travel

Visit Japan Campaign launched

48 Comments

The Japan Tourism Agency is taking a new approach to attracting 10 million foreign visitors in 2010. Its “LIVE JAPAN” campaign, which runs through Jan 31, 2010, is offering more than 500 prizes, such as air tickets and hotel accommodations, to encourage expats to invite family and friends to visit.

Expats can enter the drawing for prizes by registering with the campaign website, responding to a survey and sending a greeting card introducing Japan to their family and friends living overseas. The recipients of the greeting card can enter the draw by responding to the survey on the campaign website (www.live-japan.jp).

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48 Comments
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That's cool but probably too few prizes. I imagine every expat here would want to bring some friends over for a week if it wasn't so expensive to get half way around the world.

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10 million? dream on...

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A huge liability on the part of Expats. pls be more realistic and do not expect 10 million visitors to this 'small' island.

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"Visit Japan"

Yes, by all means, visit Japan, where you have to pay several times for most stuff what you'd pay back home!

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KAERE we're full!

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What does Japan have to offer foreign tourists that they can't get somewhere else in Asia for about half the price???

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Incidentally, I find the term "expat" very offensive...

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Had family visit 4 years ago. Of which they vowed not to return. They couldn't stand: 1. cost of taxi service 2. Walking up endless stairs ever where 3. MSG in everything 4. Stares of anyone walking down the street 5. Not being able to get out of smoking sections *even non-smoking sections smell like smoke 6. After a 14 hour flight another 2 hours to get to my area "Yokohama"

The only two things they like were: 1. The Hatto Bus Tour and 2. Me.

Enough said.

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Second post sorry: The only people over the years that actually liked Japan after they visited were my friends from Singapore and Taiwan. But they even complained on points 1, 5, and 6.

Not a very good score card.

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Had family visit 4 years ago. Of which they vowed not to return.

Your family is clearly not from Europe...

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Make casinos then your get visitors what's Japan taking so dam long for! The taxes, Jobs,visitors, & not to mention money for the economy seem to me to be a good thing! why is that not good enough of a reason for the lazy DPJ to get off there fat asses & push for it! Man Japan is dying & its too old to realize it....

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is offering more than 500 prizes, such as air tickets and hotel accommodations, to encourage expats from English-speaking countries to invite family and friends to visit.

Well this is racism at its best- why invite only people from English speaking countries only

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to encourage expats from English-speaking countries to invite family and friends to visit.

on Jal's hompeage it is not said that only English speaking countries should participate so i think it is fault of JT

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Well this is racism at its best- why invite only people from English speaking countries only

I think the article is either mistaken, or the policy of this campaign has changed since it was posted. According to the live-japan website referred to in the article, there is nothing about limiting the prizes to persons of "English speaking countries." In fact, the "Key markets" are listed as follows: "Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia Potential markets: India, Russia, Malaysia."

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yes I think JT must correct their report because it is very misleading and I was confused, I apologize

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They couldn't stand: 2. Walking up endless stairs ever where.

Let me guess. The food portions should've been 50 times the size; like they are 'back home'.

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Well with the strong yen they are running against the tide on this one. Better to spend all them hoarded dollars now.

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Why invite people only from Enlgish speaking countries? It is a campaign to get people from English speaking countries, who are not coming. Loads of people from Asia - especially China and Korea -- are already coming. It is simple marketing - you address your campaign to those you want to attract. That is what commercials do. That is how advertising works. It is called targeting your audience.

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chatuchak market in bangkok draws 10 million a year, and its only open on weekends

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Hmmm... let's see. Step one, be nice to foreigners.

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shan't bother as I intend to go home at the end of the month.

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A survey by the same Japan Tourist Agency revealed that 40% of Japanese dont even want foreign tourists in the country... while inbound tourism is one of the biggest money spinners for many, many countries, it still barely rates a mention here...so many japanese are still 'surprised' that foreigners would want to visit Japan so they make no real effort to provide for them beyond the obvious trappings of the 'international' locations like Tokyo and Kyoto (which is merely a historic theme park now as opposed to the historic city it was 20 years ago)...

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Some friends of mine from the U.S. visited and went to a large supermarket. They asked, "How do you shop for food in Japan?" because all labels are in Japanese. You would think the govt. could pass a law that each food/drink item have AT LEAST the name of the item in English. Just one little thing to make this country more foreigner-friendly.

Of course, they were turned off by the high prices here. Why for example, does a Chinese-made item cost more here than the same item in the U.S.? Isn't Japan next to China? Why don't the Japanese ever demand answers to these kind of questions? I love living here, but I hate the rip-off prices.

