise above 21 degrees Celsius. Summer (June-August) usually begins with three to four weeks of rain and then towards July it is hot and humid with an average of 28 degrees C. glance