Media Releases

Media Releases

Updates: Kerri-Anne Show discovers Japan. Follow their trip!

Japan National Tourism Organization - in conjunction with Qantas Airways and the City of Matsumoto proudly supported Channel 9 Kerri-Anne Show’s visit to Japan to be aired between November 21st and 25th, 2011. In that period, reporter Mr. Jamie Malcolm will report on Japan’s popular destinations and attractions.

He visited Tokyo’s busiest intersection in Shibuya; met some uniquely dressed people in Harajuku; was served by some pretty waitresses at the Maid Café and found some funky vending machines in electric town Akihabara; tasted some of the best sushi at Kyubey Ginza; stayed over at a capsule hotel in Shimbashi; tasted some interesting products at Daio wasabi farm in Matsumoto; fought with a samurai in front of the historical Matsumoto Castle; spoke with the only local Hina paper doll maker; met a rickshaw woman in traditional Takayama; tasted the famous Hida beef; rode on a boat and ropeway on the backdrop of Mt. Fuji and ate some black shelled eggs boiled in sulphurous water in Hakone; and found the kid inside of him at Tokyo’s DisneySea.

Qantas Airways are also offering special airfares to Japan, starting from $988*. Offer ends 2nd December, so hurry and book your trip now. To book and for more information visit or your local travel agent.

Follow Jamie’s journey here, find more about the places he visited and discover your favourite Japanese experience.

– 21st and 22nd November:TOKYO
– 23rd November: MATSUMOTO
– 24th November: TAKAYAMA and HAKONE
– 25th November: TOKYO DISNEYSEA


21st and 22nd November: TOKYO


With well over 500,000 travellers passing through it each day, Shinjuku is one of Japan’s best-known business and entertainment districts. It consists of offices and high-rise buildings such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building; row of department stores, larger stores and complex establishments for shopping and amusement; and the prominent entertainment district around Kabukicho, a town that never sleeps. Omoide Yokocho (literary meaning ‘memory lane’), established after the war in 1946, is a small alleyway along the tracks of Shinjuku Station filled with tiny eateries serving ramen, sushi, yakitori, soba and more. An area with nostalgic and cosy feel to it.  Explore city life in Shinjuku on a Walking Tour.


A terminal for a number of different rail lines, Shibuya is trend-setting centre for young people, shopping streets for families, overall a unique place. Famous for its scramble crossing and known as the place where new trends are born that quickly spread among the youth nationwide, it is an echanting place to visit.


Located only minutes from Shibuya, from casual to cutting-edge, a fashion centre to be enjoyed, Harajuku is a cultural haven for Tokyo’s youth. Takeshita-dori Street, known throughout Japan as a popular hangout for students. On the other hand, the streets in near-by Aoyama and Omotesando have a distinct European feel to them. The many famous designer stores in Omotesando appeal to those interested in fashion, and the fashion building Omotesando Hills offers customers with the very best in shopping and dining experience in a stylish environment. Explore the area on the Harajuku Walking Tour. If you are hungry and would like something easy and yummy, head to Ichiran, ramen (Japanese noodles) shop.


One of the most famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment areas in Japan and one of the most expensive real estate in Japan, Ginza consists of well-established Japanese department stores and famous international brand name shops. If you are after top quality sushi experience made with the freshest ingredients and prepared with technique of the highest quality, visit Ginza Kyubey. After its establishment in 1936, Kyubey has hosted numerous politicians, artists, actors and other famous people who come back time after time for its delicious food and charismatic chefs. If you are in search for a place to stay and want to experience something different, comfortable and cheap, like a capsule hotel, head to Capsule Inn Shimbashi. Located only 30 secs from the Shinbashi station (on JR Yamanote line), this is a very convenient place to stay.


One of Tokyo’s most popular nightspots, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown are filled with businesses, restaurants, shops, bars, nightclubs and more. The Tokyo City View from the glass-walled observatory located on the 52nd floor of Mori Tower, Roppongi Hills offers stunning 360-degree view of the city and is particularly breathtaking at night.


