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Japan sees record 2.73 mil visitors in December; 25.06 mil for 2023

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By Rocky Swift

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On a related note, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection selected Japan as #12 on its “Safest Places to Travel in 2024” list. I was actually surprised to see Japan so far down the list. But one of the assessment factors is “weather-related emergencies,” and Japan definitely has those now and then.

SAFEST PLACES TO TRAVEL 2024

Canada

Switzerland

Norway

Ireland

Netherlands

United Kingdom

Portugal

Denmark

9 Iceland

Australia

New Zealand

Japan

France

Spain

Brazil

https://www.bhtp.com/blog/safest-places-to-travel/

12. Japan

Rank Last Year: 19

WHY IT’S RANKED HIGHLY

Japan is built on order and regimentation. That allows little room for crime or any other form of untoward behavior. It helps explain why its rates of murder and theft are miniscule. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO WATCH OUT FOR

Nightlife districts. The State Department has reports of harassment of American tourists, drink-spiking, and extortion in the entertainment districts of Roppongi, Kabuki-cho, Shibuya, and Ikebukuro.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING 

“Japan doesn't have any bins because people are expected to carry their own rubbish with them, back home. So be mindful of that when you travel around Japan. Bring a day bag with you.”

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Japan want tourist for their economy but also complain about over tourism.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/07/05/national/overcrowded-sites-packed-buses-main-complaints-kyoto-tourists-record-number-visitors-flock-city/

https://japantoday.com/category/national/kyoto-wants-to-add-extra-charges-for-tourists-to-use-city-buses

-15 ( +12 / -27 )

Inbound tourism has become a key part of Japan's economic recovery, but a severe shortage of workers is hobbling the sector's ability to keep up with demand.

"The industry cannot cope," said Wanping Aw, managing director of boutique travel agency TokudAw that specialises in private car tours of Japan. "Experienced personnel are burnt out and overworked and have no time to train staff."

Was talking to a hospitality workers rep in a bar. This is an anecdote natch.

She was saying above and beyond the low pay, how the industry and Jgov treated workers during the pandemic is a major reason.

Many experienced workers on zero hour contracts were reduced to no hours and could not even collect unemployment and the government did not assist them while subsidizing businesses.

Many realized it is a mug's game, and retrained, moved to other industries.

Now you have a lot of executives who were kept on during the pandemic trying to find some naive fresh meat to enter the labor market and hospitality industry owners trying to rake in money with the resurgence.

10 ( +21 / -11 )

The economic trickle down to each and every person in Japan will enrich their lives beyond imagination. Goodbye financial woes, the good times are back!

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

Interestingly enough, America does not rank amongst the safest places to travel...

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Promising news. 2024 will break every record for inbound tourism in Japan. Just a cursory look at social media reveals Japan is THE place to be - and be seen - in 2024. Tourists are flocking to ramen shops, to ski fields, department stores, riding the Shinkansen and being blown away by the food and hospitality along the way. Hopefully, they will all return!

The economic trickle down to each and every person in Japan will enrich their lives beyond imagination. Goodbye financial woes, the good times are back!

That could be a slight stretch - but overall the economy is really feeling the tourism boom.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Sure signs of a struggling economy, open the floodgates to hordes of tourists and weaken your currency.

-10 ( +13 / -23 )

The majority ofJapanese working in the sector are not going to benefit from their 1000 yen an hour pittance!

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

Three kinds of people make money from tourism in Japan.

Business owners and accommodation owners

Middlemen travel agents and booking agents, including booking.com, Airbnb etc.

Consultants, often long-term gaijin, offering services like website creation, photography, and translation to local governments, who are pretty much incapable of tourism promotion on their own.

