A sightseeing bus makes its way through Tokyo's Akihabara district. Photo: Japan Today
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Japan sees 2.52 million visitors in Oct, exceeding pre-COVID levels

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By Rocky Swift

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strong demand from Southeast Asia

Just checked the data. Since January 2023, we’ve had about 3.3 million visitors from Taiwan. That’s over 14% of their population of 23.5 million!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

exceeding pre-COVID levels

That's the fruit of central govt boosting GDP trough tourism,

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/04/23/business/inbound-recovery-tourism-japan/

Like before, more and more places will get over tourism.

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/news/kyoto-will-stop-selling-the-one-day-bus-pass-to-tackle-overtourism-040523

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Asakusa is rammed every day with foreigners. It's not a pleasant experience going near that temple any more. Imagine how bad it's going to be next spring.

Yet with all these buffoons the yen is still tanking and the economy is going into reverse again.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Because it’s cheap. Like going to Bali.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

I was talking to one of my students who recently bemoaned the fact that the tables have been turned and now Japan is the cheap place that foreigners travel to to shop, eat and stay at luxury hotels cheaply. This must still bother a lot of the good old boys that their country has fallen so far, but as it stands now they have no other idea to get money into the country, so we will suffer a weak yen for the foreseeable future!

8 ( +21 / -13 )

Japan sees 2.52 million visitors in Oct, exceeding pre-COVID levels

You can see the wealth and prosperity burgeoning all around!

Right?

To a few, possibly.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

@Asiaman7 Probably the same people. I have met more than a few remote workers from Taiwan who travel around Japan working on their laptops until their visa expires.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Full recovery of inbound tourism is good news but it still accounts for less than one percent of the GDP. And welcoming more tourists means places will be packed. It’s not something the majority of Japanese people can celebrate.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

was talking to one of my students who recently bemoaned the fact that the tables have been turned and now Japan is the cheap place that foreigners travel to to shop, eat and stay at luxury hotels cheaply

Nostalgic from the old days when the opposite was true

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Good for employment.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Nice bus.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan in November is overcrowded and all hotspots are 90% foreigners making instagram stories.

Most are rude and introducing unwanted customs into Japan. Chinese are worst. They are still far below pre pandemic levels but very visible and loud.

It’s simply annoying and for 1% of GDP (tourists are exempt from consumption tax) not even worth it.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

It’s simply annoying and for 1% of GDP (tourists are exempt from consumption tax) not even worth it.

(tourists are exempt from consumption tax) , reading non-truths like that is simply annoying!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Japan ended some of the world's strictest border measures in October 2022 when it resumed visa-free travel for many countries, and went on to scrap all remaining controls in May.

Imagine a time when the only time you could enter Japan and other countries was to provide evidence that you took 3 doses of something that didn't stop viral infection, didn't stop viral transmission, didn't reduce symptoms of said virus for the vast majority of those coerced into taking into taking it, and even resulted in health complications ranging from mild to severe in some of that majority.

Sounds like the plot of some wacky science fiction novel.

Welcome back tourists, and thanks in advance for splashing that valuable tourist yen.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

Tourists are exempt from consumption tax for any purchase above 5000 or 5500 yen that is not consumed in Japan

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Not only will it do it, but it will surpass those figures very soon.

GO JAPAN !!!...

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

Because it’s cheap. Like going to Bali.

And???..

Cheap or expensive everyone wants to know Japan...

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Just saw in the news that Japan's GDP (GOP?) has been overtaken by Germany! Their population is 2/3 of Japan, they grapple with immigration, wars in the east, strong Euro....but still manage a higher output! Looks this country will become one huge amusement park for foreigners.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Just got back from two days in Daigo, Ibaraki, and didn't seen a single Western tourist the entire time. The only non-Japanese we saw were a Thai couple at our hotel. Similar story during previous recent journeys in Minakami and Nasu.

It's still easy to avoid the hordes. The vast majority seem to go to a very limited number of places. It also helps if you drive a car or motorbike.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Came back from U.S. this past weekend. My plane had to be 95% non-Japanese it seemed and it was nice walking straight through the Japanese/Re-entry lines in Immigration. The foreign visitor line was miles long.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

0( +5 / -5 )

factcheckerToday  07:12 am JST

Asakusa is rammed every day with foreigners. It's not a pleasant experience going near that temple any more. Imagine how bad it's going to be next spring.

Yet with all these buffoons the yen is still tanking and the economy is going into reverse again.

I recommend going there at night. Very few people and it is illuminated until 11 pm. Incredibly beautiful.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Ain't seen nothing yet. Wait until hanami 2024 - numbers will explode. Japan is THE place to be, and saturates social media. Every bar in Golden Gai, every ski park, every hidden away onsen, every ramen shop...on trend foreign tourists want in!

A big win for those in the tourist sector.

Just checked the data. Since January 2023, we’ve had about 3.3 million visitors from Taiwan. That’s over 14% of their population of 23.5 million!

No one on earth comes close to adoring Japan as much as the Taiwanese. Another reason to build the closest possible military alliance with them.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

It's too bad the yen keeps depreciating.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

It's too bad the yen keeps depreciating.

