Kawaba Denen Plaza is Japan’s largest roadside station facility. It welcomes over 2 million visitors per year. What’s more,
Denen Plaza serves as a starting point to attract visitors and introduce experience-based and accommodation-based tourism in the surrounding area, as well as provide transportation to nearby facilities through electric bicycle and kickboard rentals.
Mini-tours of the site and the surrounding area are also offered. From September this year, there are plans to offer brief helicopter rides for an exciting new way to attract more visitors.
Experience-based events and lodging plans for inbound visitors are also available in conjunction with major accommodation facilities, sake breweries, ski resorts, and other facilities in the village in order to increase the value of tourism and increase the amount of money spent per visitor.
Togakushi Ski Resort is a historic ski resort located in Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park. It boasts unparalleled views from the summit of the majestic Mount Togakushi, the Northern Japan Alps, Mount Myoko, and other mountains. Normally open only during the winter ski season, the resort will be specially opened during the fall foliage season so that visitors can enjoy fall scenes not available in other seasons. Boxed meals using locally sourced ingredients will also be available for purchase. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy a delicious meal while admiring the view from the dining area at the mountain’s summit.
Fully inclusive tour to experience Shugendo practices at Yonako Falls, a national scenic beauty spot, and Suzaka, a town known for its traditional storehouses
Yonako Grand Falls, a special national park area and a national scenic beauty spot, is one of the 100 most famous waterfalls in Japan. This tour will offer seasonal experiences such as Shugendo (mountaintop ascetic practices), autumn leaf viewing, and frozen waterfall viewing. On the first day, participants will spend a relaxing time in Suzaka at the mountain’s base. On the second day, they will experience the main activities of Shugendo (mountaintop ascetic practices), such as waterfall meditation and pilgrimages by foot. There are many variations of these activities depending on the season, and participants can choose from a variety of options. On the third day, participants can interact with local residents in the town of Suzaka, known for its traditional storehouses.
A study tour development program to learn the about the past and present of Japanese views on nature (how to interact with wild animals)
Participants will learn the Japanese view of nature while trekking the Nakasendo trail, learning through lectures at shrines about how Japanese people have coexisted with wild animals for a long time due to unique religious beliefs (e.g., that wild animals are messengers of the gods). The tour will go on to discuss Japan’s modern ways of coexisting with, protecting, and managing black bears. Participants will see sites where bears live so that they can understand how wild animals are treated in Japan today. The tour can be scheduled from one to three days, and will be considered a high value-added product. In Europe and the United States, Japan is often perceived as a nation unfriendly to wildlife and one that often eats dolphins or whales. However, Japan maintains a rich biodiversity compared to Europe and other countries, and because of the Japanese people's unique approach to harmonious coexistence with nature and sustainability, large animals such as black bears exist even in large metropolitan areas. This program allows intellectually curious Western tourists to experience the Japanese approach to nature, which has been cultivated since time immemorial, as well as the latest efforts to coexist with wildlife in Japan today, thereby increasing their attachment to Japan and their eagerness to visit Karuizawa once more.
Enjoy the luxury of boating under the moonlight accompanied by delicious food and elegant music.
Experience an elegant banquet in the style of Japanese court nobility, with a history spanning more than a thousand years, on a houseboat in the scenic Arashiyama area of Kyoto.
Enjoy sumptuous cuisine and elegant traditional entertainment while basking in the glow of the moon reflected on the waters and taking in the sights of Togetsukyo Bridge.
On the most beautiful night of the year, under the full moon in Kyoto, experience the natural beauty of Arashiyama on a private yakatabune boat carrying only a single group of 2–4 guests. Guest will enjoy a concerto of delicious food and traditional performing arts with all five senses in an experience brimming with Japanese sensitivity and aesthetics. On the boat, guests will enjoy well-known Japanese classics such as sukiyaki and other exquisite meals prepared by some of Japan's top ryotei restaurants. The party will also feature traditional entertainment including the Nihon Imayouta Bugakukai dance troupe in court noble costumes and shinobue flute performers Sato and Awa, who entertain with their elegant traditional performing arts. The silence is filled with the sounds of the land and elegant tones which echo through the mountains creating a spectacular evening party and an unforgettable experience.