Time has stopped here since the Edo era. Asakusa is the old downtown with a warm, nostalgic atmosphere. The history of Senso-ji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo, goes back to 628. Numerous small shops along Nakamise street, which continues 250 metres from Kaminari Gate to the main grounds of Senso-ji Temple, carry a variety of small articles and souvenirs. To enjoy the good old days of Edo period, head to Aoi-Marushin. Established in 1946, Aoi-Marushin is one of the most popular tempura shops in Asakusa. Explore the area with the Tokyo afternoon tour.


With more than 250 electrical appliances and electronic shops of all sizes, Akihabara is one of the world’s biggest electronic towns, and a centre for the latest trends in Japanese culture. It has many service centres and showrooms of major manufacturers, as well as duty-free shops and a wide array of events. It has emerged as the birthplace of otaku culture, and emerging animation-related shops have also been attracting much attention. The first maid café to open in Akihabara, now available in 5 locations and with more than 2 million customers, @Home is one of the most popular maid cafes in town. For one stop shopping for games, cameras, computers, gadgets and anything else you may fency, visit Yodobashi Camera (Yodobashi Akihabara). They have a large selection and sell duty free.

23rd November: MATSUMOTO

Situated right in the center of Nagano and surrounded by mountains, Matsumoto is a castle town known as the gate to the Northern Alps’ hiking and climbing routes. The tower of the16th Century Matsumoto Castle, a 5-storey, 6-layer tower built in the Bunroku Period (1593-1594) is Japan’s oldest existing castle tower and is designated as a national treasure. Along the Nakamachi street to the south of the castle are many old merchant houses built in the ‘kura-zukuri’ style. It’s a pleasant stroll and shops offer local souvenirs and produce.

Daio Wasabi Farm, situated in Hotaka, Azumino city (32km north of Matsumoto)  is Japan’s largest wasabi farm covering 15 hectares. The natural, pure water derived from the Japan Alps enables the farm to produce up to 150tonnes of wasabi per year. Head there or wasabi themed products, such as wasabi ice-cream, wasabi chocolate, soup, wine, mayonnaise and more.

Matsumoto is perfectly surrounded by natural beauty and filled with pure mountain air. There is much to see and do in Matsumoto, and apart from the castle, old parts of town and the Daio Wasabi Farm, you can go up to the heights of Utsukushigahara for a panoramic view of the region or to the nearby Kamikochi, Norikura and other scenic areas in the Japan Alps. The ski fields of Nagano & Niigata are also not far from Matsumoto, so a visit to this beautiful and historic town is a must.

Experience the traditional Berami Dolls (Berami comes from French meaning “beautiful friend”) at the only shop in Matsumoto that manufactures and sells “oshie-bina” dolls: Berami Mimura Doll Shop. The shop contains an amazing display of paper dolls of all sizes and the shop owners are a lovely family who enjoy interacting with people and talking about the beautiful art of paper doll making.

24th November: TAKAYAMA and HAKONE


Located in northern Gifu Prefecture the picturesque town of Takayama is renowned for Hida beef, old streets and home to one of the most popular festivals in Japan, Takayama Festival. Designed as one of the Japan’s most beautiful festivals, this biannual festival proudly floats its crafted floats, which are a testament to the region’s history and are the culmination of hundreds of years worth of artistry and craftsmanship. Hida no Sato is an outdoor museum that displays traditional architectural and thatched roof-houses, some of which have been relocated from the UNESCO World Heritage Site Shirakawa-go, which is just a 50 min bus ride away. Visit the area on a 4-day trip. To experience the Japanese hospitality in a tranquil atmosphere, stay at Hoshokaku, a traditional Japanese inn with a beautiful spa facilities.