Not for foreign tourists - or the tourism sector! ;-)

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

It’s simply annoying and for 1% of GDP (tourists are exempt from consumption tax) not even worth it.

Exaxctly! Japanese consumer spending is 50% of GDP. Japan does not need foreign tourists. That is truth.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Love the London style bus in Japan’s cultural capital.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Dont mention Bali....my God that peaceful Island has been ruined by western tourists intent on getting drunk and Instagraming every flatulent moment.

I surfed in Caangu when there was ONE warung only and surrounded by rice paddies.

Now it looks like downtown Vegas on a saturday night.

Disgraceful antics of the self entitled.

I hope Japan never turns into this.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

I was talking to one of my students who recently bemoaned the fact that the tables have been turned and now Japan is the cheap place that foreigners travel to to shop, eat and stay at luxury hotels cheapl

Yeah right, most foreigners are staying at budget hotels or airbnbs. Shopping? Please most are shopping at Donki or Daiso.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

For most Europeans visiting Japan costs about the same as visiting Thailand.

How far Japan has fallen.

About 20 years ago a trip to Tokyo would have been about 15 times more expensive than a trip to Koh Samui.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Wow. That is amazing. Japan is one of the most popular countries to visit due to history and a leader in technology.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

JeffLeeToday  08:40 am JST

Just got back from two days in Daigo, Ibaraki, and didn't seen a single Western tourist the entire time. The only non-Japanese we saw were a Thai couple at our hotel. Similar story during previous recent journeys in Minakami and Nasu.

It's still easy to avoid the hordes. The vast majority seem to go to a very limited number of places. It also helps if you drive a car or motorbike.

Indeed . If you go to the big tourist offices in Tokyo, there are nice brochures made by each prefecture to try to attract foreign tourists in their area but unfortunately it does not work at all.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

As Japan is super cheap to travel to now and the prices are often half or less than half of people's home countries, Japan has become part if the 'backpacker circut' when people travel to SE Asia, they now take the time to visit Japan at the same time. Coupled with the usual tourists, you can see many more around, especiallybin popular areas.

I expect more hostels and buckets of asahi will be served in some more natutal places that will fill the spiritual void of some,

Kao San Road with Zen.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Just saw in the news that Japan's GDP (GOP?) has been overtaken by Germany! Their population is 2/3 of Japan, they grapple with immigration, wars in the east, strong Euro....but still manage a higher output!

Not for long. The Euro has been cheap for the past 10 years. And they had access to cheap Russian Oil. In fact, Germany is finished 

 

Germany went from envy of the world to the worst-performing major developed economy. What happened?

 

https://www.euronews.com/business/2023/09/23/germany-went-from-envy-of-the-world-to-the-worst-performing-major-developed-economy-what-h

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

it will be interesting to see opposite story.

how many japanese have travelled abroad before COVID and this year?

sure giant drop...

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

For most Europeans visiting Japan costs about the same as visiting Thailand.

Is that why they are shopping at Donki along with the Thais?

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Isn't Japan the only safe tourist destination? You don't want to go to other countries because of the chaos, violence, demonstrations, discrimination, hate, detention risks, and scams, right?

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Dont blame them. The US is a third world country. In developed countries, they line is always longer to get in than it is to get out.

You sure about that.

The caravan trail up from the Darien Gap looks pretty long to me.

s that why they are shopping at Donki along with the Thais?

And tons of normal Japanese who used to shop in regular supermarkets but no longer have the money to do so.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Terrific news, I guess.

Although all that demand is getting airlines to charge crazy expensive airfares, because they can.

I'm in a position where I have to fly my entire family from the US to Japan every year to visit family, so it really isn't a matter of sucking it up for my once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. The exchange rates are in my favor once I get there this year, but the airfares still make it very expensive.

Flying elsewhere in Asia starting from my home airport (Boston) can be literally half as much as flying to Japan these days.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It was funny last weekend to go up to Tokyo,and see Shinjuku totally rammed with tourists,most from the tiger economies of SE Asia, trying to find anything remotely interesting.

Good advertising work,JNTO!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I remember being at Senso-ji in Asakusa in the early 70s and seeing about five foreigners in total.

I'm glad we have a large number of tourists again. I just don't want the government or the people complaining about it. I hate the words "over tourism". We're making a hell of a lot of money and businesses need this.

If we take the steps to lessen the impact like like: putting out more trash cans, increasing the number of buses and trains and promoting tourism in the much needed areas outside the Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka-Hiroshima nexus, then everything will be fine.

So many Japanese complained before the pandemic about the large number of tourists. They then complained about the lack of them and all the lost revenue. Now they're complaining again. Stop it.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Just look how increased tourism has saved the value of the yen... oh...

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Now imagine how many more tourists would be in Japan, if the tourism industry actually promoted OUTSIDE of Honshu.

Are there really many people visiting Kyushu or Hokkaido?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Are there really many people visiting Kyushu or Hokkaido?

No. Its great.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Go on @Eastman: Anything to put a negative spin on it..as usual.

