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No. of foreign visitors to Japan hits record high in 2019

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Keep working at it and the numbers will be there. Perhaps not double digit growth, but numbers. Japan is a great place to experience.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I have my website introducing festivals of Tokyo which I began after my retirement. It was more than 10 years ago and it is written in English. But, the time changed and visitors are a lot more from other Asian countries and they do not understand English very much. It is not very helpful for them. They became rich and many come to travel Japan. It is good. They became rich as a result of globalized economy. They are well dressed and have new expensive mirrorless cameras while I take around my old camera I purchased 15 years ago.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It is the Chinese tourist that I see in vast numbers all over Asia.

The major airports in Japan cater to them by employing foreign Chinese speaking staff.

Soon, the main second language in Asian countries will have to be Chinese...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Phenomenonal. When I first came to Japan in the early 2000s there were around 4 million tourists/year. I was one of the first! What the Japanese government has done to boost tourism, build facilities and accomodation, and promote Japan around the world is amazing.

At this rate of growth, Japan should challenge France as the World's most popular destination some time in the 2030s. Aim for 60 million by 2030.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Regretfully but well in line with JTB’s earlier wrong forecasts on jus about everything the visiting numbers will decline in 2020. By the way the net increase of visitors for the rugby worldcup was only 75.000.

as always an organizing country of olympics sees a decrease in visitors as the event disrupts the normal cycles. True or not visitors without tickets expect high prices, congestion and inconveniences. 80 % or more of olympic visits will be domestic.

visitor numbers for Oct and nov were already down and i expect also for december.

with a global recession for 2020 unavoidable, also Chinese numbers will decline.

JTB is the most unreliable source to tap for this kind of statistics.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Keep working at it and the numbers will be there. Perhaps not double digit growth, but numbers. Japan is a great place to experience.

+1,000

Well stated! It's a wonderful experience and a beautiful country.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Between Jan 1 and May 31 2019 the increase was 4.5%. So this means from June 1 to Dec 31, even with RWC, there was about a 2% decrease. JTB is just putting on a spin. Japan will be lucky to see 30 million next year.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It is great to see people coming to visit Japan. One should always have an opportunity to see the world and experience it. However I do disagree with "Soon, the main second language in Asian countries will have to be Chinese..." The beauty of experiencing another country includes an understanding of that language used in the country being visited, at least enough to get around as one visits not the other way around. I don't expect any country to change its traditions and language to accommodate just one particular culture or language. It takes away from the experience that for the most part will be a memorable one over a cup of coffee or tea one day..

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

So many places still have major issues with poor signs with directions. Until this is fixed I cannot see numbers going up. And I speak and read the language in general.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Loved it as a visitor and love it even more as a denizen.

Although, one soon learns that the famed politeness and helpfulness does not extend to all Japanese. And that, sadly, racism is a thing.

That said, I count myself fortunate to live in this great nation.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The outcome clouded the outlook for the government to achieve its goal of attracting 40 million in 2020.

Will the government give cities such as Kyoto more support?

The first time that I went to Kyoto in 2013, tourism was at 13M for the year in Japan, and Kyoto was hectic then. I dread to think what its like now during peak season as I avoid Kyoto unless its during winter.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Well, so much for Greta's campaign to save us from the climate emergency. These tourists emit a lot of CO2.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Good and bad news.

The bad news is about the South Koreans. Since SK is very close, many visitors from there will be repeaters, meaning they will go to other parts of Japan, not just the already crowded places which many Koreans will have seen already. Rather than just the simple number of tourists, the composition of them is very important in terms of who benefits (or suffers) from increased tourism.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I do not understand why people come to Japan from other Asian countires. I wish I could understand their languages and talk with them. Nihon Keizai Shinbun reported the other day that Japan became poor and prices are low. They can buy things cheaper in Japan than they buy in their countries. "Sad."

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I do not understand why people come to Japan from other Asian countires. I wish I could understand their languages and talk with them. Nihon Keizai Shinbun reported the other day that Japan became poor and prices are low. They can buy things cheaper in Japan than they buy in their countries. "Sad."

They come becuase Japan was the model of economic success in Asia that all Asian countries looked up to for a long time. The recession in Japan for the last 30 years has meant that while Japan has stagnated, these other countries have grown economically so their middle class now has money to travel.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Lots of this can likely be attributed to technology that enables us to plan trips ourselves nearly start to finish in our native languages, with ample information about our destinations right at our fingertips.