Home of acclaimed spas and a large historical zone, the town of Hakone is a part of Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. As an internationally renowned holiday resort that includes many hot springs, a view of Mt. Fuji is not the only view that you can enjoy in Hakone. Some of the well-known spots include Lake Ashi (a placid lake created in the crater of the Hakone Volcano); Hakone-jinja Shrine (1,250-year old shrine with a large torii gate) and Owakudani, where volcanic fumes still bear a trace of the Hakone Volcano and you can try the black shelled eggs that have been cooked in the sulphurous spring water. Legend has it that eating one egg adds seven years to your life. Various methods of transportation, such as mountain railway, cable car, ropeway and cruising boat, are available to bring you to these spots. Try the Mt. Fuji and Hakone tour to enjoy this beautiful location.

25th November: TOKYO DISNEYSEA

Tokyo Disney Resort operates 2 parks in Tokyo: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. While Disneyland (a “Land park”) is popular all over the world and there are a number of Disneylands throughout the world, Tokyo Disneyland has the added element of Japan’s inherent hospitality. Tokyo DisneySea (a “Water park”) is available only in Japan and one of a kind DisneySea has dynamic attractions with the waterfront creating a healing ambience. Thus it is most suitable for those who wish to have some grown-up time, however, it is as popular with kids and families as Disneyland. The magnificent parades by Mickey Mouse and his friends are must-sees. They are artistic and joyful, providing the very best entertainment time after time.

Useful tips to travel in Japan

*JR Pass
*ATMs and cash
*Frequently asked questions

Chanel 9 Kerri-Anne Show goes to Japan! Watch it weekdays from 9am.

Japan National Tourism Organization - in conjunction with Qantas Airways and the City of Matsumoto proudly supported Channel 9 KERRI-ANNE SHOW‘s visit to Japan to be aired between November 21st and 25th, 2011. In that period, reporter Mr. Jamie Malcolm will report on Japan’s popular destinations and attractions.

He visited Tokyo’s busiest intersection in Shibuya; met some uniquely dressed people in Harajuku; was served by some pretty waitresses at the Maid Cafe and found some funky vending machines in electric town Akihabara; tasted some of the best sushi at Kyubey Ginza; stayed over at a capsule hotel in Shinbashi; tasted some interesting products at Daio wasabi farm in Matsumoto; fought with a samurai in front of the historical Matsumoto Castle; spoke with the only local Hina paper doll maker; met a rickshaw woman in traditional Takayama; tasted the famous Hida beef; rode on a boat and ropeway on the backdrop of Mt. Fuji and ate some black shelled eggs boiled in sulphurous hot springs in Hakone; and found the kid inside of him at Tokyo’s DisneySea.

To find your favourite Japan experience, watch the Kerri-Anne Show next week from 9am and visit JNTO’s website for details on each location visited.


“Travel Japan by Film” Take an interactive virtual trip throughout Japan

Under a new and unique initiative for promoting tourism to Japan, Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) Sydney Office tied up with the Japan Foundation Film Festival (JFF) to develop a website containing an interactive map outlining set locations for the films screening at this year’s JFF, as well as offering tourism-related information. The film locations website is available online now.

This year marks the Japanese Film Festival’s 15th year of operation in Australia showcasing over 30 Japanese films in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart. Amongst the films lined up this year, there are some that focus on post-earthquake recoveries, such as “Yamakoshi-The recovery of a Tiny Japanese Village”, a documentary about the courage and survival of the residents in small town in Niigata hit by the Great Chuetsu Earthquake in 2004.

Japan’s contemporary pop culture, which encompasses movies, music, design, technology, anime and manga (Japanese comics) is known as “Cool Japan” and has become a big part of the tourism appeal of the country. The Japanese Government has placed emphasis on utilising such cultural industries to promote the Japan brand in an effort to stimulate economic recovery after the March event.

Yukio Yamashita, Executive Director of JNTO Sydney comments; “Touring film set locations has become a popular activity in Asia. Although it is not yet as popular in Australia, JNTO hopes to showcase another attractive side to Japan to the Australian public. We hope they can enjoy travelling throughout Japan by film.”

The Japanese Film Festival opens in Sydney on Thursday 17th November.

Film Locations Website:

Japan Film Festival:

JNTO Sydney Office: 

* The Japan Foundation Sydney is dedicated to promoting cultural and intellectual exchange between Japan and other nations through the implementation of comprehensive international cultural exchange projects.

