Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Some non smoking restaurants in Tokyo

More smoke free Japanese restaurants in Japan please

By Carole Goldsmith - Copyright - All Rights Reserved

Just back from number 20 trip to Japan and I am astounded that the Japanese laws still allow smoking in restaurants. Every restaurant I went to in Osaka and Kyoto in the evening, had smokers puffing away in part of the restaurant. Half of the restaurant in some of them was smoke free so the staff told me.....yes - I saw the smoke drifting across the restaurant. So to avoid the poisons of second hand smoke and a coughing fit, I did not dine at any of these restaurants.. they were not smoke free. Also at Takayama and Koyasan, the two restaurants that I ate lunch at, you guessed it, someone lit up near me, so I departed pretty quickly.

Here are some non smoking restaurants in Tokyo 

There was one restaurant at Kyoto station that had no smoking over lunchtime, that was delightful. Apart from all the Western restaurants that surround Kyoto station, I could nor find one Japanese restaurant that was smoke free for the evening meal. Seven Eleven meals come in handy when you can't go to restaurants because of the tobacco smoke pollution.

Why don't some innovative Japanese set up smoke free Japanese restaurants in Japan. .

The Japanese Ministry of health is promoting no smoking habits as smoking related cancer and stroke is rising rapidly in Japan.

But how can they compete with the cigarette promotion and vending machines on every corner and the Japanese government's ownership of 50 percent of Japan Tobacco, the world's third largest tobacco company. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/17/japan-tobacco-tci-idUSL3E7JH2L220110817

At least young people have to now prove they are 18, before they can buy cigarettes from vending machines.
This was not the case a couple of years ago, there were no restrictions on buying cigarettes from vending machines.

Maybe when the restaurant employees start suing the owners for smoking related illness and the smoking related health bill climb higher, the laws allowing smoking in restaurants may be changed.

I and the many other visitors to Japan who are used to smoke free work and dining environments in our own  countries, we would love smoke free Japanese restaurants to go to in Japan

Here are some non smoking restaurants in Tokyo 

Sunday, November 24, 2013



Dated:  18 November, 2013
Written by Jennifer Doherty, PR/Marketing Manager, Korea Tourism Organization

Join the newly upgraded Buzz Korea website before the end of this month and you could win an air ticket to Korea or other great prizes like the mini iPad, MCM Backpack, Cosmetics or passport wallet.  The Buzz Korea website has recently undergone a major upgrade with more fun and informative features for all to share and enjoy.
The upgraded website has stronger community functions where you can meet with other Buzz Korea members.  If you are planning to visit Korea, then BuzzKorea is a very useful website, especially the K-Place and K-Tour which will help those planning travels in Korea to plan an exciting and interesting tour of the country.
There are fun games on the site, virtual tours of Korea where you can experience first-hand all the fun experiences you can enjoy while travelling in Korea. 
To have a chance to win a return air ticket to Korea or one of the prizes you must first register on the Buzz Korea website:  www.ibuzzkorea.com
The Buzz Korea event runs until the 30th November and winners will be announced on the 4th December, 2013.
Whilst at the Buzz Korea site you should also download the Buzz Korea app which will be a great help if you are planning to travel in Korea.  The app will assist you to find a place to sleep, where to eat, catch local transport and find your way around the top sights in Korea as well as find out all the fun things to enjoy whilst travelling in Korea.

