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Japan’s ‘cultural capital’ to open new convention centre in spring

Famous for it’s giant Buddha and historic temples,  the ancient city of Nara will open a new convention centre in spring in a bid to become one of Japan’s foremost meetings destinations.

Often cited as the birthplaces of Japanese culture, Nara is the capital of Japan’s Nara Prefecture, in south-central Honshu, and boasts temple artwork dating back to the 8th century.

In spring, the Nara Prefectural Convention Center will open its doors to the world, allowing the compact city  – population 300,00 – to host a wider range of conferences catering for up to 2,000 delegates.

Those delegates will probably want to pay a visit to Tōdai-ji temple, in deer-roaming Nara Park, which is home to Daibutsu, Tōdai-ji’s 15m-high bronze Buddha, is displayed in a large wooden hall. On the park’s east side is the Shinto shrine Kasuga Taisha, which dates to 768 A.D. and more than 3,000 lanterns.

Daibutsu, Tōdai-ji Temple, Nara

Located 90 minutes away from Kansai International Airport, the opening of this new center will allow industry players to host larger conferences and events, seating 2,000 delegates.

The JW Marriott Hotel Nara will open next to the center in 2020.

Having joined the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) in 2019, Nara Prefectural Government is determined to strengthen the profile of Nara as a MICE destination.

As the UNWTO Regional Support Office for Asia and the Pacific (RSOAP) is now based in Nara city, Nara looks forward to enhancing the framework for cooperation with UNWTO particularly in the field of culinary. Future planning also involves more collaborations with Nara Agriculture and Food International College (NAFIC). Nara was selected by Japan Tourism Agency in 2019 as Japan’s bidding city for UNWTO World Forum on gastronomy Tourism 2022.