* The Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) is involved in a broad range of activities promoting Japan through various activities overseas as well as tourism-promoting activities in Japan.


JNTO Sydney unveils “Visit Japan Down Under” Facebook page

The Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) Sydney Office has launched its Facebook page, “Visit Japan Down Under” on the 24th of October.

This is the official Facebook page for Australian and New Zealand travellers and is the ultimate resource for Japan travel information. Along with up-to-date news and notices, JNTO will share insights into Japanese culture and traditions, as well as local tips for a fun trip to Japan. It will also feature videos and beautiful imagery to showcase the best of Japan, latest trends and information.

This site will take people on a fascinating journey through the many facets of Japan and inspire a thousand different experiences of culture, food, tradition, history and people. Fans and enthusiasts of Japan can join us now at “Visit Japan Down Under” and stay tuned for special deals, news and more.

JNTO Sydney Executive Director, Mr. Yukio Yamashita extends a message to the Australian and New Zealand public, “With the continuous growth of social networking, we are very excited to launch the “Visit Japan Down Under” Facebook page for our fellow supporters from Australia and New Zealand. Whether you are thinking of visiting for the first time, are a veteran treveller to Japan or simply want to show your support and love for Japan, please click “Like” and begin your Japan journey with us.”

Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) is involved in a broad range of activities promoting Japan through various activities overseas as well as tourism-promoting activities in Japan.

Visit Japan Down Under:

12th Global Travel & Tourism Summit to include Sendai events

Sydney September 28, 2011 – The city of Sendai has become the metropolis hit by the 3.11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but 2012 is going to reposition the city into global tourism.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) decided to bring their major events to Sendai in 2012, after they picked Japan for their 2012 conference venues. Although the tragic natural disaster hit the north-east region of Japan just a week after they announced Japan as the 2012 event venue, the WTTC takes this opportunity to exhibit their new commitment and focus on the recovery of Japan’s tourism industry. Among the entire 4-day event of the WTTC Global Summit in Tokyo from April 16 to 19, 2012, the Committee will hold their Annual General Meeting and Executive Committee Meeting on April 17 in Sendai to focus specifically on risk and crisis management.

David Scowsill, WTTC President & CEO, said:?“The recovery of Japan is one of the most compelling issues facing global travel and tourism. I’m delighted that we will be able to bring the industry’s leaders to Sendai during the Summit week in 2012”. It reflects WTTC’s recognition of Sendai as the perfect venue for their 2012 event to show their specific commitment on this year’s disaster in Japan. Sendai has already proved the swift and substantial recovery from the disaster, with public infrastructure coming back in service only one month after the event, with the world famous bullet train (Shinkansen) and Sendai airport, which went underwater after hit by the devastating tsunami being fully recovered and in operation since April. Sendai is well capable of hosting high-quality international meetings while showcasing the city’s functions as the commercial and cultural capital of northeast Japan.

The WTTC’s annual summit is where over 1,000 delegates from the tourism industry and government officials meet to discuss opportunities, challenges and issues in the industry and striving to unlock tourism’s significant potential for sustainable development and economic growth across the globe.

Japan National Tourism Organization - is involved in a broad range of activities promoting travel to Japan through various activities overseas as well as tourism-promoting activities in Japan.

Channel 7’s Sunrise to broadcast LIVE reports from Japan!

CH7 Sunrise brings Japan to you – Grant Denyer challenges samurai and sumo wrestlers!

Sydney 19 August, 2011- Japan National Tourism Organization - Sydney Office (JNTO Sydney) proudly sponsors Channel 7 “Sunrise”, and in cooperation with the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney, Jetstar and the City of Kyoto, welcomes weather presenter Mr. Grant Denyer and crew to Japan.

Mr. Denyer will visit Japan and will report LIVE on Japan’s popular destinations and its attractions from 23rd August to 26th August.

He will visit Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market to enjoy fresh tuna sashimi; meet a rickshaw man in traditional town Asakusa feeling his high spirited energy and take lessons from a samurai learning how to become a warrior.

