The Year for Japan Tourism by Rail

The Year for Japan Tourism by Rail

The Year of Centennials of Two Sister Stations Commemorates Other Milestones
of Japanese Railway

NEW YORK, March 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In the centennial of New York's
Grand Central Terminal, train stations become a cultural crossroad. Grand
Central Terminal and Tokyo Station agreed on the sister station relationship
on March 19 in the opening gala of Japan Week 2013, the annual Japan tourism
event. Tokyo Station will have its centennial in December 2014, and Japan
National Tourism Organization (JNTO) will promote train travel more for Japan
tourism and the awareness of train travel.

Prior to the sister station ceremony in the kick-off event of Japan Week 2013,
Mr. Masaki Ogata, the Vice Chairman of East Japan Railway Company (JR-East),
one of the Bullet Train operators, appeared in a tourism seminar sponsored by
All Nippon Airways (ANA). He disclosed his company's recent achievements and
near-future plans to the audience, appealing efficient travel suggestions.

Mr. Ogata revealed that Japan's railway system continues to grow even more: A
new line is scheduled to open in 2014 to the Hokuriku region, where a popular
destination of Kanazawa will be much more directly accessible from the Tokyo
area. JR-East just announced that they completed the full extension of the
northern bound Bullet Train (Tohoku Shinkansen) in 2010, and they have just
reached at the world record speed of 320km/h (199mph) on March 16, tying with
the TGV system in France. Despite of the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami
disasters, the Bullet Train line also extended all the way to the south most
point of Kyushu, the southern island of the Japanese archipelago, which
completed the maximum coverage of the entire country.

In the southwestern island of Kyushu, a new concept luxury train service is
about to start, and all the seats were quickly sold out domestically as soon
as reservation hotline went live. Branded as Cruise Train Seven Stars, Kyushu
Railway Company (JR Kyushu) runs a brand-new luxury sleeper trains cruising
through main tourist destinations in Kyushu. Despite of the ticket price
starting from almost $2,000, international attention is already soaring, and
JR Kyushu is considering international sales in 2014. In addition to the
superior service and hospitality in the relaxing suite rooms, passengers enjoy
exclusive designs such as panoramic windows and special décor made with
Kyushu's local crafts and traditional artworks.

For more tourism attractions, JNTO also connected high popularity of Japanese
food to train travel. Ekiben (bento sold at train station), is the unique
custom in today's Japan for train travel, and it is the great example of
Japan's varieties of local flavors packed in the bento box to take on the
train trip. With Japan's esthetic and design elements, ekiben is a perfect
assortment of Japan's food, design, and regional culture.

Japan Week 2013 was the annual event to encourage tourism to Japan, and Tokyo
Station became the very first sister station for Grand Central Terminal, and
this remarks new phases of cultural exchanges and relationship between New
York and Tokyo, not to mention between the 2 countries. Through the train
culture and regional diverse, JNTO is going to raise awareness on the
efficiency and attraction of train travel in Japan, also re-introduce Japan's
attractive destinations and regional flavor of Japanese cuisine.

This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com

http://news.cision.com/japan-national-tourism-organization/r/the-year-for-japan-tourism-by-rail,c9393208

The following files are available for download:

 [Image]  Sister Station Ceremony

 [Image]  Tokyo Station

 [Image]  Bento box

 [Image]  Seven Star Cruise Train