Government adds the capital to tourism discount scheme
Just in time for the beauty of fall, with blazing colors and cooler weather, the Japanese government’s Go To Travel tourism campaign has been expanded. As of October 1, trips to and from Tokyo are now covered by the program that subsidizes up to 35 percent of travel costs.
Also added are coupons that can be used at participating restaurants, souvenir shops, and other stores to offset an extra 15 percent of travel-related expenses. Some 100,000 establishments have already agreed to honor the vouchers. The total investment by the government to jump-start tourism is ¥1.3 trillion ($12.3 billion), with subsidies capped at ¥20,000 per person per night.
Although the Go To Travel campaign is not new—it was launched in July—Tokyo had been excluded. Given the goal of boosting domestic tourism, which has been hard hit by restrictions and concern over the spread of Covid-19, the omission of the capital has been significant.
As of the end of August, 13.4 million people had taken advantage of Go To Travel incentives, according to figures from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. But with more than 10 percent of Japan’s population living in Tokyo, a significant number of travelers looking to book a trip under the scheme have been unable to do so. And those from rural areas wanting to visit the metropolis have also been locked out. The change should provide a strong boost to the government’s revitalization efforts.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has its own plans to kick-start the economy, offering an extra ¥5,000-per-night for trips within the city.
Roads Less Traveled
As the campaign’s popularity grows, and with more than 12 million people gaining access, so-called “tier 2” destinations, such as Okinawa, Kyoto, Beppu, and Hakone, are quickly seeing their rooms fill up on weekends through the end of the year. If you plan to visit these spots, you should move quickly. Osaka and Tokyo have lots of capacity remaining, but if you’re itching to get away from city life, there are many wonderful destinations to be found off the beaten path. With total subsidies potentially cutting the cost of a trip in half, there’s never been a better time to explore Japan.
While your first inclination may be to book through a travel agency, there are great deals to be had if you go directly to the hotel. Some hotels will have their own process for applying the subsidy, while others make use of the StayNavi platform, so be sure to ask.
StayNavi also allows you to search for available options from across the nation directly on its website. Note that the site is available in Japanese only, although you can use Google Translate to view automatic translations to English as you browse. Many hotels are also happy to help you with the process.
How to get your discounts through the Staynavi Website
■ Step 1
Book your stay at the hotel of your choice.
■ Step 2
Register at https://staynavi.direct
■ Step 3
Click the coupon issuance link in the sidebar.
(Go To トラベルクーポン券発行 > 宿・ホテル)
■ Step 4
Check your email for the coupon.
■ Step 5
Present the coupon number at the front desk at check-in.
Great Hotel Deals from Connect
This lineup of carefully selected hotel deals will help you get the most out of the Go To Travel campaign.
For a shorter version, check out our compilation video below:
Treat Yourself to the Conrad Tokyo Experience
Take advantage of the Go To Travel campaign to enjoy an exclusive experience that only Conrad Tokyo can deliver. Live with gratitude and celebrate all that is good—today and every day—as you spoil yourself and your special someone with a spectacular view of Tokyo Bay and the Hamarikyu Gardens. Enjoy breakfast in bed and a lazy morning thanks to a late 2:00 p.m. check-out.
Make your stay a bespoke one by choosing to indulge in delectable extras: in-room sweet afternoon tea or wine tasting curated by Satoru Mori, Conrad Tokyo’s award-winning executive sommelier. This special offer is available through December 23, so book now for a staycation to remember!
Gourmet Stay at JW Marriott Hotel Nara
Following the July arrival of the JW brand in Japan—in the form of Nara Prefecture’s first international luxury hotel—a new accommoda¬tion package covered by the Go To Travel campaign allows you to experience the JW Nara’s distinctive level of service and hospitality, as well as luxuriate in the delectable creations of our talented chefs.
The JW Gourmet Stay Plan includes breakfast at Silk Road Dining, an open-kitchen restaurant that celebrates the legendary journeys of the ancient trading route. For dinner, delight your palate at Silk Road Dining or at Azekura, our specialty Japanese restaurant, where you can savor a traditional kaiseki course.
Enjoy JW mindfulness programs, such as specialty fragrance oils from Aroma Therapy Associates upon check-in, our morning ritual to stretch and prepare for the day, and your own secret spot: a cocoon chair in which you can enjoy a quiet moment alone.
Take advantage of this special plan to escape the whirlwind of city life and enjoy the flavors and spacious atmo¬sphere of Nara. Valid through January 31, 2021.
Create Lasting Memories at Ishigaki’s Finest Resort
An exciting, relaxing, and delicious experience awaits you at the ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort, where a new wing was opened on July 7. Guests are invited to experience the main dining room, SALTIDA, for Okinawa-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that feature all the flavors of Ishigaki. Indulge in the creations of their chef, who carefully selects a variety of fresh local ingredients for the two kitchens: land and sea. It’s the perfect culinary break from the endless horizons of azure water and direct access to picturesque Maesato Beach.