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scap - Because most Japanese will simply go to China (or Korea) if they want that item cheaper. Or shrug their shoulders and say "shou ga nai." In fact, most things that are wrong with Japan can be summed up with the "shou ga nai" attitude.

Or "We've tried nothin' and we're all out of ideas!" We want more tourists! What to do ... what to do ... make stuff cheaper? No ... emphasize second languages? No ... stop treating outsiders like crap? No ... I know! Have the 1% of the pop that are foreigners try to invite their friends and family! That's the ticket!

I can't even stand to look at the "real" price of things anymore, since it's always so different from the "Japan" price. In a bad way. I think there's just an assumption that everyone in Japan is hoarding wads of cash. Even college students are usually doing everything on daddy's dime. Get rid of that mentality and prices might at least change for the better.

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It's not racist, unless English-speakers are a new race I haven't heard of?

It IS oriented to one particular group, but then judging from its education approach, Japan ought to have basic English speakers as it's greatest second language here.

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its.

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It's funny. I don't think the average Japanese is nearly as affluent as people imagine.

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We had friends over from the uk two months ago. It was so expensive for them that we had to pay for nearly everything. They enjoyed it but were stunned when they finally began to figure out just how much we were spending. Two months later and we are still in the recovery stage financially. Next time we will meet them in ANOTHER country, not Japan.

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I love Japan, and a lot of prices are cheaper than Europe/USA/Canada. Of course some are more, especially transportation costs. But my family, who have traveled in countless countries, said nothing compares to the difficulty of traveling on Japanese trains, buses, and staying in Jp hotels. They needed so much help from us, their hosts. Japan is just not set up for foreign tourists. Can't do it easily without a guide.

But I suppose the Jp figure, "We need a guide in every country, why don't tourists get a guide here."

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I have traveled all lover Japan and never had any problem. Yes food and transport are more but its worth it. I have found if you treat people with respect gererally you will be treated the same way.

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Contrary to some comments above, I think the food and beverage prices in Japan haven't gone up much at all in the past 15 years. I always find Australia expensive when I visit. If you are taking your overseas family or friends to posh steak or deluxe sushi restaurants and so on then, yes, Japan will be pricey. But to be able to buy a lunch box here for 500 yen (sometimes cheaper if you hunt around) is amazing. I think you couldn't buy a reasonable sandwich in Oz for less than the same price. For cost performance and stomach satisfaction I'd take the bento anyday. A can of beer for 217 yen at a supermarket or convenience store is also very reasonable. Fruit isn't especially cheap here in Japan but mandarins, kiwi fruit and bananas aren't expensive. Cherries, strawberries and apples are a bit more pricey. As for the request above for English in the supermarkets, I guess the suburban ones just don't have the volume of overseas customers to justify it. The international supermarkets like Kinokuniya etc. have English but you need to pay for it!

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I used to work in a hotel and to attract foreigners, we accepted their money at par. This means, even though 87 yen fetches a dollar at the bank, Japanese hotels should adjust the rate to 100 yen equals a dollar. Nobody will come otherwise.

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I liked Japan and was thankful to many who made my backpacking trip fun, from friends to complete strangers. Moved around a lot, stayed in odd places and not English areas as much. This had the added benefit of avoiding robbery (Happens, rare I know but a friend was not so lucky).

Sights are great. Food very filling and tasteful. Even combini foods and the 220-en katsu-sando with noodles?!? were particularly memorable while hiking around.

But frankly unless you're a student of the language I can't possibly recommend it because of the 3 writing systems which only confuse. How am I suppose to write down directions? If you can speak you can't read, if you can read then you're not an instant tourist anyway.

This campaign though would suggest that expats ask friends to go who would unfortunately not be capable enough to enjoy it, forcing the expat to be a host/tourguide. So I can't see how it would work.

The good tourist can normally pick up some useful phrases, get around, and make small talk. Thankfully I could read some kanji and had studied a bit beforehand. It made the difference between what would have been otherwise an expensive trip. These 'winners' would be incapable of just walking around, getting lost (daily?), getting directions, etc.

Also given the draconian laws I am unable to return as a medication I take now is outlawed in the country. I wonder if that would happen to winners as well? Lots of astounding red tape between modern nations. If you're choice is to go to a country that will fingerprint you or not, some will balk.

Japan is fine as long as you fit the limited Japanese definition of what they want. If you do not, then absolutely not. There is no leeway.

Japan rewards the tourist with Japanese knowledge, but I can't see how it otherwise would perform for the complete newbie, like a French girl I had to translate for in Osaka. I helped between her and the landlord in a gaijin house but I have no idea how she survived after that!

Without expats constantly bridging communications, I don't see how this marketing plan has direction.

