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Kabira Bay, Ishigaki Island, Okinawa

Good morning, <<First Name>>!

We are thrilled to have been nominated in this year's AFTA National Travel Industry Awards! 
Please vote for JNTO in Category 27 - Best Tourist Office - International when voting opens to Australian travel agents on Tuesday 13 March (tomorrow)! Thank you for all of your support!
 
 
★Upcoming Japanese Public Holidays: March & April★

Wed 21 March - Vernal Equinox
Mon 30 April - Showa Day (holiday in lieu as Sun 29 Apr is the actual holiday)


JNTO Head Office Calendar of Upcoming Events (link)
 
Insider Tip #27: IC cards - not just for trains

We often talk about using an IC card such as SUICA or PASMO for trains and buses within a city, but did you know that you can also use them to make purchases? In addition to using them for transport, you can use an IC card to purchase drinks from vending machines, snacks from station kiosks, and even light meals from some cafes and restaurants. It essentially serves as a prepaid card. So instead of refunding the balance of your card and returning it at the airport station, why not keep the card as a souvenir and use up your funds on snacks for the plane?
Featured Wholesale Tour: "Splendours of Shikoku"
"Enjoy My Japan" Global Campaign
JNTO's new global campaign offers users customised videos introducing some of Japan’s best tourist attractions. Visit the new website to see what Japan has in store for you!
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Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018
Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018
Sakura have come and gone already in Okinawa, but they'll be sweeping across the rest of the country starting later this month. Check JNTO's cherry blossom forecast to see when they're expected to hit the other regions of Japan.
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Featured Wholesale Tour: "Splendours of Shikoku"
Featured Wholesale Tour: "Splendours of Shikoku"
Experience Japan is running this tour to Japan's 4th largest island this May. Highlights include the Naruto whirlpools, Ritsurin Garden and Dogo Onsen - Japan's oldest hot spring bathhouse. Commissionable to agents.
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Featured Blog: Ben Ungermann in Japan
Featured Blog: Ben Ungermann in Japan
Follow MasterChef Australia 2017 runner-up Ben Ungermann's recent journey around Japan! Take a look to see how you can experience Kansai cuisine and sightseeing like a master chef. 
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Trade News
Yurihama International Ground Golf Open 2018
Biwaichi: Cycling around Lake Biwa
Biwaichi Cycling allows you to cycle around the circumference of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan and the symbol of Shiga Prefecture, while enjoying nature, history and sightseeing spots along the way.
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Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass
Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass
Starting from Nagoya, enjoy the Gifu and Nagano areas, the grand Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, as well as Takayama, Toyama, Matsumoto, Magome and more with this regional JR pass, valid for 5 consecutive days' use.
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Yayoi Kusama “All About My Love” in Matsumoto
Yayoi Kusama “All About My Love” in Matsumoto
Perhaps most famous for her spotted "Pumpkin" on Naoshima Island, avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama was actually born in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, where this year the Matsumoto City Museum of Art is holding a special exhibition of her works.
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Sumo Championships Held in Ohama, Sakai
Sumo Championships Held in Ohama, Sakai
Ohama Sumo Stadium in Ohama, Sakai City, is the birthplace of Japan’s student sumo wrestling. This popular sports facility just south of Osaka City plays host to annual student and amateur sumo championships.
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Seven Select Onsen Towns in Kyushu (Wa-Oh!)
Seven Select Onsen Towns in Kyushu (Wa-Oh!)
Though Beppu in Oita Prefecture is the most famous, Kyushu, which has one of the highest number of onsen (hot springs) in Japan, has many other famous hot spring towns. This article lists seven famous hot spring towns in Kyushu.
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Tattoo-Friendly Hot Springs and Sento in Tokyo (Live Japan)
Tattoo-Friendly Hot Springs and Sento in Tokyo (Live Japan)
With the continued influence of western culture on Japan, the number of Japanese who casually sport ink has been increasing recently. We’ve prepared a small list of them that are worth going to that allow those with tattoos to enter.
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Don't forget to review last month's Insider Tip on Onsen Etiquette, too!
Welcome To Utsunomiya, The City Of Jazz Bars, Cocktails, And Gyoza! (Matcha)
Welcome To Utsunomiya, The City Of Jazz Bars, Cocktails, And Gyoza! (Matcha)
Utsunomiya can be reached in less than an hour from Tokyo by bullet train. This recommended day trip route introduces you to Utsunomiya's gyoza and cocktail culture, as well as to its sightseeing highlights.
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15 Things to Do in Shiga (Taiken)
15 Things to Do in Shiga (Taiken)

Located a short train ride from Kyoto, most tourists come for Lake Biwa, but Shiga prefecture actually offers many interesting activities and beautiful landscape. Here are the top 15 things you might want to do here.
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Last Month's Most Popular
Japan Ski & Snow Guide
Japan Ski & Snow Guide
We've released a new 24-page Japan Ski & Snow Guide, available in digital or hardcopy. Explore trips for families, couples, and solo-skiing across ski terrains of Hokkaido, Tohoku, Nagano, and Niigata. Request a hardcopy today!
View digital brochure
Guide to Takayama, Kanazawa and Shirakawago
Guide to Takayama, Kanazawa and Shirakawago
Instagrammer, blogger, photographer and intrepid traveller Connie Cao from K is for Kani wrote a great guest blog for our website after her recent visit in late autumn last year.
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The Japan Official Travel App
The Japan Official Travel App
We’ve launched our first travel app, the “Japan Official Travel App”! The app aims to better assist international travellers in Japan with public transport guidance, restaurant listings, luggage-forwarding spots & ATMs, and much more!
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