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Visitors to Japan top 2 million in June for first time since COVID

42 Comments
By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Rocky Swift

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42 Comments
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June's 2.07 million arrival tally was up from 1.9 million in May, though still down 28% from the level in June 2019.

I doubt 28% more people can fit in the Asakusa photo above.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

Traipsing around Tokyo in a heatwave?

Nah, not for me.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

Hands up who said tourist won't return. Because of masks.

So much achieved with-out lockdowns or other heavy-hand tactics

Glad to see a recovery in full swing.

Well done Japan.

-18 ( +11 / -29 )

June's 2.07 million arrival tally was up from 1.9 million in May, though still down 28% from the level in June 2019.

This is the actual numbers comparing 2019 with 2023, it's not reach 2019 level yet.

https://statistics.jnto.go.jp/en/graph/#graph--latest--figures

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Hands up who said tourist won't return. Because of masks.

Once the masks came off, the tourists returned. (See any masks on anyone in the photo above?)

6 ( +16 / -10 )

We are still missing the large amount of chinese tourists. But other than that, things practically has return to normal.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Numbers are ticking along nicely. On track for 22-25 million in '23 if the second half booms.

Hands up who said tourist won't return. Because of masks.

Nope. The opposite. Tourists were always flocking back en masse once the gates reopened. I didn't hear anyone say "masks will keep tourists out."

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Foreigners are walking around without masks but the elderly Japanese aren’t and the virus is actually on the rise again

-13 ( +16 / -29 )

Congrats JAPAN, the more the better.

Glad to see visitors coming in large numbers and I hope none is disappointed, Good Luck.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Foreigners are walking around without masks but the elderly Japanese aren’t and the virus is actually on the rise again

its been like this for ages, actually mind boggling how many japanese elders erase their own existence whenever they step out of the house, fully masked and wearing their bucket hats in a way you can barely see their eyes.

4 ( +18 / -14 )

They have been getting adventurous too. Saw a couple of wild ones at a local event the other day. Rare in these parts. I guess they are all desperate to be the first to vlog, or tiktok the few remaining, undocumented secrets.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Very glad to see the tourists coming back and enjoying their time here! But for the tourist industry, I wouldn't get too heavily invested in propping up the industry just yet because we don't know how long this temporary surge will last. Better to compare figures after some time has settled rather than comparing 2023 to 2019 in my humble opinion.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I’m so glad I have chosen to go multiple times to Thailand in the past twelve months rather than to come back to Japan just yet. The cost of the airfare alone is reason enough.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Excellent, little by little we will return to normality and it will be a great economic benefit for Japan..

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

A friend told me last night Shinjuku is full of foreigners. Good to see the tourists coming back and hopefully will help reduce airfares.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Shinjuku, Shibuya, Omotesando, Ginza - all FULL of tourists @wallace. Hotel prices insane and all restaurants full. I'm also avoiding these areas actively especially at weekends now. Just too many people. To be honest, at leasts the tourists here are in general polite - I honestly don't care if the phlegm spitting , noisy, rude mainland Chinese never return. Taiwanese of course very welcome :)

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Not a mask in sight! Maybe explain the return to normal numbers....well done and about time!

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

This is the actual numbers comparing 2019 with 2023, it's not reach 2019 level yet.

as the article states, Inbound travelers from the U.S., Europe, Australia, and the Middle East are already above 2019 levels,

the biggest difference are Chinese tourist, they havent returned to 2019 levels yet

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Not a mask in sight! Maybe explain the return to normal numbers....well done and about time!

masks havent been required for months now, No overall numbers still havent return to 2019 levels even with no mask wearing. Once visa requirements are lifted for Chinese tourist those numbers will return quickly

4 ( +5 / -1 )

so finally return to...normal life?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Tourists were always flocking back en masse once the gates reopened. I didn't hear anyone say "masks will keep tourists out."

Yeah but there was plenty of whinging last year about going to other places instead because racist border controls and cry for me because I can't go on my holidays where I want to last year.

It will be telling if this tourism boom continues when the yen gets back on its feet. People just have travel a higher priority in a post-Covid world.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

its been like this for ages, actually mind boggling how many japanese elders erase their own existence whenever they step out of the house, fully masked and wearing their bucket hats in a way you can barely see their eyes.