20 years ago, most people wouldn't have known where to start if they wanted to visit Japan. They'd have needed to hire a travel agent. Now you can learn about -and book- an obscure rustic onsen from your phone, in English (even though nobody who works there speaks English), all from your couch in your home country. Google Maps has you covered for routing the train and bus schedules.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

About "Omotenashi." Yes, it is very comfortable when we visit shops and sales ladies welcome us in all smiles. But it is business smiles trained to do so. They are not always so nice and polite. I know how ladies behave to men to whom they do not feel "affection" or not profiting them. They are callous!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@ Abigail

Whilst you are entitled to imagine that all countries are in a perpetual non-changing state;it is not the case.

Next time you visit Narita listen for the most common foreign language.

Economic reality cannot be argued with...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Springtime might be an excellent time to visit SK...prices low, hotels available, relatively uncrowded because of the Japan/South Korea disputes.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When I first came to Japan in the early 2000s there were around 4 million tourists/year. I was one of the first! 

OK. So you’re not Japanese. Your backstory changes so regularly.

But how were you ‘one of the first’ tourists to come to Japan?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Most of the tourists visiting Japan are Asian, so most Westerners don't notice just how many foreigners are around them in Japan because "all Asians look the same." However, I very often hear Korean and Chinese being spoken around me when I'm out in the shops in Tokyo and Kanagawa. Sometimes the first words I hear when I leave to go to work in the morning is Chinese.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

On the whole this is a regrettable development...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

When I first came to Japan in the early 2000s there were around 4 million tourists/year. I was one of the first! 

I was coming here before that, I have some friends who were coming here regularly during late 80s for business, they say you were a real alien back then and all the stares to go with it and not just from the kids.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I have mixed feelings about this. Tourist hotspots seem to be overburdened, while the provinces remain neglected - even dying as the young ’uns move away and the old ‘uns move on.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

If Japan ever reach 36 millions tourists...

Too crowded, not enough accomodation, not enough translations.

In my country of tourism reference, nearly everywhere can you even see or hear Japanese and Chinese explanation notices.

Where are the camping sites ?

Where are the uncongestioned roads needed to travel far ?

Where are the family rates ?

Where is a real Uber ?

There is so much room for improvement, but done at Japanese pace now...

Anyway, I personally wish they were far less tourists especially when parading in kimonos.

For me, Japan remains overall the best quality price place as a tourist but not for families.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm not complaining, but it seems that most of these tourists are here in Shinjuku.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I planned to visit this year but i guess after Olympics would be much better..maybe in 2021?

But do i have to carry big luggages from one place to other everytime? I want to buy some souvenirs plus some Japanese products. All less cost but good qualities.

I also need to carry hiking stuff and bicycle stuff, then all camera gear. It's going to be too heavy which won't make me comfortable enjoying the routes. Hiring a car for a month is also expensive.

Then i think i have to travel Japan as pilgrim.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@fighto...humm.

France has now 90M so in 2030 probably 120M :)

Good luck Japan...But I don’t think Japan will anytime get to the level of France !

2 ( +3 / -1 )

luggage, not luggages.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Italy of Asia. I am amused when I see hyperventilating salary men trying to get to work at Ginza station crowded with suitcases and they have to stop and they huff and puff.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@VanityOfVanities

About "Omotenashi." Yes, it is very comfortable when we visit shops and sales ladies welcome us in all smiles. But it is business smiles trained to do so. They are not always so nice and polite. I know how ladies behave to men to whom they do not feel "affection" or not profiting them. They are callous!

Uh... That's business. And it's the same anywhere in the world. Heck, I work in the tourism industry and that's exactly what all of us are trained to do, regardless if it's Japan, the US, France, Greece, etc. The Japanese have mastered that compared to the others.

I mean, you can't be genuinely happy and warm with any random person coming to buy.

Japan's omotenashi is about being fully polite, helpful and kind. Even if it's fake sometimes, that's completely normal.

I do not understand why people come to Japan from other Asian countires. I wish I could understand their languages and talk with them. Nihon Keizai Shinbun reported the other day that Japan became poor and prices are low. They can buy things cheaper in Japan than they buy in their countries. "Sad."

I'm not Asian, but is it really that hard to see why? From the culture, both traditional and modern/pop, to the various industries Japan is world renowned for, to the food, to the natural and urban beauty, I can go on. Japan isn't a poor nation. The recession has had its toll on the country the past 20-30 years, that doesn't mean it's not rich. I think that's obvious. And, they can buy Japanese stuff cheaper in Japan because... it's Japanese stuff sold in Japan, so of course it's cheaper at times. Not to mention Japan-only products.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It’s starting to reach the point of diminishing returns with so many tourists visiting Japan and crowding places, especially the clueless, loud and poorly dressed Chinese and Americans.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Joe Blow I'm pretty sure that the many Japanese business that depend on tourism are happy to receive that "coin", and are not worried about how "poorly dressed" a particular tourist is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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