©visitBerlin, photo: Frank Nuernberger
TCVB became active as a full member of BestCities Global Alliance
Having joined BestCities Global Alliance as a full member in August 2015, Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau (TCVB) participated in the first BestCities Client Workshop held in Berlin from 26 to 29 August to work together closely with the other world-top convention destinations.
The purpose of the workshop was to discuss how to acquire association meetings/conferences in helping international client network to get in close touch with local science and research sectors as well as with the members of the BestCities Global Alliance.
The four-day networking event, which has been organized jointly by visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office and the BestCities Global Alliance*, a global network of twelve destinations from all over the world was successfully held with participation of fifteen association representatives from China, France, India, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the United States.
To receive an exclusive invitation to the BestCities Client Workshop, it was required for the association to be in process of planning conferences with at least 500 participants in different locations around the world to offer potential benefits to the BestCities Alliance members.
The next BestCities Client workshop is set to take place in Dubai from 5 to 9 December 2016. The BestCities Workshop is open to international association planners, if you would like to know if you qualify to be hosted at the event or for more information please contact Jane Cunningham or visit www.bestcities.net.
Tokyo welcomed UIC HIGHSPEED World Congress
The world’s most significant meeting for high-speed rail, the 9th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail, took place with great success with 1,200 participants from July 7 to 10, 2015 at the Tokyo International Forum for the first time in Japan.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government supported this Congress in sponsoring Japanese cultural programs and city tours for the overseas participants. Especially, half-day trips to Meiji Jingu Shrine, the Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum and Asakusa District were highly appreciated by the participants as perfectly organized tours to Japanese traditional cultural spots. Furthermore, “Day trip to Sake Brewery and Great Nature” featuring a deep cultural meaning of Japan was highly admired by many participants with a comment such as, “I understood that Sake would not be just alcohol, but it could be an art”.
The cultural programs including Dressing in Kimono, Tea Ceremony, Traditional Art/Craft of Washi (Japanese traditional paper) and Taiko (Japanese drum) were also organized by the Tokyo Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The Congress delegates who managed to join the Dressing in Kimono program despite of their tight schedule were thrilled with the experience to try authentic Japanese Kimono on. Especially, female participants were fascinated with the gorgeous kimonos and different ways of tying obi (belt) helped by professionals.
Moreover, every participant was impressed by Tea Ceremony held in the space of Japanese tea ceremony garden style with an explanation and demonstration how to prepare a bowl of tea by an English-speaking tea-master from the International Chado Culture Foundation. After they enjoyed tasting professionally made tea as well as the process of experiencing tea making, traditional Japanese sweats were also served. Some participants left comments such as “Great opportunity to see Japanese tea culture”, “Very nice experience”, “Wonderful people”, “Explanations were very interesting”, “Thank you so much for your efforts you had put in. We had a wonderful time!”, “I’ve learnt about Japanese culture in a very smart way”.
This program was also highly evaluated by the Congress organizers. Hitoshi SAIMYO, Director of the International Department in East Japan Railway Company said, “We feel very grateful for the program since our delegates could relish Japanese culture. Thanks to this program, delegates could feel unique Japanese hospitality and they will remember the experience for a long time. “
Unique Venue New Challenge
Happo-en, a picturesque venue of traditionally styled buildings set in a Japanese garden dating back nearly 400 years and one of the flagship unique venues in Tokyo, held a showcase event “WAZA* Department” on September 15, 2015.
In order to challenge the new opportunities to convey Japanese culture to the world, the produce team members of Happo-en prepared this amazing one-night program to boost future MICE related events as new ways of entertainment for the guest to enjoy true Japanese hospitality (omotenashi) in demonstrating traditional Japanese techniques in this tranquil venue in central Tokyo.
Grounded in all aspects of Japanese culture such as architecture, art, music, culinary techniques, traditional gardens and many others, Happo-en’s uniqueness was revealed from every angle. The interiors with individual concept varied not only by floors, but also room in proficient use of projection mapping, illusion, light and shadow all of which made the venue look something like a breathtaking kaleidoscope. A tint-colored banquet room featuring a harp player, an energetic disco-bar-like organized room with red and black tables and a peaceful cozy lounge equipped with gorgeously curved wooden wall panels were just a few samples showing how to organize and utilize those newly-renovated spaces on the entire top sixth floor. One of the rooms on the fifth floor uniquely decorated inspired by Bonsai, as well as an off-site meeting space on the third floor with wide terrace equipped with comfortable wooden furniture attracted many visitors.
Furthermore, the best thing of all was the magnificent performance of in-house chefs.
Happo-en also demonstrated for the first time the whole set of identically looking Japanese cuisine prepared as proper halal food. The performance of the chefs on the first floor “WAZA Japan Night” allowed the guests to experience the full depth of skills employed. In addition to that, the small sushi in Happo-en style on bamboo skewer, Sukiyaki in Happo-en style with fluffy babble sauce, sorbet made with sake poured from frozen pot, the longest Chinese noodles you ever saw and many other dishes were served. Eye-pleasing and delicious taste goes without saying; the new approach to serving the traditional dishes is what amazed above all.
Perfectly arranged collaboration of modern DJ performance with traditional Japanese instruments - shamisen and taiko (drum); floor staff smiling and tirelessly welcoming guests and wearing kimono and happi** in-house attire added more festivity to this whole atmosphere of Japanese beauty and culture.
Do you need an extraordinary venue for your next offsite event in Tokyo? Happo-en is skilled, open and ready for you!
Strengthening business events environment
A series of preparations for Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020 will have a significant positive impact on Tokyo MICE business. One of the outcomes already started to reflect is the hotel renovations/new openings that are definitely strengthening business events environment.
Re-openings and scheduled new openings:
Keio Presso Inn Akasaka
The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho
Rebuilding and renovations:
Tokyo Prince Hotel
Situated in a beautiful environment adjacent to Tokyo Tower and Shiba Park, Tokyo Prince Hotel is scheduled to close for seismic reinforcement construction from April 1, 2016 till March 31, 2017.
Haneda Airport retains 5-Star rating for the second consecutive year
London-based ratings company Skytrax, after nine months surveying 400 of the world’s largest and busiest airports, awarded Haneda Airport with the highest 5-Star quality rank. The evaluation includes approximately 300 criteria such as terminal design and service, accessibility, Wi-Fi connectivity, queuing times, terminal cleanliness, terminal seating, food & beverages, airport shopping, etc.
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