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@bcbrownboy

yes, they don't seem to get that the whole point of a new place is to experience it, not to have a tour guide beyond a map and a book. A sense of adventure doesn't translate

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What a bunch of complainers! I go to China about once a year, and even now, outside the big cities, it is like the 1930s in some places, with lots of PLA standing about. I only speak a few Chinese phrases (I'm learning more) and physically it can be pretty rough in the country, but I love it! People are great, and that is the whole point for me. The people are great! Loose the entitlement attitude and enjoy getting lost, etc.

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3 members of my family will be visiting next year but since there only 500 prizes, I doubt they will win any. This whole campaign seems to be a copy of Korea's recent campaign. The difference is that Korea actually offers flight tickets to Korea whilst in Japan you can only win domestic tickets. Korea offers shopping discounts to every visitor. And you even get to meet a famous movie star of your choice if you win - now that would be an unforgettable experience. I would like to see Kyoto providing tourists with temple passes.

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Looks like it's time for me to chime in, as I must do every couple of months.

I personally don't care if Japan puts more English in the supermarkets. That's not a concern for a tourist.

I don't read Japanese, or speak more than a few phrases. But I've never had a problem when I visit. I've found the people friendly and more than helpful.

The people at the hotels have been fine with welcoming a foreigner. I've never paid more than $80 per night for a room in a business hotel in Tokyo, Nagoya, Himeji or Hiroshima.

I've never had a problem with spending 600 or 700 yen for udon or soba or ramen, they're fine with me. Dinners at an izakaya are fine too, and not ridiculously expensive.

Transportation isn't cheap, but it's easy and efficient. (Anyone who plans to ride the trains and doesn't get a Japan Rail Pass is nuts.) I've had English language timetables and route maps and have never had a problem getting where I'm going on my own.

I've done my homework too - I've bookmarked information on everything I might possibly go to see and can call up that information on my laptop before setting out. That way I know how to get there and what to expect.

As with traveling anywhere, the real secret is to be respectful, understand the customs, don't assume that everyone is thrilled that you've come to visit, and do your homework beforehand.

I'll happily come back to visit when the exchange rate is more favorable.

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"as with traveling anywhere, the real secret is to be respectful, understand the customs, don't assume that everyone is thrilled that you've come to visit, and do your homework beforehand." I agree.

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If Japan wants to attract 10,000,000 people to Japan, it still has a lot of work to do. One can't expect Westerns to enjoy Japanese-only narration and pamphlets in garbled English.

Nagoya Castle also comes to mind. I lost count of how many signs said it was bombed and destroyed by the Allies in WWII. Welcome the foreigners inside then tell them repeatedly that they blew up your castle. It should be in the "You don't get it, do you?" category in terms of trying to attract foreign visitors.

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Never happen. Too expensive, not enough facilities, foreigners not properly catered for.

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I don’t see any inconvenience travelling in Japan as a tourist. All places are clearly marked, transport system is great, people are very friendly and helpful. Language? Well, this is a point. If you are not able to speak a little bit Japanese – better go on organised tour. But for someone who can at least speak some Japanese- it is very easy. Moreover if you go to France, not many people are able // willing to speak English.

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Nagoya Castle also comes to mind. I lost count of how many signs said it was bombed and destroyed by the Allies in WWII.

but it is the fact, the "Allies" did carpet bombing to murder civilians specifically.

Yes, Nanjing and other crimes Japan did in the rest of Asia were terrible and evil, but the bombing proves that the war was "evil against evil", and must be remembered and highlighted so that people come, see, and regret the kind of evil they did. Just like when we visit Nanjing or Hawaii.

Moderator: Readers, please stay on topic. World War II is not relevant to this discussion.

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I wonder if it is "live in japan" (like a home) or live (like a tv show)... totally different words that have serious different meaning in this situation.

Japan looks stupid for not even noticing this serious problem.

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Not another visit Japan campaign. How many of these are they going to have?

Japan needs to tackle some issues such as perceived cost/language difficulties. You need more than a few posters of a bullet train in front of Mt Fuji to pull this off.

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gogogo,

Inability to use English properly ain't stupidity at all. It's not our language. I wonder how good and accurate your Japanese would be.

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Don't do it...it's Japan's way of using foreigners to do work for free so they don't have to pay other people to do it...Really bad PR if you ask me...

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I wonder how good and accurate your Japanese would be.

Probably in most cases pretty schocking - which is why at least in my home country when we translate tourist information etc into Japanese we use NATIVES to do it and check it. Not English-speakers who THINK they can speak/read/write Japanese.

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kirakira25, but still ... it is not about stupidity.

by the way, I'd imagine though, even in your country, it wouldn't be always true. Just like many companies/organizations in Japan do consult with native speakers before they put those words on the ad.

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