destination focus… Japan

Welcoming the MICE industry with first class hospitality, sublime food and a culture of old vs. new… discover the Japanese appeal.

When you think Japan, what comes to mind? Tokyo lights, superb sushi and quaint monasteries…? There’s certainly a draw to this fascinating country but the growth it’s seen as a MICE destination in recent years is very impressive. Here, we explore why that might be…

Comprising several thousand islands and a population of more than 125 million people, Japan has a never ending appeal. From the modern buzz of Tokyo to forested valleys in Shikoku (Japan’s fourth largest island) to sub-tropical beaches and superb scuba-diving on Japan’s small islands such as Okinawa, you really are spoilt for choice.

Not surprisingly then, Japan was voted top of the list of the fastest growing tourism destinations of 2013 by The United Nations World Tourism Organization, growing a huge 24% over the year. In the first five months of 2014, the number of visitors was a record 5.2million with most coming from Taiwan, South Korea and China.

Along with this, the MICE industry is flocking to the country, with developments being seen in a number of regions accommodating the fast growth of the sector. Kyoto, located in the centre of the island Honshu, has been consistently ranked as Japan’s second most popular city for meetings, events and conferences and has seen significant growth over the last two years.

This growth has been predominantly due to new properties offering MICE activities across the city, including Nijo Castle, the Rohm Theatre and The National Museum. The city has 17 UNESCO world heritage sites and a number of these can be used for events, offering a unique experience for attendees, exploring traditions and the modern appeal of Japan.

It seems Japan can do no wrong at the moment, so what is the appeal behind this intriguing destination…

the japan appeal

Located in the Pacific Ocean, Japan is an island nation made up of a staggering 6,852 islands, with 97% of Japan being covered by the four largest islands of Honshu (where Tokyo can be found), Hokkaido, Kyishu and Shikoku.

As a nation full of history and culture, contrasts of old and new, welcoming people vs. a population of over 126 million people, the complexity of the Japanese lifestyle and surroundings is a huge appeal for many. Traditional culture spans geisha dancing and the tranquillity of Zen rock gardens to the highly technological advanced lifestyle of Tokyo, which seems like a futuristic world.

Popular attractions from Japan’s great outdoors include the Japan Alps, the coral reefs of Okinawa in Southern Japan and the forested mountains, not far from Kyoto. Of course the appeal doesn’t end with attractions; Japanese cuisine is a huge draw for a number of people, who want to experience traditional sushi dishes on its home turf. With a number of truly sublime restaurants and dining experiences, the attention to detail and insistence on only the best ingredients, one trip to Japan just may not be enough…

the japan insider:

venue variety
Japan has a number of venues popular with event planners for their diversity and excellent hospitality. From buildings encompassing modern architecture to historic venues and from Japanese gardens to cultural sites such as the Kanazawa, a 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan has it sorted.

castle meetings
UNESCO World Heritage site, Nijo Castle in Kyoto, a 400 year-old tourist attraction has recently opened as a venue for MICE events. The historic venue, centrally located in Kyoto will support events of 1,000 people in the outer areas of the castle and 200 inside. So, that’s our next meeting venue decided!

cultured cuisine
Japan is well known for being the birthplace of their most iconic dish – sushi. But, although delicious, don’t spend all of your time choosing between the Californian Rolls and Temaki. Japan is full of diverse flavours and dishes, including Kaiseki ryori, regarded as the country’s most exquisite culinary refinement. The collection of taster dishes predominantly consists of vegetables and fish often with a seasoned base of seaweed and mushrooms… a must try!

luxury in tokyo
Hotel Chinzanso is an oasis of luxury in the heart of the bustling city. The Japanese gardens surrounding the grounds are what truly make the hotel stand out from others and originate from the Meiji era in the 1800’s. Featuring 36 reception rooms for conferences and events with space for up to 1,200, combined with the experience of luxurious Japanese hospitality… this hotel comes highly recommended!

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