Japan’s capital city gets a lot of love from MICE groups.
But it’s one of many cities in Japan that should be on your radar. Here are three destinations that are equally enthralling.
“The Merchant City” Osaka has long been a driver of cultural trends and innovation in Japan. It’s the birthplace of the tea ceremony, ancient Japan’s “Rice Brokerage,” a precursor for today’s global stock exchanges and the “Holy Grail” of Japanese rugby stadiums. Groups can, of course, experience all three trademarks in various ways, but they will also undoubtedly be interested in other iconic experiences like the Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden where the scent of 600 cherry trees waft through the air, udon noodle or paper making, and cycling through ancient sites with Do-Fun Osaka. The castle town of Nagoya offers even more eye candy; here, groups can dine in a cave in the Valley of Gangala.
In Hiroshima, the new luxury Hiroshima Hilton Hotel is the talk of the town in the Chugoku and Shikoku district. When it opens in 2022, the 400-room property will offer nearly 13,000 sf of meeting space, as well as a spa, restaurants and plenty of cultural experiences. Groups can stroll to the Mariho Food Hall from here, serving fresh fare riverside with room for 400 attendees. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, commemorating those lost in the 1945 atomic bomb strike, also positions Hiroshima as one of the more globally historically relevant cities in Japan. Groups should definitely check this out.
And if the plan is to hunker down in the center of Japan, Kobe is a good place to start, on Osaka bay. One of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines, Ikuta Shrine, dating to the 3rd century can be found here. Kobe is known for its themed street parties, which can be easily organized for your group.