A 100 day Holiday in Japan

By | Category: Travel news

UPDATE: 1st August 2011. The competition is now closed. Eric tells me that they have had about 1,850 applications from more than 76 countries. Right now the team are sifting through them. More later

This year Japan has suffered from an earthquake, the tsunami and a nuclear scare. Many people have been put off visiting Japan. You shouldn’t be. Japan, for the visitor, is pretty much back to normal and tourists are just what the country needs.

To publicise this, a Frenchman living in Japan, Eric Demay, has devised a competition where one lucky person – or a lucky couple- will be able to travel around Japan in 100 days visiting as much of the country as possible. You won’t have to pay for hotels, transport or meals. That’s free. Your only cost will be a $US 5 registration fee. As you travel your only role is to see and experience how Japan is welcoming and open to visitors. Share your thoughts through a blog (and CD-Traveller please if you the lucky winner) so that others can see by your example that visitors should go.

What prompted Demay to set up this competition? The media reporting that left the impression that you couldn’t safely travel through whole swathes of the country. Today all but the evacuated area around the nuclear plant is open to the visitor.

The website has an itinerary which might change as things get finalised but it will give a good idea of where you’ll be going. You have one other task whilst you’re in Japan. After your 100 day trip you’ll have one extra day, Christmas Eve, when you’ll be asked to act like Father Christmas and hand out toys to the children in Tohoku region.

So how do you enter this competition? Click here to take you to the application page . You have up until July 31st to enter so that’s just a few weeks to do it. Five couples or individuals will be selected to fly to Japan for the final choosing and the lucky winner(s) will then start their journey of a lifetime. To enter you should be over 21, not have visited Japan before and be in reasonably good health. And be able to speak and write English. That’s all there is to it.

Good luck to all of you that decide to enter.

Update: Eric has contacted us to point out out that this project is not an initiative of his own only: it’s a collaborative project and many people are helping to make it happen!

They’ve already received several offers from hotels, Ryokans, restaurants and also guides / individuals wanting to help & meet the travel volunteer & they hope the project will benefit Japan’s tourism industry and restore confidence outside and within Japan.

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