Flew into Haneda at 5:30 PM last night. Same time as some other European flights and some flights from the USA. Only one arrival from anywhere else at Asia at that time, a smaller flight from Shanghai fwiw.

All queues busy, Japanese, Re-Entry and Tourist.

Yes, I am well aware that there are many tourists from Asia here too as I witnessed arriving at a different time 3 weeks ago. Just should put the comments to bed above that its just people wandering about with laptops!

Of course many are staying at budget hotels and Air Bnbs - that's the same in any country, but I suggest you look at the prices and occupancy rates of the 5 Star Hotels also. That is NOT domestic tourism.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I was in Ebisu last week evening time and the place was full of Chinese tourists wandering up and down Komazawa-dori. I have no idea why but they seemed be to enjoying themselves and taking in the "sights / sites". It's a good job masks haven't kept tourists away as predicted by so many.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Glad to know that Japan is having a spike with tourisms,and this come especially to a very weak Yen.

Some of the always pro whatever Japan does make it sound like this is the most visited country in the world which is obviously not.

European countries have way more tourists and Japan is not even in the top 10.

Source: https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/most-visited-countries

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Are there really many people visiting Kyushu or Hokkaido?

Yes. Too many, in fact.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The clowns who run the government have no other answer than to boost tourism.

it’s a shame because it is ruining Japan.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

This is the same tired played-out record for government that has one of the worst performing currencies in the world. When people point to all the poor decisions or lack of decisions being made to improve the lives of the average Taro and his family, the J-government pulls out that more people are coming to Japan and speinding money. That does not help most residence because everything is still expensive.

The J-government wants to turn Nihon into Hawaii.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Give them a call as a concerned citizen. They'll listen to you. Like we all do.!.

Another poster already did that and said it was no longer a requirement.

I only questioned the page was dated from Oct. 2021.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's actually an amazing time to exchange overseas assests into yen and use to travel domestically right now.

Basically get to increase by 30% or even double the value of your money.

Food. Drinks, etc etc become cheaper.

Hotels are less than half price generally.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Although all that demand is getting airlines to charge crazy expensive airfares, because they can.

Exactly. It’s called “Greed-flation.

From a broadcast of NPR’s “Planet Money” earlier this year …

“Corporate profit growth accounted for nearly 60% of inflation, to be more precise. Normally, Andrew says, it contributes less than a third. So this is about double.”

https://www.npr.org/transcripts/1175487806

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think the hospital should have updated its COVID-19 page. There have been no legal covid restrictions since last May.

Most likely. I have never been asked for anything when visiting a friend in hospital throughout the whole so-called 'pandemic' (cough, cough). Or when visiting family at their workplace. They said it was never a requirement, for visitors or patients.

I even saw a nostalgic mask poster on the bus yesterday. Looks like had just been left up out of laziness.

Only one old lady on the half packed bus had one on. So doubt they even 'request' it even, anymore.

Cultural fun times.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

En Yasui.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

My wife and I were some of them although, she is Japanese and I’m not sure if she would be counted as a visitor.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why are certain people here talking about Covid? It’s over for gods sake.

and why aren’t the mods removing those posts for being off topic?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'll be counted in the November figures then... which is nice.

I WILL be paying consumption tax on what I buy - I don't go to Duty Free shops... load of tourist tat.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I do not go where tourists are, but on my way to work, I see many foreign tourists going to Disneyland. And since last April, it has been crazy.

But they do not bring Covid, do spend their dollars and are respectful except those few YouTubers who become an artificial celebrity for a few weeks before going back to their dungeons.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Thumderbird

You can get tax free at lots of gaffs, not just tourist ones you see. The departments stores usually have a tax free place for tourists

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Since March it has been absolute bedlam. At the moment it's double that.

I've employed two new staff since August to deal with the increasing Chinese market, who care little for experiences but are ravenous in their shopping.

Most of the tat they buy is Made in China. Strange times.

Glad of the rain tomorrow for a day off.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japantime

Wow. That is amazing. Japan is one of the most popular countries to visit due to history and a leader in technology

yep, dig the high tech fax machines!

Do not comprehend the whining at increased tourism and consequent inflow of money, sounds selfish, self centred and entitled. Over tourism can be a problem in popular spots bur complaints need to be addressed to those failing to manage it properly and not selling effectively less crowded destinations, not the tourists.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unlike the Chinese and Koreans, most Japanese people are not particular about the hierarchy of nations.

Just because Japan's GDP has been surpassed by European countries such as Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, or by India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, the lives of Japanese people will not change. Even if the number of tourists increases, Japanese people welcome it as long as it does not cause any direct inconvenience.

Regarding the travel industry, we should be happy that spending by foreign tourists has returned to half of what it was in 2019. (Domestic travel is almost 100%)

The problem of overtourism has been talked about, but it is an issue that needs to be improved in Kyoto and Osaka, where tourists are concentrated.

Unlike countries such as Egypt, Japan is not dependent on the tourism industry, but if the number of foreign tourists increases, countermeasures will be necessary.

Anyway, let's enjoy Japan! !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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