For business or leisure, this lovely and robust East Asia island state—and by “easier”, we mean the government is working to implement a visa-free policy for Filipinos in the not-too-distant future.
We bring this up because on our first visit to Nagoya in Japan a few years back, we remember an official from its tourism agency happily telling us the government, obviously spurred by an increasingly robust tourism economy, was continuously seeking to ways to make acquiring a visitor/tourist visa more expedient while making no sacrifices to maintaining Japan’s security.
True enough, the time between our first-ever trip to Japan—a whirlwind two-night stay in Tokyo that brought us no farther than the confines of our hotel room and the offices of the global company hosting our trip—and our more leisure-oriented visit to Nagoya a few years back may have spanned well over a decade, but we have returned several times since then to this island nation of imperial palaces, wondrous and imposing winters, breathtaking cherry blosssoms and sublime beauty.
We returned to Nagoya in late April courtesy of Jetstar Japan (www.jetstar.com/ph), which is part of the Jetstar Group of value-based carriers that transport people across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region daily. In March 2016 Jetstar Japan’s international footprint extended to Manila, making it the first Japanese value-based carrier to operate in the Philippines. It now offers Filipinos with a yen for going Japanese three routes to address their wanderlust: Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, andfrom there to 11 domestic destinations including Sapporo, Fukuoka and Kagoshima. Yes, all this means that on a single booking, Filipinos can “see more of Japan for less”.
To be sure, Nagoya isn’t the top-of-mind destination for Filipinos planning a trip to Japan. That would be Tokyo, always Tokyo, the country’s insanely busy capital city and one of the most populous, most expensive and most modern metropolitan areas in the world. The capital of the Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya does boast of the modern amenities that Tokyo offers, but the pace would seem a beat slower, a beat or two removed from the whirling dervish of modern living—and that may be on account of its proximity to the laidback Gifu Prefecture, whose sublime attractions include the impossibly beautiful Shirakawa-gō and its historic village which has been declared by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.