The number of Australians travelling to Japan continues to grow, with over 450,000 visitors in 2017. At an event hosted by the Japan National Tourism Organisation on 14 March at Café Sydney, the industry personnel in attendance were surprised to hear that in January alone, 69,000 Australians visited Japan – a 14% increase on the previous year.
The event took place to promote the global scale, multilingual launch of the ‘Enjoy my Japan’ campaign, aimed at encouraging long-haul travellers to visit Japan and immerse themselves in the culture beyond the well-known attractions and sites.
The consul-general of Japan, Sydney, Kenzie Takewaka, executive director of JNTO Sydney Office, Kana Wakabayashi, and former captain of the Wallabies, Nick Farr Jones, all shed light on what their personal ‘Enjoy my Japan’ experience entails, showing that Japan has something for everyone.
The buzz in the room from pulsing lounge music, clinking glasses, and guests chatting as they helped themselves to the self-serve sushi bar subsided as the campaign objectives were discussed.
Kana Wakabayashi outlined the two aims in the campaign ‘Enjoy my Japan’. The first is to encourage overseas travellers to discover the attractions that reflect their own passions – broken into seven categories of cuisine, nature, relaxation, tradition, city, art and outdoor – creating their own personal relationship with Japan. The second is to immerse travellers in the Japanese culture where locals provide their perspective on the best parts of Japan, showing visitors their ‘Enjoy my Japan’ experience entails.
The extensive multi-faceted promotion will include a dedicated website www.enjoymyjapan.jp with videos showing a range of activities not typically associated with Japan, along with digital advertisements and television commercials. It is through the website that the personal experience with Japan begins as visitors craft their own ‘virtual tour’ of Japan by answering a few interest-based questions, which then generate a personalised movie showing the itinerary best suited to their interests.
“It continues with enriching experiences like summer and winter adventure sports, spring and autumn mountain treks and steam train rides, and seaside cycling excursions. Any time of year, Japan offers fine dining and mouth-watering street fare, vibrant nightlife in safe and spectacular cities, virtually unlimited shopping and entertainment options, exposure to ancient traditions that still exists side-by-side with emerging pop cultural trends, and physical and spiritual rejuvenation at remote hot springs, spas and Zen Buddhist retreats.”
JNTO president, Ryoichi Matsuyama
An indulgent array of Japanese cuisine was served at the event including beef tartare, a specialty tofu dish and a live sushi bar, while Café Sydney added a modern-Australian touch through the tender burgers, lightly seasoned chicken skewers and buttery arancini balls.
Since 2000 the number of travellers to Japan has increased by 500%, yet only 11% of those visitors are from Europe, North America and Australia. The ‘Enjoy my Japan’ campaign hopes to encourage more Australians to visit the destination and taste, experience and enjoy the rich culture of Japan.