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Manu Feildel, Gary Mehigan in new tourism campaign for Japan

JNTO initiative urges Aussies to remember how travel made them feel

Gary Mehigan and Manu Feildel star in Japan National Tourism Organization’s (JNTO) latest campaign videos, launched on VOD, social and B2B platforms, sharing their favourite experiences while travelling in Japan.


The campaign, which runs from 15 January to 28 February, is designed to encourage Australians to remember how travel made them feel and to start dreaming and planning their next trip to Japan, when borders re-open. 



The pair, who have travelled to Japan many times, are passionate about the cultural, culinary, nature, sporting and adventure experiences that Japan offers year-round.  The video features Manu and Gary reminiscing on their time in Japan and dreaming of travelling when borders open. 


Manu Feildel said, “On my last trip I was able to experience the art of sumo and was lucky enough to have a training session with professionals.  Skiing in Japan is some of the world’s best, but of course the culinary experiences are a big draw card for me, and I was very fortunate to learn how to make soba noodles in Tokyo.  I can’t wait to return to Japan and continue my journey to discover the endless types of ramen.  That’s my new obsession!”


Yoko Tanaka, Executive Director of JNTO Sydney office said, “The campaign demonstrates how happy travelling makes us feel and the long-lasting memories travel creates.  Manu and Gary were the perfect fit for this project, having experienced Japan on many occasions, being so passionate about the destination and delivering this with their engaging and fun personalities.  We look forward to Australians being able to return to Japan to continue to explore and experience our beautiful country”.


Tourism is a key strategy for economic growth and regional revitalisation in Japan. Approximately 621,800 Australians visited Japan in 2019 which was a 12.5% growth on the previous year.


Gary Mehigan described the experience working with Manu Feildel as, “Hilarious!”.  There is authentic humour in the videos, through their chemistry from working together as well as their long-term friendship.  “The campaign showcases us participating in a traditional tea ceremony, the beauty in the precision of Japanese gardens, Japanese hospitality, sporting experiences and learning new cultural skills – it is a country offering so much diversity and I can’t wait to get back there as soon as we are able to”.


The video was directed by Firass Dirani best known for his roles in Underbelly and House Husbands and more recently on SAS Australia and was jointly produced by TalentINK and Julie King & Associates.


The campaign is live now on digital platforms. To watch the videos, visit the VisitJapanAU YouTube Channel or go here for the 30 and here for the 60 second.


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Published: 16 January 2022

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