Japan Tourism and Air Canada welcomed guests to the Lee restaurant in downtown Toronto last night to delve deeper into the ‘Endless Discovery’ on offer throughout Japan, as the countdown continues to the launch of the airline’s new Vancouver-Nagoya service in June.
The venue provided a fitting backdrop to the theme of the evening as the restaurant’s owner, renowned celebrity chef Susur Lee, served up some of his most iconic dishes while the audience was treated to a series of videos showcasing his culinary journey through Japan.
Lee’s journey shared some of the secrets to health and wellness that he discovered throughout Japan, with the authenticity and flavour of the country’s cuisine noted as one of the country’s most distinguishing features for travellers throughout.
Mark Hashimoto – specialty sales manager – Asia/Japan, Air Canada.
Grammy-nominated composer and flutist Ron Korb was also present to share his thoughts on his own experiences of Japan and perform several of his own compositions that have drawn inspiration from the country’s rich musical and cultural history.
Korb, who spent time living in Japan and has been strongly influenced by Japanese music in much of his work, assured guests that the country’s rich and diverse cultural offerings presented something new and intriguing for travellers at every turn.
“You will never be bored in Japan,” he assured guests. “There is always a new cultural experience that’s just around the corner for you to discover.”
Rocky Lo, director, revenue management & business development – Asia, Air Canada, told PAX that the event aimed to highlight the strength of Japan’s culinary scene ahead of the debut of its Vancouver-Nagoya service. The new route will bring the airline’s number of gateways in Japan to four, joining Osaka, Tokyo-Haneda, and Tokyo-Narita.
Ron Korb, flutist and composer.
2017 was a strong year for travel from Canada to Japan, with Hideaki Nakazawa, executive director of the JNTO, telling PAX that Japan welcomed 305,600 Canadians last year – an increase of 11 per cent on the figures for 2016. “There are three reasons for this,” he commented.
“The first is the Visit Japan project that has been in operation since 2003. The next is the expansion of air routes between Canada and Japan – mainly thanks to the expansion of Air Canada. The third reason is the ‘Japan boom’ in Canada, with more Japanese restaurants and cars now appearing in the streets here.”
Further information on the JNTO is available here.