Media Releases

Media Releases

“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:

Australian arrivals to Japan have seen another increase

The Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) has unveiled inbound visitor numbers for 2010. Australian arrivals to Japan for 2010 numbered 225,800, 6.7% (14,000 people) increase compared to 211,659 in 2009.

In December 2010 alone, 24,800 Australians visited Japan, an increase of 2.3% (600 people) compared to the same period last year. Australia’s share of inbound arrivals to Japan represented 2.6% of the total visitors in 2010.


Australia has retained its position as the sixth major Japan inbound market for the fourth year running, with its position currently ahead of Thailand, the UK, Singapore and Canada and behind South Korea, China, Taiwan, USA and Hong Kong.

JNTO cited a number of contributors to the growth in visitor numbers, such as the improving business conditions around the world; positive publicity and advertising results, and the increase in needs for ski travel. Japan is blessed with qualified international ski resorts and during the season, which is December through late March and early April received good amount of snow, making Japan the perfect destination for snow holidays.

JNTO Sydney Executive Director, Yukio Yamashita commented: “We are pleased that a number of Australianstravelled to Japan to discover its wealth of attractions and beauty. For many years Japan has been perceived as an expensive country with high language barriers. Nowadays, most Australians who have visited Japan realise that it is actually a very affordable travel destination and language barriers have been greatly reduced. I believe that public knowledge has also led to the increase in tourist numbers.”

All of Japan’s major inbound markets performed well in 2010 and visitor arrivals from all inbound markets totaled 8,61million. This is a 26.8% increase from 8,35million in 2008, which was the highest number on records thus far.

The figures released by JNTO are based on arrivals of Australian passport holders and include business, leisure and stopover visitors.


Japan unveils Visit Japan Year 2011 Winter Campaign

The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) has unveiled the Visit Japan Year 2011 Winter Campaign which will run through March 31, 2011, in a bid to attract more international visitors to Japan during the cooler months.

The unveiling of the Winter Campaign coincided with the Chinese New Year (early February) and the beginning of the cherry blossoms season (late March) and saw the re-launch of the Visit Japan Year 2011 campaign website ( which provides details of the special offers and gifts available during the campaign at participating department stores, restaurants, tourist attractions, and hotels and ryokan across Japan. Travellers can make use of these offers through the ‘Super Saver Coupons’ downloadable from the website.

The website lists the experiences Japan offers under the categories of sightseeing, gourmet, activities, entertainment, shopping, and accommodations to facilitate easy travel planning.

Furthermore, it features a ‘recommendations’ section, which outlines festivals and events for the season and offers interesting suggestions on how to enjoy Japan more, such as places to enjoy traditional Japanese culture, where to find cool Japanese fashion and destinations for special interest.

Winter in Japan can be vastly different from area to area, with big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka having short winters, whereas mountainous regions and northern Japan experience heavy snow falls and turn white, perfect for skiing. Across the country various snow and illumination events are held, creating memorable and breathtaking views in this winter wonderland. Towards the end of March sakura, cherry blossoms come to life and reveal the coming of spring.





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