JNTO rolls out marketing campaign to ride on Olympic wave

Ozu Castle

Visitors to Japan this year can enjoy more special offers, experiences and events as well as greater access to cultural properties, thanks to a new programme by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

Promising a way for everyone to enjoy the whole country, the Your Japan 2020 campaign features discounted fares from most major airlines and LCCs on domestic flights to encourage travel to the regions.

Ozu Castle in Ehime Prefecture will be opening in April to host overnight visitors

Visitors’ shopping experiences will also get a boost, with discounts at more than 1,000 stores nationwide, cash-back services and gift campaigns. Half-price luggage storage and delivery services are also part of the plan.

Tourists can look forward to new experiences, including culinary classes, adventure travel programmes and historic activities related to ninja and samurai. In conjunction with the campaign, Japan’s popular anime characters have also been given a new look for 2020.

The campaign ties in with Tokyo’s hosting of the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, but JNTO said that it is designed to appeal to any visitor to Japan throughout this special year for the country.

“Since the Olympics and Paralympics are held in Japan this year, it is a great time to gain interest (in Japan) from all over the world. We regard 2020 as the greatest opportunity to attract visitors to Japan,” Reiko Fujita, executive director of JNTO’s Global Strategy Headquarters, told TTG Asia.

In Ehime Prefecture, Ozu Castle will become the first castle in Japan to open its doors to overnight visitors, beginning in April. According to JNTO, guests can experience the life of a lord during the Edo Period (1603–1868) with a stay in the restored wooden keep. The tentative programme also features a reenactment of a lord entering the castle, a performance of historic court music and moon gazing from the turrets.

In July and August, Sado island in Niigata Prefecture will host Earth Celebration, a three-day arts and music festival. Attendees can enjoy sea kayaking and cook rice using traditional methods on terraced rice fields.

Pop culture fans, meanwhile, can attempt the Anime Pilgrimage 2020, the visitation of 88 iconic locations from Hokkaido to Okinawa featured in classic and contemporary anime, to receive a commemorative gift.

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