An exhibition booth promotes onion picking in Sumoto on Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture, at Tourism Expo Japan in Tokyo on Friday. Photo: KYODO
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Japan holds 1st tourism expo in 2 years to aid virus-hit industry

24 Comments

A large international tourism event kicked off Thursday in Japan for the first time in two years, with the travel industry hoping to overcome setbacks from the coronavirus pandemic as the country gradually eases its border restrictions.

Tourism Expo Japan, one of the biggest events of its kind in the world, opened at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center, with representatives from more than 70 countries and regions, and Japan's 47 prefectures promoting international and domestic travel after it was canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19.

The 4-day event through Sunday, hosted by the Japan Travel and Tourism Association, among others, is expected to attract around 150,000 visitors.

Among the displays is an exhibit on onion picking in Sumoto on Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture, which is known for its production of the vegetable, as well as live guitar music and sherry on offer at the booth of the Tourist Office of Spain.

Referring to the Japanese government's consideration of a full relaxation of border controls, Kenichiro Yamanishi, chairman of the tourism association, said at the opening of the event, "This is the perfect chance to introduce a new form of travel from Tokyo to the world."

"We want to use it as a foothold for the revival of the tourism industry," he added.

Foreign visitors to Japan topped 100,000 in August for the fifth consecutive month following a relaxation of border controls, government data showed Wednesday, with the figure likely to continue rising as the country is looking to remove its current daily arrival cap of 50,000 as early as next month.

© KYODO

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
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What's the point, when the country's government is still vacillating about free and open visa-less visitors?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

And a photo, for an 'international' expo, with only Japanese signage? How dumb is that?

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Onion picking?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

With tourism at an all time low?

Makes sense……….

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Seriously these guys are not in the real world! There are no tourists allowed into Japan unless they jump through more hoops than a circus lion! Wake up to yourselves JGOV!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Island onions, guitar music and Spanish sherry at a Japanese tourism event, that’s by far the weirdest and unfitting combination I’ve heard in my whole life. lol

4 ( +9 / -5 )

An expo to show tour companies where to send their tourists? This stinks like we want foreigner money. The tour package requirement needs to be removed so people are not limited to X places.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Those Awaji onions look delicious! Sweetest in the world they say, almost like candy. Would love to visit Awajishima some day.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"All you can grab" onions!

Wow! That's going to bring the foreign tourists in in droves!

Wonder what bright committee in what government office came up with that gem!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Fill out all the forms, line up in person for your visa, download your badly designed government apps, submit all your documents, get treated like a criminal from the moment the plane lands, obey the law and make sure you are wearing your mask (while knowing that government advice to Japanese citizens to stop wearing theirs doesn't apply to us filthy foreigners), all so you can see a box of onions? Yeah, sounds great.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Seriously these guys are not in the real world!

Four tourists in front of me as I type. Really. French it seems. They seem content. Seems they jumped through the hoops quite happily. They are wearing masks. Properly too. With a Japanese chaperon. The phrases "so cheap" is said a lot. I hope they enjoy themselves

I don't think the expo organisers woke up this morning and did an expo on a "this might be a good idea" moment.

Funny how the world is different to how you imagine.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

These people have no idea, onion picking, if I travelled across the world to experience Japanese tourism innovation I’d be less then thrilled.

Next year we’ll all be taught about fries.

Tomato sauce on the agenda for 2030

0 ( +3 / -3 )

For what tourists ???

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

...four French Tourists....With a Japanese chaperon. The phrases "so cheap" is said a lot.

Are you sure they're French? Not English?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Even the Japanese government hasn't read their own website. No tour package = no tourist... No one wants to be part of a fixed tour. Read the MOFA website

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

That’s not much of a display for an expected 150,000 people? I love the tape on the back corners holding the cloth on. Looks more like a science project display at a high school.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Let me know when the masks come off. Then I will be interested in going to places in Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Thats laughable.

When people gonna figure out that other people arent like you? Other people dont want/need a preset agenda set by the locals on what to buy. They explore on their own.

Japanese man
-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I am a tourist waiting to visit. No intention of doing so while chaperones and organised tours are involved. Only visa-free travel will induce me to travel.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am a tourist waiting to visit. No intention of doing so while chaperones and organised tours are involved. Only visa-free travel will induce me to travel.

Cool story bro.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So many ignorant reader comments. You do know that if you travel to a different prefecture within a country, you can still be considered a tourist right? A tourist is basically someone who travel and visit places for pleasure and spend money.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Awaji onions are some of the best. We can get them sometimes.

https://www.insidekyoto.com/can-i-travel-to-japan-now

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese tourism causes more tears than an Awaji onion.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

so many ignorant reader comments. you do know that if you travel to a different prefecture within a country, you can still be considered a tourist right

Read the MOFA website, you have to be part of a tour group. You can't wonder around all Japan. You get bused to a location have 2 hours to do whatever you want (with rules) then have to get back on your bus and go back to your hotel. That is the reason for this expo... Please bus your tourists here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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