Dated:  18 November, 2013
Further information:  Jennifer Doherty, PR/Marketing Manager, Korea Tourism Organization
Email:  jenny@knto.org.au  Ph:  02)9252-4147/8



Jennifer Doherty, PR/Marketing Manager, Korea Tourism Org. Sydney 

If you’ve ever wanted to learn the Korean language and have some fun at the same time there could be no better way than immersing yourself in Korean cultural life by staying with a Korean family and experiencing student life at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea. 
The Fun Korean Language Trip is a 7D/6N tour package organised by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and Kyunghee University’s Institute of International Education. The package combines a language training program which teaches Korean through popular culture like dramas and K-pop and provides accommodation with Korean families through the Koreastay program.  This provides students with the best chance to learn and communicate in the Korean language as fast as possible.
The program provides twenty hours of Korean language tuition and six nights accommodation with a Korean family including breakfast.  You can choose from a free Korean cooking class or a Korea Pass Card ($US20 pre-paid tourist card).  After morning class you have the opportunity then to tour the city and enjoy many of the attractions of Seoul.  Optional tours include Korean Cultural Experience, K-pop Dance Experience, Seoul City Tour or Beauty Tour as well as a Gangnam Experience tour where you might even run in to PSY.
The Fun Korean Language Trip is a great way to learn some of the Korean language and enjoy the many attractions of Seoul city at the same time.  It also is a great chance to become friends with Korean University students and share your experience.
The 7D/6N package is available during January & February, 2014 and again during July/August, 2014.  The tour package fee is 600,000 Korean Won (appox. A$600)  Further information and bookings of the tour can be made through Plus Planner Agency in Korea.                                                                                Email:  alex@familytourfriend.com
If you are a student and looking to travel to Korea then the newly published Student Travel Guide to Korea would be a helpful tool.  This 90-page handy pocket guide has detailed information about the sights and attractions to be enjoyed in Seoul city as well as day trips outside Seoul and to other regional areas of Korea.  It includes all the exciting options for students who may wish to travel and experience Korea’s wide and varied landscapes, festivals and events, UNESCO World Heritage sights and cities and villages whilst visiting Korea.

The booklet is available free on request from the Sydney office of Korea Tourism Organization Email:  visitkorea@knto.org.au  Ph; 02)9252-4147/8

Dated:  25 November, 2013
Further information:  Jennifer Doherty, PR/Marketing Manager, Korea Tourism Org. Sydney

Everything you need to know about internet and WiFi in Japan

Everything you need to know about internet and WiFi in Japan

See this site :Best site on WiFi and internet

Android App “Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi” is newly-launched

November 8, 2013 
NTT Broadband Platform, Inc. 
Android App “Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi” is newly-launched 
NTT Broadband Platform, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “NTTBP”) has started offering an 
Android application “Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi” from today with the cooperation of the 
following providers (hereinafter referred to as “Service Providers”) providing Free Wi-Fi 
services to foreign tourists visiting Japan. The application allows searching Wi-Fi service areas 
immediately, where about 2,000 APs are available in total, and users can now easily connect to 
Wi-Fi within the service areas. The new service is available in 5 languages: English, Traditional 
Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. 
 Wi Fi available 
Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd. 
Tokyo International Air Terminal Corporation 
(including Fukuoka International Airport, Fukuoka Municipal Subway, etc.) 
East Japan Railway Company 
Central Japan Railway Company 
 ※Prospective Service Providers 
 Osaka International Airport (the expected launching date is December 2013) 
 Mori Building Co., Ltd. (the expected launching date is December 2013) 
 Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd. (TBD) 

 Updates on service areas will be provided on NTTBP’s website as well as via the app 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


So close to Japan - Korea . 


by Jennifer Doherty, PR/Marketing Manager, KTO Sydney office 
Garden lovers from around the world are being invited to visit the Suncheon Bay International Garden Expo 2013 in Korea which begins on April 20 and runs until October20, 2013.  The International Garden Expo has been held around the world for 150 years and it will be Korea’s first time to host the event.

Under the theme ‘Garden of the Earth’ the Expo will be divided into three sections.  The main Expo site (564,000 sq. mtrs.) will feature ten country gardens and sixty themed gardens.  The International Wetland Centre (100,500 sq. mtrs.) will feature an animal/plant exhibition hall, a theatre, an ecology education hall and a wetland experience hall.  The site also includes an arboretum (253,000 sq. mtrs.)
There will be various garden zones including a World Zone, Wetlands Zone, Family Zone, Future Zone, Tree Zone and Flower Road Zone.  Connecting the main expo site and the wetland centre will be a bridge constructed using freight containers decorated with 160,000 artworks created by children from all over the world. 

