Tokyo welcomed UIC HIGHSPEED World Congress

30th Sep, 2015

The world’s most significant meeting for high-speed rail, the 9th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail, took place with great success with 1,200 participants from July 7 to 10, 2015 at the Tokyo International Forum for the first time in Japan.

The Congress was coordinated by UIC, International Union of Railways, and JR East, East Japan Railway Company in collaboration with all parties involved in high-speed rail in Japan.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government supported this Congress in sponsoring Japanese cultural programs and city tours for the overseas participants. Especially, half-day trips to Meiji Jingu Shrine, the Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum and Asakusa District were highly appreciated by the participants as perfectly organized tours to Japanese traditional cultural spots. Furthermore, “Day trip to Sake Brewery and Great Nature” featuring a deep cultural meaning of Japan was highly admired by many participants with a comment such as, “I understood that Sake would not be just alcohol, but it could be an art”.

The cultural programs including Dressing in Kimono, Tea Ceremony, Traditional Art/Craft of Washi (Japanese traditional paper) and Taiko (Japanese drum) were also organized by the Tokyo Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The Congress delegates who managed to join the Dressing in Kimono program despite of their tight schedule were thrilled with the experience to try authentic Japanese Kimono on. Especially, female participants were fascinated with the gorgeous kimonos and different ways of tying obi (belt) helped by professionals.

Moreover, every participant was impressed by Tea Ceremony held in the space of Japanese tea ceremony garden style with an explanation and demonstration on how to prepare a bowl of tea by an English-speaking tea-master from the International Chado Culture Foundation. They enjoyed tasting professionally made tea as well as the process of experiencing tea making and Japanese traditional sweets were also served as a special treat to the guests. Some participants left comments such as “Great opportunity to see Japanese tea culture”, “Very nice experience”, “Wonderful people”, “Explanations were very interesting”, “Thank you so much for your efforts you had put in. We had a wonderful time!”, “I’ve learnt about Japanese culture in a very smart way”.

This program was also highly evaluated by the Congress organizers. Hitoshi SAIMYO, Director of the International Department in East Japan Railway Company said, “We feel very grateful for the program since our delegates could relish Japanese culture. Thanks to this program, delegates could feel unique Japanese hospitality and they will remember the experience for a long time.”

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