Japan: new ideas, innovative meetings

7th Mar, 2017

As one of the leading destinations for hosting international association meetings, Japan last year designed a new brand aiming at strengthening country as a whole as an attractive destination for business events of all kinds and format. In doing so, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) wants to prove Japan is a location association planners can’t do without.

Rémi Dévé reports

Staying here

To highlight Japan’s advantages as an innovative and exciting meetings and events destination, Japan has adopted the tagline: New ideas start here. Japan’s unique culture and advanced technology, together with the opportunity for interaction with the Japanese academic, business, and industrial community, inspire participants and offer new perspectives and insight that propel the further evolution of science and industry.

With this tagline, the message is clear: coming to Japan brings visitors into contact with the imagination and intelligence of Japan’s people and culture, which underpins the country’s high quality, technological expertise, and creativity. Holding meetings and events in Japan enables participants to gain inspiration and flashes of insight that enable future business growth.

Building on the Olympics

Japan is also building Olympics on the momentum leading to the 2020 Olympics that will be held in the country for the second time. The Games will enable the Japanese capital to join London, Paris, Athens and Los Angeles as part of an elite clutch of cities that have hosted the games more than once.

This is significant in terms of the construction strategy being adopted– the Olympics will be the first in modern times to make such extensive use of existing venues built for a previous Olympic Games. Moreover, the country has also framed an organisational approach for 2020 that will see extensive use of existing venues and a relatively small number of new-build projects. Meeting planners will undoubtedly make good use of those venues.

Additionally, aiming to be the leading MICE destination in Asia by 2030, the safest country par excellence, Japan boasts one of the largest national memberships within many international associations, and has a world-class record of hosting successful international association events. With several industry clusters around the country, it’s easy to find links that will help associations grow their membership and congresses boost their attendance.

New Unique Venues


This neo-Baroque Western-Style building was built in 1909 as the palace for the then crown prince later to be Emperor Taisho. A national treasure for visiting state dignitaries, it has now just opened to event planners - there you can have an exclusive highest-level meeting or banquet.


Originally built to host APEC ‘95, this other guesthouse was used to entertain the Imperial Family and prominent international guests. The traditional Japanese palace-style architecture offers planners an excellent and elegant alternative to urban venues.


Built at the beginning of the Edo period, Kokura Castle provides an interesting contrast to the neighboring modern shopping and entertainment districts. The castle’s grounds are a popular cherry blossom spot in April, and its tower can be used as a perfect setting for small events of about 80 people.


The Chinese style garden symbolizing a friendship between Japan and China is now available to hold receptions and meetings. Participants can enjoy the traditional Ryukyu dance performance on the stage and a gala event in the modern stylish restaurant.

Japan National Tourism Organisation

Headquarters Tokyo, Japan

+81 3 6691 4852



London Office

Margaret Mann

+44 (0)20 7283 2130


New York Office

Meagan McTaggart

+1 (212) 757 5640



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