JAPAN - Let New Ideas Find You (Part 2/2)

1st Apr, 2019

If you landed here having missed part 1,
click here before you proceed. 

Toyama – Nature’s Abundance

This accessible coastal city offers magnificent panoramic views of the majestic Tateyama mountains. Toyama Bay’s topography also makes it a natural fish tank for its famed sushi, fresh yellowtail sashimi, red snow crab, and the exquisitely sweet clear-fleshed velvet shrimp (we tried them all at Sushi-dokoro Sasaki). Toyama region is constantly supplied with rich, pure water from the 3,000 meters high Northern Alps, a vital ingredient for sake and whiskey. Learn about the production process (and bag some bottles back home for friends) at the 150-year-old Wakatsuru Saburomaru Brewery.

Blessed with spectacular and dramatic natural scenery throughout all seasons, a scenic ninety minutes’ drive from the heart of the city will take delegates into the mountainous historic villages of Gokayama. Like an enigmatic painting in any season, the triangular Gassho-style thatched-roofed farmhouses are a beautiful remnant of Japan’s original landscape. In this UNESCO World Heritage site, delegates can enjoy (and participate in) folk performance of the oldest song in Japan, Kokiriko. This folk song (and the iconic instrument of the same name) originated from a thousand years ago.

In terms of accommodation, the city centre will have a total capacity of 4,150 hotel rooms by the end of 2019. For venues, located beside (and connected by an underground walkway to) ANA Crowne Plaza Toyama, is the beautiful and timeless Toyama International Conference Center which opened in 1999. Their newly renovated state-of-the-art main hall with simultaneous interpretation system will be great for a Toyama industry-related conference of 825. A noteworthy new venue/ attraction to highlight is the Toyama Glass Art Museum, housed in the beautiful Toyama Kirari which is 100% constructed with local natural materials like cedar wood and aluminium.

Besides being known nationwide as the province of medicine(with 300 years pharmaceutical history), Toyama also has the top manufacturing related industries in machinery and metal, and electronic devices. Toyama Convention Bureau, and the MICE stakeholders of the Toyama prefecture work together to offer competitive subsidy programs for MICE events.

Back to the Future – Marunouchi, Tokyo

Japan’s bustling business hub of 4,300 companies employs a total workforce strength of 280,000. In this constantly stimulating heart of Tokyo, you’ll also find the Imperial Palace, thriving central transit hub Tokyo Station, and rich after-MICEexperiences like rickshaw-riding through the metropolitan’s plenitude of iconic landmarks, haiku poetry workshop, and sushi-making workshop by Michelin star sensei. In combination with 23 state-of-the-art facilities and ten first-class hotels, Marunouchi is the underrated ‘new destination to discover within megacity Tokyo.

If the close weave of environmental elements in this massive concrete jungle is too claustrophobia-inducing, Palace Hotel Tokyo is the premium space to recharge after an invigorating day. Opened in 1961, this prestigious five-star hotel was rebuilt and reopened in May 2012, now home to 800 art pieces, awe-inspiring Ikebana (Japanese art of flower arrangement) decorations, ten restaurants and bars (two with Michelin stars), and an Evian spa. Its 290 luxury rooms and suites overlooking the extensive Imperial Palace gardens pamper guests with precious serenity, and paramount sophistication.

The stately Tokyo Kaikan reopened in January after a revamp. Since its founding in 1922, this opulent venue (the biggest in Marunouchi to make a statement) has hosted international state officials with impeccable hospitality and gastronomy. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip had a lunch party here in 1975. The 1,500mRose Hall and eight other medium to smaller rooms all come with exceptional view of the Imperial Palace. Capable of holding international conferences, academic meetings, and promotional events for up to 2,000 guests, it is equipped with state-of-the-art acoustics and visual equipment.

Opening its gates last December is the stunning unique venue, Kanda Myojin Shrine. This immersive ‘mini cultural theme-park’ is an amalgamation of tradition and innovation. The EDOCCO Edo Culture Complex commemorates the 1,300th anniversary of Kanda Myojin’s founding, and it hosts several halls and functional spaces with deep cultural elements and values. Wander through the Japanese Cultural Experience Space; admire their collection of a thousand pieces of traditional and modern art; explore the Kanda House (Imasa); be enchanted by shrine maidens’ sacred dance and the holy ceremony in the mythical-looking main temple – with such a great deal to see and do, you’d be praying for more time.

Also in Marunouchi, the Tokyo International Forum needs no further introduction. The 28th International MICE Expo (IME) was held here on 28th February, bringing overseas suppliers for the first time into this one-day MICE trade mart of 97 exhibitors and 500 buyers.

Exceptionally Thoughtful Hospitality

Thoughtfulness towards the comfort and needs of guests was on full display throughout the pre, during, and post Meet Japan 2019. The well-organised hosted buyer programme also showcased the detail-oriented nature of Japanese, by providing a pocket Wi-Fi, iPad, and a box to mail materials from IME home for free. The attention to small details is another intrinsic attitude of the Japanese, evident in the conscientious food presentation, where the most beautiful side of the bowl is always served facing the guest.

Besides showing how these hospitality qualities can value-add to business events, Meet Japan 2019 also displayed how Japan’s MICE industry stakeholders really take pride in the industry and economic development, at the regional and national level. With this reliable sense of assurance, come let your new ideas start here.


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