Japan's 3 Great Gardens

Winter cherry
Did you know that spring isn't the only time you can view cherry blossoms? In some areas of Japan, such as Saitama Prefecture, there are special varieties of the flowering cherry tree that bloom in autumn and winter as well!
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Welcome to the October edition of Japan Agent Update. 

Upcoming Events in Australia / New Zealand

Come see us at the following events!

*More information on our Roadshows to be announced in November. Save the date for now and stay tuned!

Visit Japan Travel Mart (VJTM) 2019 is also set to take place this month, and is being held in Osaka for the first time. Hosted buyer spots have all been filled.

Information on Japanese Festivals & Events: 

- JNTO Head Office, all year round festivals & events.


Consumption tax has increased to 10% as of 01 October 2019


Consumption tax in Japan increased to 10% as of 01 October 2019. This applies to almost all goods and services in Japan, including hotels.

However, there is also a reduced consumption tax rate of 8% applicable to sales of food and beverages (except alcoholic drinks and dining out, for which the 10% will apply), and newspaper subscriptions.

The price for the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) has increased correspondingly as well. For instance, the Ordinary Type 7-Day Pass price for overseas sales has increased from 29,110 yen to 29,650 yen.

For more information, please see:
JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) for a brief overview.
Ministry of Finance, Japan for details.

Major Updates

Applications for Cruise Train "Seven Stars in Kyushu" spring-summer 2020 open now

In celebration of the 7th anniversary of the Seven Stars' first run, they have prepared several special anniversary journeys, including a 2 Day Spring Pre-Tour to Ukiha, to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms before boarding the Seven Stars for a 2 day journey, and a nostalgic Seven Stars journey. Applications for both the special journeys and the traditional journeys are open 01-22 October.

Online reservations for Restaurant Kamakura (Snow Hut) Village now open

Located in northern Nagano, Iiyama is a small city with harsh winters and heavy snowfall. You can warm up in one of the snow huts while trying Noroshi Nabe, an Iiyama specialty hot pot. This year Iiyama has also released new tour plans, some of which include overnight stays with hot springs, skiing, snow play and much more!

7 Japanese Art Museums You Might Not Know

World-class art museums are dotted all over Japan. Most of them are in the major cities. However, if you’re an art lover looking to explore a world of creativity off the beaten path, these are the 7 must-visit art museums that are worth getting lost in for an hour or two (or more).

Japanese Film Festival Australia 2019

The 23rd annual JFF has arrived in Australia! In 2019, the festival will grace the screens of 15 cities down under, with an eclectic lineup of 45 films. If you love Japan, love film or are just plain curious, view the JFF film schedule to plan your movie night(s) this spring. If you can't decide what to watch, check out our guide!

Image ©Yasuhisa Hara/SHUEISHA
©2019 “KINGDOM” Film Partners

World2Cover now available for Agents

Award-winning travel insurance World2Cover, part of Tokio Marine Group, is now available for travel agents! 

For further information, please contact them.


Partner Sites

Top 20 Things to Do in Yokohama From the Classics to Hidden Gems (WOW! Japan)

With great access to Tokyo, Yokohama is known as a commuter town, but it also has the largest Chinatown in Japan and many other tourist attractions such as shopping destinations. Here are all sorts of places for eating, playing, sightseeing, and shopping around the heart of Yokohama.

The History of Ekiben Lunch Boxes - An Invaluable Part to Any Shinkansen Ride in Japan (Tsunagu Japan)

Bento (packed lunch boxes) are an indispensable part of the Japanese food culture. As the name suggests (“eki” train station and “ben” bento), ekiben are bento sold on the railway platform, which were later sold directly on trains. Each bento is made with originality and ingenuity, and they'll have your mouth watering just at the sight of them! Learn more about the history and delights of ekiben!

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