People working in hotels, driving buses, serving in restaurants, working the tills in Mega Donki etc., i.e., the vast majority of people working in tourism, are all low paid.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

I’d like to see some of that money going towards rebuilding Ishikawa. Tourism is really all that’s left for the traditional fishing villages, where a lot of the people are working into their eighties.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

fwiw, I expect the yen to strengthen 10% or so this year as interest rates fall overseas. If you want a cheap trip to Japan, now is the time to do it. Japan is currently at a historic low in the Economist magazine's Big Mac index. Japan is just about the cheapest first world country. The only logical reason for this is the currency being undervalued. It is certainly not cheap local ingredients or high labour productivity.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Such a tourism surge is not sustainable.

As others noted - A$50 Billion into the economy benefiting a select slice of Travel Inc, while the dwindling workers - the backbone of the whole industry - are paid pittance.

People discarded during the pandemic are now being begged to come back to "work for the common good - lol " and offered ¥900 / hour (in my town).

Pay the workers a minimum of ¥1500/ hour and add the costs onto the tourists bills.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Results of the weaken Yen...

Hordes of tourists saying callously that everything is so cheap, while the local people are struggling more and more with higher prices, bigger taxes, expenses and overall lower standard of living...

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

It makes sense, Japan is dirt cheap right now and the dollar insanely strong. Japan is no longer the expensive travel destination it was

12 ( +15 / -3 )

3RENSHOToday 07:33 am JST

Interestingly enough, America does not rank amongst the safest places to travel...

But it is definitely at the top for most fun and interesting.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

It makes sense, Japan is dirt cheap right now and the dollar insanely strong. Japan is no longer the expensive travel destination it was

Yep, Japan is the new Thailand of 2023/24.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Nice. But it wont any difference to the economy.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Nice. But it wont make any difference to the economy. Tourism is less than 1% of GDP.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Because America like the rest of the west is a war zone and a dump to boot.

Europe, Canada, Australia, NZ and the US are war zones? Startling developments.

So, where do you recommend then?

Commie China and fascist Russia must be right up there?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

kohakuebisuToday  08:21 am JST

fwiw, I expect the yen to strengthen 10% or so this year as interest rates fall overseas. If you want a cheap trip to Japan, now is the time to do it. Japan is currently at a historic low in the Economist magazine's Big Mac index. Japan is just about the cheapest first world country. The only logical reason for this is the currency being undervalued. It is certainly not cheap local ingredients or high labour productivity.

According to the big max index the JPY is 43 % undervalued against the JPY and the USD JPY should be at 84! So even with a 10 % appreciation or the JPY Japan will remain very cheap for foreign visitors.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hey Rakuraku, yeah Japanese prices +10% will still be very cheap, way cheaper than eating out in the UK etc, but you know what people are like. For the cheapest trip to Japan, get your skates on! I presume hotel prices will go up when the number of Chinese visiting Japan recovers.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I had some family visit here recently and they couldn't get over how cheap it is to eat out compared to Australia, and our currencies are almost on par. No wonder Japan's popular with Aussies.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

For Australians who love the snow in Japan, I think the depreciation of the Japanese yen is a very good thing.

It will be easier to travel, and I hope you will enjoy skiing in the silver world this winter.

Highly recommended for people who like anime and manga. The figures will also feel cheap. If you are interested in dubbing, please come and buy the subtitled version while traveling.

Anyone willing to drop money is welcome. People from that country who don't spend money don't have to come.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Welcome to Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

12. Japan

Rank Last Year: 19

WHY IT’S RANKED HIGHLY

Japan is built on order and regimentation. That allows little room for crime or any other form of untoward behavior. It helps explain why its rates of murder and theft are miniscule. 

In my opinion, Japan should be even higher. I don't understand why the UK is considered safe. So many crimes happen in broad daylight. theft, pickpocketing. UK should be knocked down and Japan should rise in ranking.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

On the other hand, Japan's immediate profit first government or society disregard measures to infection disease, and distracting their eyes from increasing Covid19 victim year by year.

Innumerable sorrow or suffering of general citizen are ignored in the shade of "rapid recovery".

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I can add confirmation that folks from Hong Kong are flocking to Hokkaido. We saw buses and buses of them on our trip from Noboribetsu south to Hakodate. They clearly were enjoying themselves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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