Yes, I saw dozens of them playing in a gateball tourny in the park last weekend. Almost all fully masked in 35+ degree heat. I couldn't believe it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Photo says, it's very stressful.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Not a mask in sight but plenty of backpacks, people looking like they are going camping for a week. Backpack wearing people should be banned from crowded places, especially trains.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

We are still missing the large amount of chinese tourists. But other than that, things practically has return to normal.

I'm eternally thankful for that.

Note this article goes out on the same day that post covid crime has increase. Coincidence much?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It's getting back to the point where locals are actively avoiding these areas, not for a general antipathy to tourists, but just because it's hard to make a way through the masses.

The locals don't buy the overpriced tat in Nakamise Dori, the only locals there are the ones selling the tat.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If the Chinese are able to get back, things will get way worse in the cheap Japan.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

This used to be my "Hood"...glad I don't live there now. I can imagine trying to ride Ginza line down to Kasumigaseki, to change trains...no thanks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That picture could be used to illustrate enochlophobia (a fear of crowds).

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Backpack wearing people should be banned from crowded places

But a backpack is the easiest way for me to carry my overpriced tat around. I can also keep rubbish (other than the tat) in it until I find a bin.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hands up who said tourist won't return. Because of masks.

You're leaving out the part about how they were still "recommending" people to wear masks inside until March, and requiring unnecessary PCR test results or vaccine certificates until May. I definitely think there would not be as many tourists if that were still the case.

I truly am glad foreign tourists can visit now and experience the good side of Japan. Two of my friends from the US were even able to make it this year. And if there are businesses in Tokyo and Osaka that are thriving, I'm happy for them as well.

The reality of Japan in 2023 is kind of bleak though. What the foreign tourists aren't seeing are the sweltering, still non-HVAC provisioned classrooms full of kids still wearing masks, because they were brainwashed and can't understand the difference between the situation three years ago and now. While foreigners feel free to visit Japan without worry or concern, many of these children's parents won't take them on vacations or talk about it openly because there is still a social stigma associated with it. And the teachers that went out and got vaccinated more times than I can count on one hand are still getting sick once a month it seems. Strange because I didn't get vaccinated and only get sick once a year in the winter.

Outside of Tokyo a lot of places are not recovering. In my city a lot of businesses have been closing recently. And although prices are going up thanks to inflation, nobody can afford to support these businesses because their wages are too low. You know who is killing it in my neighborhood right now? McDonalds, because a single meal is typically under 1000 yen. There are always long lines and the place is usually packed.

Absurd Covid era spending and malinvestment irreversibly damaged the Japanese economy and the commoners are paying the price for all of these mishaps in the form of inflation.

In the end, despite resisting tourism for two and half years and rendering long-term immigration to this country nearly impossible, the Japanese are incredibly lucky they live in a place foreigners want to go to. Kicking and screaming they complain nonstop about how tourists are ruining Kyoto and Mt Fuji, or how the US military is damaging the Coral Reefs in Okinawa, but let's acknowledge reality: essentially Japan is and has been carried by foreign influences. Japan could be a place foreigners don't want to visit or work with. I'm sure there are many countries out there, especially in Eastern Europe or Central Asia, that would literally dream of having anywhere near the number of tourists or foreign workers that Japan has.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

@wolfshine - excellent post. There are two sides to this story as you so eloquently pointed out. There needs to be a national campaign to educate the local population about the reality of Covid today. Young people should not be masking (out of fear?!) at this point without a very good reason.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Good for the businesses and jobs that depend on tourism. However, now if I go to Japan, I try to avoid the touristy areas. Lol.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What on earth is bleak #wolfshine? Life IS totally back to normal for me. Bars and Restaurants are full with fun people again. Work is back to normal. Travel is back to normal.

Sure, its a little more expensive , but its the same everywhere.

Its funny that the people (like yourself) who moaned about masks/travel restrictions/ vaxxes etc just can't seem to move on. Come on buddy, embrace life. Covid is so yesterday.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Notice the guy dead center in the picture, eyeing the guy to his right's backpack ?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Traipsing around Tokyo in a heatwave?

Nah, not for me.

Soft

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Jimizo

Dunno what curry and lager has to do with it. No way anyone could smell someone’s breath from 5 yards away unlike that fiends B.O. if you’re referring to me, which of course you’re not as you’re not a rude boy, unless you enjoy SKA of course. Don’t drink lagers with my curries as a rule, usually water will suffice or occasionally a lassi if I’m having a right banging vindaloo.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I just finished a 15day visit, my 18th trip to Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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