national

No. of tourists to Japan tops 13 mil for first time ever

31 Comments

The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan so far this year (as of Nov 30) has surpassed 13 million for the first time, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization and the Transport Ministry.

The big increase in tourists has exceeded JNTO expectations. Earlier in the year, the agency had forecast that around 12 million tourists would visit Japan in 2014.

By nationality, Taiwanese accounted for the highest number of tourists, followed by South Koreans and Chinese.

Tourism officials attribute the hike in tourism numbers to the weak yen, more international flights in and out of Haneda Airport, as well as the easing of visa regulations for countries in Southeast Asia.

Agency officials also noted that from Oct 1, the list of duty-free products was expanded leading to a increase in sales at department and other stores of over 2.4 times compared to last last year.

Transport Minister Akihiro Ota told a news conference at Narita airport on Monday that the government hopes to attract 20 million tourists a year by 2020, TBS reported.

© Japan Today

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31 Comments
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Happy to hear someone can enjoy Japan. I sure can't. Cost of living going up but salary going down.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Japan is now just a country for tourists as they flock to take advantage of the bargains available due to the pathetic "currency" yen.

-13 ( +9 / -22 )

Quite true. The current path the country is taking will make it a popular cheap tourist destination for people from other wealthier Asian countries.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

The vast majority of tourists are now coming from China, especially the burgeoning middle class. Japanese tourist organizations may want to brush up on their fluency in Mandarin dialect Chinese.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I feel like I'm in China when I'm at Ginza.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Nice. :)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I can never figure out why increasing foreign tourism in Japan always gets some people PO'd.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I can never figure out why increasing foreign tourism in Japan always gets some people PO'd.

Any positive news regarding Japan causes some people to get PO'd.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Great news. Japan remains a bit of a fantasy land for lots of our Asian neighbours. trendsetter in style, cuisine and lots more. Which is good.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Good to hear, this jackass at the drivers license office back in Vancouver was downright convinced anyone and everyone who went to Japan was getting cancer and dying within a year. Worst part was he would keep going on about how much he loved Japan. Thank god most people aren't as unreasonable as that dude.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Good news. For a country abundant in historical heritage sites and natural beauty, massive tourism promotion had been long due. It is good that Japan is taking its place among other popular travel destinationas.

The current path the country is taking will make it a popular cheap tourist destination for people from other wealthier Asian countries.

Inbound tourism is not a desease. It is a source of income for the communities at/around the tourist sites and as such it helps economic and social development in areas where otherwise there might be none. Japan is not cheap for tourists, yet people are coming into the country, their numbers growing every year.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

With the weaker Yen.... and Japan needing the extra tourist money... I'm sure the Chinese, Koreans and Taiwanese are happy to oblige. It can be quite refreshing to enjoy the excellent service in Japan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Great for the economy

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Love Japan and cannot wait to visit again!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

thats good! it also gives them the chance to learn more about the language, culture, history, business, aside from enjoying themselves and providing what is needed for the economy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

After comparing www.JAL.com to www.JAL.co.jp prices, i see the Japanese are paying about 50 % more for flying the same route.

I picked the same dates in March for return flights starting from the UK to Japan and a return flight starting from Japan to the UK.

JAL com UK to Japan return Pounds 840.31 (Yen 156,300)

JAL co.jp Japan to UK return Pounds 1,272.85 (Yen 236,750)

Is JAL charging Japanese customers more so they can give cheaper flights to enchourage tourists ?

(for some reason if i use the pound symbol, in preview i only get only the word "null". So i had to type the word pound) O.o

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Unfortunately it's not just JAL. All airlines do this. Return flights originating in Japan always cost more than return flights that start somewhere else and come to Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I feel like I'm in China when I'm at Fukuoka

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@masri

I feel like I'm in China when I'm at Fukuoka

Why? I live there (here) and 99.9 per cent of the people around me are Japanese....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

After comparing www.JAL.com to www.JAL.co.jp prices, i see the Japanese are paying about 50 % more for flying the same route.

It's "business in Japanese" . Encourage Japanese stay home, play in pachinkos, drink, and eat instant noodle for New Year ))) The less know, the less want ))))

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

How are these tourists from China in your opinions?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The sad part about this is that the same people bragging about the numbers are some of the people who welcome foreign travelers merely as lip service. They pat themselves on the back about the numbers and how it helps the economy, but scoff to their neighbours and complain that there are "so many Chinese!" or talk about how rude Chinese people are (in particular, though not limited to them). They want to be known as being wanted, and they want to spread the word that people want to come here -- they just don't want the people to be actually here.

That's a little extreme, of course, but it's a very common attitude. Just look at the comment above: "I feel like I'm in China when I'm at Ginza." I don't think Origin meant it as anything particularly negative, but I know a WHOLE lot of people who do. I hope they can get over it as there are more people traveling domestically here with the weak yen while more foreign tourists are coming in and heading to the same places, and I hope the places are accommodating (non of the complaints you see from some Japanese or some other posters on here about the signs being in more than just Japanese and English, or that there should be no Halal preparation of food, etc.). There's a lot of great stuff to see and do in Japan, and I think it's DEFINITELY a place you should come to and experience if you are a traveller, but there's not a whole lot worse than going to a place for a visit and having people who want the income sneer at you for being here and providing it.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Weak yen? not really if you look at stats longer than a few years, especially as we are still recovering from the last financial crash of 07/08. In fact it still very slightly strong compared to the norms in the years before the last financial crash. Well helicopter journalist who are only here for few years, that just rabbit report what they’ve here similar experienced journalists report.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good. Abolish the "per person, per room" system and more should come.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Agreed 888naff, the yen is at a 7 year low. 7 year. People here overreact to an unbelievable level.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Look... those saying it is not the "weak Yen", yes you're right. It really is that disposable income in China, SK and Taiwan is now at all time highs.... so there is more money to be spent on travel. A weaker yen helps but tourism has been on the rise no matter that. I also wonder if attitude may be a factor. I mean... after the Fukushima debacle I would think other non Japanese Asians might believe that any superior Japanese attitude might have been blunted due to the disaster. In addition.... visiting Japan would be a way of saying.... hey we've harbored a dislike for Japan for a long time.... now we can visit and rub it in. I'm not trying to be anti-Japanese... just stating what might be true... I could be all wrong of course.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Now the Japanese economy is still very, very weak but thanks to many foreign tourists, Japan is slowly but surely realizing that times have changed and yes, Japanese need to learn more English, Chinese etc..worry about Halal food etc..if they want to not only SURVIVE but get ahead.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yes, funny how Chinese people are supposed to hate Japan, but when they actually come here, they suddenly realise that it's far, cleaner, politer, smarter and more civilised than most parts of China...actually, make that ALL parts of China. Tourism is good for cross-cultural understanding.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@frontandcentre

By "smarter" do you mean "better-dressed" or "more intelligent"?

My experience with university students tells me the latter is definitely untrue.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

888naffDec. 24, 2014 - 09:19PM JST

Weak yen? not really if you look at stats longer than a few years,

Back in 2004 when i went to Japan, the rate was the same as it is now.

About 186 YEN to 1 pound.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

13 million tourists is a drop in the bucket compared to France's 83 million, really nothing to brag about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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