(KZN.RU, June 26, Alsu Safina). Last year, 95 thousand Russians visited the Land of the Rising Sun; it is 23% more than in 2017. Airi Motokura, the head of the Moscow office of the Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO), voiced such data yesterday in Kazan. Representatives of Tatarstan travel companies and journalists were told about why this country is interesting for Russian tourists and what amazing discoveries are waiting for our fellow citizens in Japan at the business meeting “Japan, Treasure Island”. The meeting was held by the Japanese National Tourism Organization (JNTO) with the support of the Russian Union of Travel Industry (PCT).
Opening the meeting, Mrs. Motokura said that the tourist flow from Russia to Japan has been growing for a long time already. In 2017, 40% more Russians than in 2016 visited the Land of the Rising Sun. According to the JNTO, in May of this year, almost 2.7 million tourists visited Japan; 9.7 thousand were Russians. This is 30.2% higher than last year. And from January to May, 47.1 thousand Russian tourists went to Japan, 19.6% more than in the same period of 2018. According to Ms. Motokura, most tourists arrive in the Land of the Rising Sun from Moscow and the Far East. “We believe that million-plus cities such as Kazan have enormous potential”, she noted.
Aigul Balakhontseva, the head of the Tourism Product Promotion Department of the State Committee of the RT on Tourism, noted that Japan is considered a priority for the development and attraction of tourists in the market by the state committee. “We need to know about the opportunities that are opening up in Japan for tourists, because this is a dream country”, she added.
Simplified visa regime for tourist groups
Shinbo Tsuyoshi, the head of the consular department of the Japanese Embassy in Russia, said that since October 1 of last year, the procedure for obtaining a Japanese visa for organized tourist groups of three people had been simplified when staying in Japan for no more than 30 days. Now, tourists need only to provide 2 visa application forms with photos, the original passport and a copy of a civil passport. The travel company provides the list of participants of the tour, the program of stay, confirmation of reservation of air tickets, place of residence, transport for movement in Japan.
Next year, the capital of Japan will host the summer Olympic Games. Tokyo won the right to host in 2013. According to Yulia Shilkina, the marketing manager of the JNTO Moscow office, more than 31 million people visited Japan in 2018. The goal for the Olympic year 2020 is 40 million tourists.
Omotenasi, philosophy of hospitality
Each cultural person is obliged to visit Japan, believes Irina Tyurina, the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry. According to her, the most significant impression during her visit to Japan was made by two philosophies: omotenasi (hospitality) and kaizen (continuous improvement).
As the participants of the meeting told, the tourist will feel omotenasi everywhere: in the hotel and catering establishments. And just walking along the street, when residents, wishing to help you, will not only tell you the way, but they will also walk with you. Omotenasi, traditional Japanese hospitality, is in the heated mirror in the bathroom, in the served napkin and many other details.
Free flight within the country
You can get to Tokyo from Kazan through Moscow. From March 31 of this year, daily flights run to the capital of Japan. As representatives of Japan Airlines noted, passengers will be able to feel the very Japanese hospitality already onboard the Boeing. Moreover, the economy class seat has been recognized as the best by SkyTrax for 4 years in a row. The flight time will be 9.5 hours.
You can buy plane tickets 360 days before departure. So now you can get closer to your dream to see cherry blossoms next year.
According to the airline, a pleasant bonus for passengers will be the possibility of a free flight between Japanese cities. When buying a ticket from Moscow to Tokyo, you can get two flights in Japan between the cities of the JAL route network for free, but you need to specify these cities immediately when buying tickets.
Flower festivals, theater, ancient temples
There is an endless list of what to see in Japan. This is Tokyo, which combines ancient traditions and cutting-edge technologies, and the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto, and other cities and regions of the country with its unique nature. There are ancient temples, rock gardens, Japanese theatrical art. Many tourists tend to visit Japan in the spring to see the flowering of plum, Sakura, as well as wisteria, azalea, peony, camellia, toffee, and lotus. According to the organizers of the meeting, you can visit Japan at almost any time of the year, and everyone will find endless opportunities and discoveries in this country.