◆ Three courses are available for the luxury banquet. *Tax included
1) Kyoto Kitcho: "Kangetsu Special Kaiseki" Course
Price: Adult 150,000 yen *Must be age 15 or over to participate.
2) Arashiyama Kumahiko: "Live Kitchen on the Water: Autumn Flavors & Kyoto Beef" Course
Price: Adults 60,000 yen, children 30,000 yen (children’s meal)
3) Special Sukiyaki Course (A4 rank+)
Price: Adults 30,000 yen, children 15,000 yen (children’s meal)
Beyond Osaka/Kansai Expo 2025: Evoking the history of Osaka Castle to promote Osaka culture, tourism, and MICE
As part of Osaka's cultural tourism centered on the main tower of Osaka Castle, a landmark of Osaka, visitors will embark on a guided tour of the Tamon and Sengan turrets, designated as National Important Cultural Properties, and a tea ceremony at Hosho-an, a teahouse which offers tremendous views of Osaka Castle and was donated by Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic Corporation. Later, guests will have exclusive use of the Nishinomaru Garden of Osaka Castle, a special national historic site, and the Osaka Geihinkan, a guest house built to welcome state officials, where they will be served aperitifs and a full course meal of Japanese and Western cuisine accompanied by paired drinks. The full-course menu is inspired by the first Japanese course meal that Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, is said to have served to foreign ambassadors, based around the theme of local Osaka production for local Osaka consumption. In addition, Osaka cultural experiences such as Noh theater and rakugo storytelling will be offered to groups that wish to participate (in cooperation with nearby facilities to create and expand upon an economic ripple effect). Alternatively, a simple stage can be set up in the Nishinomaru Garden for visitors to experience Japanese culture close at hand with the Osaka Castle main tower in the background.
Crafts-themed program centered around creating and selling high-value-added products for affluent Europeans and Americans
GO FOR KOGEI, a crafts festival in the Hokuriku region that started in 2020, aims to promote the appeal of crafts across three of Hokuriku's prefectures (Toyama, Ishikawa, and Fukui Prefectures), both in Japan and abroad. This plan combines GO FOR KOGEI 2023 in the city of Toyama with studio visits, hands-on workshop activities, and stays at art hotels and inns where visitors can experience the craftsmanship of Toyama Prefecture. Visitors will view artworks with a private guide, visit artisans' workshops not usually open to the public, and enjoy hands-on experiences making crafts and talking with the artisans. Meals are served at Michelin-starred restaurants in Toyama that utilize delicious local produce and at exclusive small luxury accommodations. This is a trip to experience the modern crafts of Toyama for modern luxury travelers.
*After the GO FOR KOGEI 2023 exhibition ends, a plan to experience Toyama crafts will be available through the TOYAMA Innovative Craft Tour.
The Shipowners' Village of Kaga Hashitate, which retains the peaceful ambience of Japan’s Edo period, is cherished for its historical value, having been recognized as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings as well as a Japan Heritage site. Although popular among Japanese tourists, until recently no efforts have been made to attract inbound tourists from overseas. This program provides special short- and long-term stays at the former residences of wealthy merchants and owners of kitamaebune merchant ships. Visitors can experience the "secret" rituals handed down in the settlement right alongside locals, including cooking, kimono dressing, tea ceremony, and some lesser-known traditional performing arts, with multilingual explanations and easy-to-understand guides included. Visitors will then listen to soothing musical therapy in the chambers of a wealthy merchant's mansion and take a dip in the hot springs at the nearby Kaga Onsen spa resort for a high-quality inbound wellness tourism experience.
