Japan offers 'Norwegian Wood' experiences

With the movie adaptation of Haruki Murakami's best-selling novel
Norwegian Wood hitting cinema screens across the world, the Japan National Tourism Organisation and travel companies are looking to promote the author's homeland as a travel destination.

The film was first screened at September's Venice Film Festival but did not go on general release in Japan until December 11. Since the turn of the year, the much-anticipated film has been shown in the Netherlands, Vietnam and the Czech Republic.

It is being screened at the Deauville Asian Film Festival in France on March 9 before general release in the UK on Friday, in Sweden on March 18 and in Singapore in April. Audiences in Germany, however, will have to wait until July to see the title.

Filmed in Tokyo and some stunning Japanese countryside, the movie is the adaptation of the 1987 work by Murakami, which has been translated into no fewer than 33 languages.

Tying-in with the release of the film, Inside Japan Tours has created a holiday package that takes in the key venues of the story, plus parts of Japan with links to Murakami.

A nostalgic tale of loss and sensuality set in the late 1960s, a time of global unrest, the movie was directed by Tran Anh Hung, winner of a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1995 for Cyclo. It stars Kenichi Matsuyama, who won acclaim for his role in Death Note, and Rinko Kikuchi, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Babel.

The seven-night package, which costs approximately €1160 per person, includes time in Tokyo, where Toru Watanabe, the main character in the film, is studying at university, before travelling on to Kyoto, where Murakami was born, by bullet train. Nearby Kobe is where the author grew up, while the trip also includes a night spent at a traditional inn at Kinosaki Onsen.

The final leg of the trip takes in Himeji Castle and the Tonomine and Mineyama Highlands, the setting in the book for Naoko's secluded mountain sanitorium.

The soundtrack has been created by Jonny Greenwood, of the rock band Radiohead, and the JNTO is offering a giveaway of one copy of the soundtrack and a movie poster through a its website: http://www.seejapan.co.uk/JNTO_Consumer/Media/Press_releases/press_release_detail/11-02-25/NORWEGIAN_WOOD_on_Film.aspx

http://www.insidejapantours.com/

JR

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