He will also experience Japan’s heartfelt hospitality through relaxing in onsen (hot springs) in Hakone and sake tasting in Kyoto. These experiences will offer him an enchanting adventure through Japan, a land of mixed culture where the modern harmoniously blends in with the traditional.

The number of Australian visitors to Japan decreased straight after the March event, however, gradually numbers are picking up again, recording 86,300 visitors for the first half of 2011, a 26.4% decrease from the previous term. Japan Tourism has high hopes for positive messages the Sunrise team will deliver to the Australian market.

JNTO Sydney Executive Director, Yukio Yamashita commented: “Ever since the earthquake and tsunami in March, the Australian public may feel it is difficult to travel to Japan. Showcasing how Japan is now through Sunrise’s LIVE footage, we hope for the public to see the real situation in Japan and to rest assured that they can still have an enjoyable and memorable holiday in Japan.”

In the past couple of months, JNTO Sydney has been undertaking a wide range of marketing activities aiming for a speedier recovery of Japan’s tourism. Some of these include advertisements in various media, contributing more to the media coverage of Japan and travel agents familiarisation trips to Japan.

Japan: Action plans for tourism recovery

More than three months have passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. Recovery work in the affected areas is well under progress and life and business in Japan is continuing as normal in most parts of the country, including popular destinations for Australians, such as Hokkaido, Nagano, Kyoto and Tokyo. However, Japan’s tourism industry was severely affected and according to visitor number statistics released by Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO), estimated figures for April and May have decreased by 62.5% and 50.4% respectively.

Aiming to fully recover inbound tourism to Japan, JNTO is undertaking several emergency action plans on a global scale. By the end of July we plan to host large-scale familiarisation tours, inviting to Japan a total of 1,000 travel industry professionals and media representatives from around the world. More than 610 travel agents and 390 journalists from 15 countries, such as Australia, USA, England, Korea and China will be invited to see first-hand that Japan is safe, the progress it has made in the short three months post-earthquake and to reinforce the beauty and vibrancy of Japan.

In Australia, JNTO’s campaign activities will be carried out throughout June ~ August and will include:

  • travel agents and media familiarisation trips to Japan
  • advertisements in major Australian newspapers and online
  • Japan special reports in major Australian media outlets

Campaign activities will be rolled out in phases, with a priority to reassure travellers and restore consumer confidence in visiting Japan once more.

Around 60 travel agents from Australia are invited on the Travel Agents Familiarisation Trips and will visit Tokyo and Kyoto plus other historical and cultural areas such as: Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Toba, Ise and Kumano Kodo. In addition, JNTO Sydney invited 6 travel writers and journalists from prominent Australian newspapers and magazines to visit Japan and experience first-hand that Japan is well and open for business.

The month of June saw the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs’ SmartTraveller relaxing its overall travel advice to Japan to normal – “Be alert to own security”, apart for the affected areas around the Fukushima Power Plant.

“With summer and autumn travel seasons just around the corner, we hope to see more Australian travellers enjoy their vacation travel to Japan as usual”, commented Mr. Yukio Yamashita, Executive Director JNTO Sydney.

Japan National Tourism Organization - launched and continues to update its Japan Travel Updates on its website, where up-to-date post-earthquake travel information is available; including information on current status of transportation, radiation levels, the safety of water and food services in Japan, press releases from
United Nations Organizations and live video reports and messages from Japan.


Japan re-commences its promotion activities with Snow promotion

Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) Sydney Office will re-commence its promotional activities this month aiming to promote ski in Japan. Our promotional activities were put on hold after the earthquake and tsunami which struck Japan on 11 March.

The previous snow season in Japan saw an increase in visitor numbers with 52,200 Australian visitors for January and February 2011 together, the highest record so far.

In preparation for the next ski season, JNTO together with snow resorts in Hokkaido, Nagano, Niigata, and the Tohoku Region will participate at the Snow Travel Expo to be held in Melbourne and Sydney later in May. At the exhibition booth, not only information on the upcoming snow season, but the unchanged state of tourism in Japan will be available. JNTO will also make a presentation about the current situation in Japan.

