Canadians have ‘huge demand for leisure’ in Tokyo

Canadians have ‘huge demand for leisure’ in Tokyo

Shin Kawai, Director of Canada Representative Office, Tokyo Tourism Bureau

From sushi to ramen and everything in between, Tokyo’s culinary scene takes center stage at an industry event where media, industry partners, food lovers and Open Jaw vie for innovative food that can only be found in the trendsetting city Concept salivating.

Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau highlighted some of Tokyo’s new developments, particularly its legendary food scene, at an industry event on June 29 at Ki Modern Japanese + Bar in Toronto.

In an interview with Open Jaw at the event, Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau director Shin Kawai said food is a signature element of Tokyo, offering unparalleled experiences to suit every taste and budget.

“Canadians are very fond of culinary experiences and they seek out experience-driven travel. That’s why we’re hosting this event,” he said.

“The intention is to introduce that Tokyo is a place where food is very special. Food is a window to experience another culture, so that’s why we made food the theme.”

A Taste of Tokyo Travel

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No event in Tokyo is complete without sampling an icon of Japanese gastronomy – sushi.

The appeal of Tokyo goes far beyond anime, sumo, cosplay, technical prowess, daring street style and raw nature (although these are all fascinating in their own way). According to Open Jaw, Tokyo is also a culinary mecca, with everything from traditional fare to mind-bending creations.


  • Cat latte art floats in your morning coffee.
  • More than 150 brands of famous Wagyu.
  • Sake from the purest water source.
  • A themed cafe featuring your favorite cartoon characters.
  • Unparalleled cuisine (Tokyo has more Michelin-starred restaurants than anywhere else in the world – yes, even Paris).
  • Street food rivals that of five-star restaurants.
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Sumi Sato, Coordinator, Tokyo Tourism Canada

“The beauty of the Tokyo food experience is that whatever you choose, from cheap convenience stores all the way to Michelin three-star restaurants, you’re going to get really high-quality food,” says Kawai.

Pushing the boundaries of tradition

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Travel buddies get to know Tokyo’s sometimes wild, sometimes whimsical, and always delicious food scene.

Open Jaw last participated in the Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau in February 2020, as the destination prepares to host the Summer Olympics and Paralympics later that summer. Inevitably, those events were derailed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Tokyo never got a chance to fully shine.

But that means now, it has a lot more to show off.

“Tokyo has been preparing for this big international event for years, including building new hotels, new attractions and new commercial facilities. You’ll find a lot of new areas and new developments,” Kawai said.

Canadians rely on trade Tokyo Intel

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Rocky Lo, Senior Director, Asia Revenue Management and Sales, Air Canada (left) and Joey Lanthier, Senior Manager, Revenue Management, Asia Pacific.

As an international destination with a completely different language and unique culture, Canadians traveling to Tokyo often prefer to work with a travel consultant for professional travel planning and peace of mind should unforeseen circumstances arise, Kawai said. , and stressed that “trade is important.”

He added: “People tend to rely on Trip Advisor for this kind of once-in-a-lifetime long-distance trip, especially through this experience with COVID. We’ve seen that there are a lot of unexpected things that can happen. Travel Advisor, you know what to expect if something happens. thing, you have someone you can rely on. So Trip Advisor plays a very important role in introducing Japan and Tokyo.”

“Huge Leisure Demand”

Sake Warrior Michael Tremblay shares the flavors and traditions behind Japanese sake.

Canadian tourists to Tokyo remain strong, and the allure of this fascinating city continues to attract eager visitors from across the country.

“Canadians really like Japan and Tokyo, and Canada’s response is one of the best compared to other countries,” Kawai said. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand to visit Japan, and Tokyo is a gateway.”

Joey Lanthier, Air Canada’s senior manager of revenue management for Asia Pacific, agrees that Canadians are jumping at the opportunity to visit Japan. He said the airline saw “enormous leisure demand” between the two countries.

Compared to this summer, next winter’s planned capacity ranges from 1,100 to 1,200 seats per day one way between Canada and Japan. AC offers twice daily flights between Toronto and Tokyo International Airport (HND) via OCT, changing to 10 weekly flights during the IATA winter season.

YVR and YUL operate daily flights to Narita International Airport (NRT) year-round (except during winter, except Montreal), four times a week.

Lanthier noted that other long-distance AC markets with daily double-shift service are YYZ to LHR and FRA, and YUL to LHR and CDG, so Japan joins a rather special group of top high-demand markets.

Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and WestJet also offer direct flights to Japan from Canadian cities.

Tokyo and Japan Travel Specialist Program

Travel consultants can complete the Japan National Tourism Organization e-learning course to become a Japan travel expert.

For Tokyo resources, the Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau provides photos and video clips as well as Tokyo travel news and information to help consultants understand and market the destination.

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