[box type="note"]Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get a free trip to Japan because the program I talk about in this post has been cancelled since I wrote about it. But check out my post about traveling to Japan on the cheap![/box]
People say that nothing in life is free, that everything has a price. But you know what? Those people are wrong. Every once in a while, life gives you a break and presents you with an awesome opportunity. How does a free trip to Japan sound?
In an effort to combat the slump in tourism that followed the 3/11 disaster, Japan’s Tourism Ministry is planning to give away 10,000 plane tickets to foreigners to come to Japan with a program called Fly to Japan. That’s right, 10,000 lucky foreigners will ride to Japan in style courtesy of the Japanese government. Think of it like Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket times a thousand.
Of course, the Japanese government won’t be giving these plane tickets to just anybody. To get a ticket, you’ll have to fill out an online application asking why you want to visit Japan, where you want to go, and what you think about Japan since 3/11. And after your trip, you’ll be asked to write a report about your visit that will be published online.
In a nutshell, this is a big PR campaign for Japan to convince people that post-3/11 Japan is still a safe place, and the government hopes that the people who win the tickets will spread a word-of-mouth message that Japan’s an awesome place to visit.
Not all of the details have been finalized yet, so the application isn’t available online at the moment. But by all reports, Japan’s Tourism Ministry is dead serious about Fly to Japan and plans to give away the tickets sometime in 2012. Look for updates on the Japan National Tourism Organization’s website here.
Now to be clear, this will just cover airfare to Japan. Once you get off of the plane, you’re completely on your own. Still, this is a huge opportunity. Getting a free flight to Japan? That’s pretty amazing. This is seriously a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so if you’ve ever had an interest in visiting Japan, do yourself a favor and keep an eye on Fly to Japan. This could be life-changing.