Suncheon Bay is known as one of the world’s top five coastal wetlands and the huge benefit for Korea and the world is that it will be conserved forever as a result of the preparations and hosting of the International Garden Expo 2013. 

For visitors wishing to attend the Expo there will be four different types of admission tickets including a day pass (16,000 KRW approx. A$15) a night pass (8,000 KRW approx. A$7) , 2day pass (24,000 KRW approx. A$21) and group passes/children tickets are available at discount rates. 

Ticket holders will  also receive the benefits of visiting many local tourist attractions free of charge such as Suncheon Bay Ecological Park, Suncheon Forest Lodge, the historic village Naganeupseong and the Suncheon Bay Drama film village.

Full details of ticketing information and all the events taking place at the Suncheon Bay Intl. Garden Expo 2013 can be found on the official Expo 2013 website:  http://eng.2013expo.or.kr/

Dated:  12 March, 2013
Further information/photos:  Jennifer Doherty, PR/Marketing Manager, KTO Sydney office
Email:  jenny@knto.org.au   Phone:  02)92452-4147/8

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Korea is just a short ferry or plane trip from Japan  
  By  Jennifer Doherty, PR/Marketing Manager, KTO Sydney office
Most people would agree there’s nothing better than discovering a freebie on your travels.  In Korea you can find many free experiences like free walking tours etc but the latest offer allows tourists to travel to one of Korea’s most popular tourist cities absolutely free.
An exclusive free shuttle bus for foreign passport holders is operating between Seoul and Jeonju from this March until the 25th August, 2013.  The Seoul-Jeonju shuttle bus that operated last year to promote ‘Visit Jeonbuk Year’ contributed significantly to an increase of visitors to the region so authorities have decided to offer the free shuttle bus service again to encourage more foreign visitors to visit Jeonju city and the surrounding region.
The free shuttle bus service runs both ways three times a week on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The shuttle bus is entirely free of charge and reservations can only be made online, One person can reserve a maximum of two seats only.  Bookings can be made via the following website: 
Of all the cultural gems of Jeonju, perhaps the most celebrated is the Jeonju Hanok Village. Designated as one of the top places to visit in 2011, the Jeonju Hanok Village encompasses about 700 homes and represents the largest cluster of hanok (Korean traditional houses) in Korea.
Jeonju also has several important cultural assets and facilities like the Gyeonggijeon Shrine, Omokdae Pavilion, and Hyanggyo (Confucian school). Jeonju is one of Korea’s ‘slow cities’ and is a great place for tourists to immerse themselves in the history and traditions of Korea.
Jeonju city is well known for the best quality food in the country and even Koreans travel there for the high standard of its cuisine.  It’s a great place to try the Jeonju Bibimbap (mixed rice & vegetable dish) or perhaps enjoy a feast with Jeonju Hanjeongsik, the thirty or more dish special banquet.
Besides food Jeonju offers a wealth of small museums including the Hanji (Korean traditional paper) Museum, Traditional Wine Museum, Calligraphy Museum and more.  It also hosts the annual Jeonju Bibimbap Festival, the Hanji Culture Festival and an International Sori (music) festival annually.
So, if you are planning a visit to Korea this year, make sure you take advantage of the free shuttle bus to Jeonju city.  After a few days in Seoul, Jeonju will offer a peaceful respite from the busy capital city and give you the opportunity to learn more about Korea’s history and culture in the Jeonju Hanok Village.
Further details of the Jeonju Hanok Village: http://tour-eng.jeonju.go.kr/index.sko

Dated: 7 March, 2013
Further information:  Jennifer Doherty, PR/Marketing Manager, KTO Sydney office
Email:  jenny@knto.org.au   Ph:  02)9252-4147/8