ANA InterContinental Tokyo
Now is the perfect time to take advantage of the Go To Travel campaign. Treat yourself and your loved ones to a supremely luxurious experience at ANA InterContinental Tokyo, where you can enjoy all of the benefits of Club InterContinental at the largest Club Lounge in Tokyo. All guests making direct bookings will receive a 20% discount at our restaurants and bars* as well as free parking. Great hotel deals don’t get any more elegant than this.
*except for Sushi Kenzan and takeout products
Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora
Nestled along the banks of the cherry tree-lined Haya River in the Hakone neighborhood of Gora, Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora offers a captivating blend of traditional Japanese style and contemporary design, as well as guest rooms with private open-air baths. Thanks to its convenient location, it’s the perfect destination for a quick escape from Tokyo and a chance to take in the beautiful fall leaves. For those looking to get away from it all on a weekday, for work or pleasure, the hotel has a particularly enticing offer as part of the Go To Travel campaign: book now and get 50 percent off breakfast and dinner for two—expertly prepared from the freshest local ingredients—during your stay.
One more night at Hyatt Regency Kyoto
Conveniently located in a historic area of Higashiyama Shichijo, near Sanjusangendo and Kyoto National Museum, the Hyatt Regency Kyoto gives you the option of exploring the neighborhood and city on foot. Embark on a long weekend, weekday getaway, or a festive family adventure, which includes a compli¬mentary third night when you book a minimum stay of three consecutive nights (valid from October 10, 2020 to March 19, 2021). Enjoy exclusive benefits with a ¥5,000 credit per stay and free parking. A healthy breakfast will kick-start your reju¬venating staycation filled with unique dining experiences at the hotel’s restaurants.
Spacious Solitude at The Westin Miyako Kyoto
If you’re looking for a socially distanced getaway to one of Japan’s most beautiful cities, the Westin Miyako Kyoto’s Kasuien Plan is for you. Pick-up by taxi from Kyoto Station—included with your stay—will take you to your 100-square-meter guest room in the hotel’s Kasuien Japanese annex, which has only 12 rooms.
This spacious area ensures that you will have minimal contact with other guests while enjoying an in-room onsen bath and modern amenities that honor traditional Sukiya aesthetics, including low Japanese-style sofas and beds, Murano wall lamps with three-dimensional washi paper, Solomon’s Knot-patterned night-lights, and detailed shitaji-mado windows woven with steel rods.
The plan includes breakfast and dinner, featuring attractive dishes and a fascinating performance by the sushi chef, who will prepare his creations right in front of you. If you have any favorite foods—or any that you dislike—you can let the hotel know a week in advance to ensure that this culinary experience hits all the notes.
The Westin Miyako Kyoto
+81 75-771-7111 | 1 Awataguchi Kachocho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0052
mesm Tokyo, Autograph Collection
Nestled between the beautiful waterfront and historic Japanese garden, mesm Tokyo aims to inspire and mesmerize guests with its distinctive personality based on the Tokyo Waves concept. Get mesmerized by our original fragrance when arriving at the hotel, the view of Tokyo Bay and Hamarikyu Gardens from the lobby, and even the digital piano furnished in all guest rooms.
Animate your stay with our Bistronomy-style French cuisine at Chef’s Theatre, where the sounds of cooking from the open kitchen heighten the senses as you savor the delicious creations of our culinary team.
Get mesmerized with your five senses at mesm Tokyo.
Halekulani brings understated, timeless elegance to a setting of breathtaking natural beauty in Okinawa.
Their staff shows their love for Halekulani through a warm welcome to guests.
Inheriting the history of more than a century in Hawaii and the traditions of hospitality nurtured throughout those years, Halekulani Okinawa continues to ensure that each guest experiences a “House Befitting Heaven.”
Halekulani Okinawa is offering a safe and luxurious staycation during this time of Covid-19, exclusively for Connect. This package includes breakfast, round-trip private transportation between Naha Airport and Halekulani Okinawa, limited-edition mug per person and more.
Check out their offer on Connect for more details.
EXECUTIVE HOUSE ZEN (Hotel New Otani Tokyo)
The five-star hotel Executive House Zen in Hotel New Otani Tokyo, ideally located in one of Tokyo’s busiest corners, is a world away from your average urban stay.
Quiet and calm, this hotel-in-a-hotel resides in a garden setting embodying the “spirit of Zen” without sacrificing modern comforts. The Japanese garden occupies 10 acres and more than 400 years of history.
Stroll among ancient trees and lush foliage by a beautiful waterfall and experience a true oasis in the heart of the city.
Exclusive House Zen is offering a Special Staycation package: 20% off the best available rate. This package includes daily breakfast, access to Zen lounge (offering light food, snacks six times a day, and beverages from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.) and access to Golden Spa (with gym, sauna and pool).