Five professional conference organisers from Australia and New Zealand were invited to experience Japan as an ideal destination for business events on a six-day familiarisation trip fully hosted by Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) in January.
The trip started in the buzzing capital of Tokyo, where the participants stayed at the Conrad Tokyo, featuring panoramic views of Tokyo Bay. Highlights in Tokyo included a taiko drumming experience in Asakusa and a sushi-making experience at Tsukiji Fish Market, activities perfect for team-building. The group also experienced the exceedingly popular Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku, among other site inspections.
From there the group headed to Odawara, in the foothills of the hot spring region Hakone. Riding on the bullet train for the first time was an experience that will not be forgotten. The group were impressed by the facilities at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa where they stayed overnight, which included tennis courts, a karaoke room and even a bowling alley.
Their next stop was Kyoto, Japan’s cultural and traditional heart. Here the group enjoyed traditional activities like origami, calligraphy and an exclusive up-close maiko (apprentice geisha) experience. The PCOs were treated to delicious traditional and modern Japanese cuisine, and were impressed by the variety on offer throughout the trip.
Victoria Wales, Business Director of HOT Events, Christchurch spoke highly of the sheer variety of experiences on offer.
“Our recent famil to Japan was filled with delight in discovering a new destination. My highlight had to be our time with the entertaining hosts at WAK in Kyoto – being challenged with calligraphy and origami and dressing in traditional kimono. My second highlight had to be the food of course – from creating our own sushi rolls to enjoying 12 courses of vegan dining prepared for us by Buddhist monks – WOW!” she said.
“I am looking forward to visiting again with groups particularly for the Rugby World Cup 2019 and Olympics 2020.”