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Avatar of GI KoreaBy on October 14th, 2011 at 8:05 am

Japanese Government Offering Free Round Trip Tickets To Japan

» by in: Japan

If the Japanese government wanted to give me free round trip tickets to Japan I would happily blog about the visit and sure man other bloggers would as well; so this actually a pretty good idea:

 If you’ve ever wanted to visit Japan, this may be your chance.

In a desperate attempt to lure tourists back to a country plagued by radiation fears and constant earthquakes, the Japan Tourism Agency’s proposed an unprecedented campaign – 10,000 free roundtrip tickets.

The catch is, you need to publicize your trip on blogs and social media sites.

The number of foreign visitors to Japan has dropped drastically, since a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Power plant in March. Nearly 20,000 people have been confirmed dead, while more than 80,000 remain displaced because of radiation concerns. In the first three months following the triple disasters, the number of foreign visitors to Japan was cut in half, compared with the same time in 2010. The strong Japanese currency has made matters worse.

The tourism agency says it plans to open a website to solicit applicants interested in the free tickets. Would- be visitors will have to detail in writing their travel plans in Japan, and explain what they hope to get out of the trip. Successful applicants would pay for their own accommodation and meals. They would also be required to write a review their travel experiences, and post it online.

“We are hoping to get highly influential blogger-types, and others who can spread the word that Japan is a safe place to visit,” said Kazuyoshi Sato, with the agency.

The agency has requested more than a billion yen to pay for the tourism blitz. If lawmakers approve the funding, Sato says visitors could begin signing up as early as next April.  [ABC News]

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  • Chris in South Korea
    8:14 am on October 14th, 2011 1

    If it indeed comes to fruition, count me in. Until the funding is approved, though, it’s a little premature.

  • Brian
    8:33 am on October 14th, 2011 2

    Exactly, Chris. The Guardian ran this a couple days ago as if it were a done deal: check the JTA site, though, and it says it’s still under consideration.

    I’ll be checking that site to see when / if it takes effect.

  • JoeC
    2:38 pm on October 14th, 2011 3

    I hope no one reading this will think Free Vacation Lottery. For American military and military retirees, (practically) free travel to Japan has always (well, in the last 50 years) been fairly easy. It’s called Space Available. The last two times I went to Japan other than layovers were by Space Available.

    Successful applicants would pay for their own accommodation and meals. They would also be required to write a review their travel experiences, and post it online.

    Accommodations will still be a significant bite. I’m sure if your plans have you hold up in a seedy hotel for 2 weeks while you plan to cruise the streets of Shinjuku you probably won’t get an invite from the Japanese Tourism Agency. They will be considering those whose itinerary has them traveling around extensively, possibly more to the areas most affected by the tourism crash. Those areas may be slightly cheaper than they were before the disaster but still a significant out-of-pocket for anyone expecting a “free trip.”

  • charlie marlow
    9:22 pm on October 14th, 2011 4

    Is it, well, ethical to take a free trip and then write about what a great place it is?
    Looks like typically clever Japanese self-marketing.

  • Sadeghi,M.H.
    3:18 am on November 5th, 2011 5

    i and my wife want to visit japan
    i,m an Iranian writer & publisher
    and interested in visiting japan
    the land of shining sun
    but i don,t know how to sign up for 2 tickets from those 10-000-free-round-trip-tickets-japan.
    thanks for your helps.

  • Retired GI
    4:52 am on November 5th, 2011 6

    #5 I think it is RISING sun. Or was. I never heard of the “shining sun”.

  • raja.k
    1:41 am on November 20th, 2011 7

    i want like japanese cuture and japanese language.i love japanese people. i want work in tsunami area.please help for me


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