< Novelty & features >
1) For the first time, the "secret" culture of a traditional merchant shipping village will be made into inbound tourism content, mainly targeting wealthy people in Taiwan. 2) Special accommodation and long-term stays in the former mansion of a wealthy merchant in the Shipowners' Village, with a charm comparable to that of European streetscapes. 3) Attracting inbound visitors in conjunction with the Japan Music Care Association, which is based in Kaga Hashitate and has an extensive overseas network.
The traditional Shipowners’ Village of Kaga Hashitate is recognized as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings and a Japan Heritage site, but is facing the challenges of an aging and declining population. The key to developing sustainable tourism in the area is the creation of high-quality, hands-on experiences of local "secret culture" for inbound tourists.
Savor the depths of Kyoto’s Higashiyama area, which entwines with the history and culture, at Yasaka Pagoda
The five-story Yasaka Pagoda at Hokan-ji Temple, a nationally designated Important Cultural Property, is a tiled-roof structure in a Japanese style said to have been built by Prince Shotoku in 592, then rebuilt in 1440.
This program is limited to MICE clients using Akagane Resort Kyoto Higashiyama 1925, a unique venue renovated from a former residence of a long-established Kyoto company that has been in business for 250 years since its founding in the late 1700s, as well as guests staying overnight at Hotel VMG Resort Kyoto, a decentralized luxury hotel with locations dotted around the city of Kyoto. The event includes a lecture on the history and culture of the Higashiyama area and Hokan-ji Temple by an assistant priest, an aperitif party on the Hokan-ji Temple grounds (only for MICE clients), and a special viewing of the temple's pagoda (only for guests staying overnight). The event will conclude at the Akagane Resort, where guests will be treated to Kyoto–French cuisine accompanied by paired drinks, built around a theme of local Kyoto production for local Kyoto consumption. The VIP plan is designed to immerse guests in the history and culture of Higashiyama, offering a unique taste of Kyoto like never before. (Those who wish can experience the tea ceremony at Akagane Resort with maiko and geisha performers or at the Kanbayashi Shunsho Honten teahouse, founded in 1560.)
Program to promote bicycle tourism in the "Kyoto by the Sea" area of Kyoto Prefecture through cycling events aimed at foreign participants (KYOTO TANTAN Cycle Event)
● Event 1: KYOTO TANTAN Cycle Stamp Rally international cycling event
- A 2-month, touring-style digital stamp rally campaign in the northern area of Kyoto Prefecture
- Checkpoints will be set up in 7 cities and towns in Tango-Amanohashidate-Oeyama Quasi-National Park
- Collecting a certain number of stamps will earn you a reward unique to the local area!
- Checkpoints and maps will be displayed in multiple languages via a dedicated browser
[Event Duration] Sunday, October 1 to Thursday, November 30, 2023
[Participation Fee] 1,000 yen
● Event 2: KYOTO TANTAN Long Ride international cycling event
- Sea Course and Forest Course starting from Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s top three scenic spots
< Sea Course >
- A course offering magnificent views of the Sea of Japan from the Tango Peninsula
- The course gives participants a chance to enjoy the varied landscape of the Tango Peninsula, including the river terraces, sea caves, and ria coastlines of San'in Kaigan Geopark
- The course showcases the scenery of the boathouses of Ine, a collection of traditional buildings, and Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s top three scenic spots
< Forest Course >
- For those seeking a challenge! Also known as the Devil's Course
- The course includes hill-climbing elements, with a maximum elevation difference of approximately 400m with many ups and downs
- The course follows the Oeyama mountain range, famous throughout Japan as the setting for ogre-slaying legends, and it features many scenic spots
- The course offers scenic views of "Kyoto of the Forest" — a rich natural environment of mountains, villages, and rivers
[Event Date] Sunday, October 15, 2023
[Tour Price] 10,000 yen/person (for each course)