Japan to offer 10,000 free tickets to foreigners to boost tourism Special
Japan has been hit by unimaginable tragedies this year. In March, a 9.0 earthquake rattled the countryside of Fukushima.
Just 150 miles north of Tokyo, it was followed by an equally devastating tsunami. The epic aftermath was the series of nuclear emergencies that culminated in a shut down the Fukushima Nuclear Plant. Approximately 16,000 people died and over 5,000 were injured. Tens of thousands of people were left homeless and running for their lives.
With the support of social media the planet had a bird’s eye view of the plight of this nation and aid has been pouring in. The Japanese government has estimated the recovery cost at $300 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster on record.
Japan has had its share of natural disasters and hardships and it will rebuild better and stronger than ever. But she needs your help.
The past radiation fears, rolling black outs and a severely taxed infrastructure doesn’t make for a stellar vacation destination. But each day since last March is a day forward for this resilient and culturally abundant nation.
This week, Budget Travel
, reported that the Japan National Tourist Organization was preparing a proposal to the Ministry of Finance for a $150 million plan to jump start the failing tourism industry. The idea they are floating is to fund 10,000 trips to lucky individuals who will act as photojournalists. They invite you to visit their country, take pictures and blog about your trip. Hopefully, those 10,000 visits will inspire more people to choose Japan as a vacation spot and generate the ‘on the ground’ economic stimulus that is desperately needed.
has a notice on their website that this is still in the planning stage. They have not even submitted the idea and funding has yet to be allocated.
I’ve traveled to Japan and I can honestly say that there is no place I’d rather be. I find the frenetic pace of Tokyo to be my style. Even within the vast metro area temples and parks abound to quiet the mind and get yourself refreshed for a shopping extravaganza. Is it the refined taste of the Ginza or perhaps the 100 Yen Store is more to your liking? There really is something for everyone.
Take the Shinkansen to Osaka. This city has everything Tokyo has but the people are much more laid back. This is a blue collar and beer town. Go during baseball season! The fans will intrigue you and you’ll lose track of the game! Street foods abound and of course- there’s always shopping! What fun it is to be out of your element. Strike up a conversation. The people are warm and engaging. Don’t be surprised if someone wants to try out their English on you.
From the majestic Nijo Castle in Kyoto to the world class skiing in Nagano, this country has it all.
From Kyoto take the bullet train to Hiroshima. A city annihilated by the atomic bomb which ended World War II, this city is a modern and progressive testament to World Peace. The Peace Museum and the A Bomb Dome are powerful visuals and will leave you reflective for a long, long time. Each successive mayor of Hiroshima has the distinction of being the president of the international group “Mayors for Peace’. Inside the Peace Museum
visitors can read the copies of correspondence to all world leaders dating back to the 1940’s. They are arranged in large columns. The theme is always the same. They beg for the abolition of nuclear weapons and they raise objections to every nuclear test anywhere in the world.
And it’s waiting for you. Whatever the JNTO and the Ministry of Finance decide, I’ll be back soon.