Mr. Yukio Yamashita, Executive Director JNTO Sydney commented that “ICAO and many other United Nation Organisations have released statements that there is no obstruction to travel in Japan and it was observed that radiation in Japan is lower than the average radiation levels in Australia. Popular destinationsfor Australians remain unaffected and there is no major disruption to infrastructure. Japan’s snow season can offer high quality powder snow and various other activities which can be enjoyed by families and travellers of all ages, thus is popular amongst Australians. We hope to see more Australian travellers returning to Japan in the near future”.

In addition to the Snow Travel Expo, JNTO will hold a Snow & Adventure Seminar in Sydney in May for outbound travel agents and media. We will introduce a wide array of adventures which can be enjoyed in Japan, not limited to the snow season. As the seminar is popular and places are limited, those interested in attending should RSVP earlier. Representatives from Japan will also be present *.

Snow promotion is a part of Japan recovery plan and JNTO will be holding other promotions hereafter.

Snow Travel Expo:

* Snow resorts to be present: Niseko, Furano, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Hakuba, Shiga Kogen, Nozawa Onsen, Myoko, Appi, etc.

Post-Earthquake Japan: Outbound Tourism Industry Session

Sydney April 20, 2011 – The Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) Sydney Office held an industry briefing and discussion session about post-earthquake Japan onWednesday, 20th April from 14:00-15:30 at the Japan Foundation Seminar Room in Sydney.

The session was aimed at sharing updated information and ideas for counter-measures to declining tourism in Japan post-earthquake with tourism industry partners and media. A total of 44 people attended, 34 industry representatives in managerial positions and 10 representatives from the travel media.

The session began with an opening speech by Mr. Yamashita, Executive Director ofJNTO Sydney, where he expressed his gratitude to industry partners for supporting Japan at such difficult times and concluded saying “Japan is often referred to as the land of the rising sun. In any case, Japan will recover from the current difficulties and soon a new bright sun will shine upon it again.”

  • The majority of tourist areas throughout Japan are not affected by the earthquake and tsunami, are operating as normal and have received no disruptions to infrastructure. They do not pose any obstruction to tourism.
  • Radiation levels outside the evacuation zone are of permissible levels and have no health risk to humans.
  • Statements from United Nations Organisations, such as ICAO, WTO and UNWTO were introduced showing that there are no health or transportation safety hazards for travel to Japan.
  • All bullet train services are operating as normal, except for a section of the Tohoku Shinkansen line, which is expected to resume normal operation later in April.
  • As of March 29th, all scheduled power outages in Japan have been cancelled.

During the Discussion Session, JNTO outlined its future strategies and received some valuable feedback and ideas from industry partners on possible strategies, which were discussed at length. Many stressed that primary strategies should focus on increasing consumer confidence for travel to unaffected areas in Japan.

In conclusion, the Japan National Tourism Organization - will reflect the ideas generated today in its future strategies for tourism to Japan.

Japan Travel Advisory

Sydney, March 18, 2011 – We are grateful for the warm support and thoughts from many people after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on 11th March 2011. Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) Sydney Office expresses condolences and our thoughts go out to all the people who have been affected.

The JNTO Sydney Office is committed to providing as much useful information to the industry and the public as possible.

We have been sending out a document to Japan specialist agents that contains links to information such as tsunami warnings and nuclear safety, information on the current service status of transportation networks in Japan, airline information, and telephone or translation services for travellers from overseas. This document is updated daily and will be sent out again to agents if needed.

For visitors currently travelling in Japan, the Tokyo Headquarters of Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) provides around-the-clock telephone information service at the Tourist Information Centre (TIC):

TIC in Tokyo
Phone: +81-(0)3-3201-3331 Service in English, Chinese and Korean
The 24-hour service is available for the duration of current crisis

Please note that due to the intensive recovery effort, information on the current situation in Japan is updated frequently, therefore we advise individuals to check the latest information on their own.

Japan National Tourism Organization - Tokyo Headquarters:

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