Tourism boom spreads economic benefits to rural Japan: report


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Well, that is all about to change because of this:

"Airbnb suspends majority of Japan listings ahead of new rental law"

6 ( +8 / -2 )

the promotion of barrier-free facilities

The biggest barrier that needs to be brought down is the discriminatory attitude far too many japanese have towards foreigners!

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Well it won't be long before these very same rural areas start to complain about unruly foreigners ruining the harmony

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If they got rid of Kadena and Futenma bases, the boost to tourism would be astonomical. It would make Okinawa one of the richest prefectures instead of the poorest.

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Sadly, all the Japanese people that I've met speak of rural areas (inaka) like it's the plague, instead preferring to live like sardines in any city. Let us hope that the tourists can induce enough of a positive economic effect to incite some actual infrastructure in the areas.

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ルラル日本(田舎の事だね。。。)。I love rural Japan. Best food there is. Of course, it helps a lot to speak Japanese...

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It might be hard to raise tourists’ expenditures from 150,000 to 200,000 by having them go to inaka. Things - hotels, food, sourvenirs - are cheaper there, there are fewer touristy junky things to buy, and hauling their purchases from inaka to the airport is a big hassle. Best to buy in bulk near the airport.

Question: How many tourists rent cars in Japan? Enough to cause traffic jams in the countryside?

Second question: if you want tourists to follow local etiquette and not be tourists, how will this education be done?

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See above article on AirBnB restrictions.

Shooting themsleves in the foot comes to mind.

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Like most people visiting Japan, most people going to inaka will be Asians on package trips. Most inaka prefectures have tourist destinations with old hotels that no longer get the Japanese trade they used to. That's where these people are staying. Hotels in onsen towns, in seaside towns, in mountain resorts etc. There are plenty of places that need more guests and will offer cheap midweek rates to large groups. I live in Nagano, and thousands of inbound Asians visit sights like the snow road at Tateyama, Kamikochi, and the Norikura Skyline. They do not and would not stay in Airbnbs.

In response to an earlier post, I would also say that Japanese inaka is actually full of incredible infrastructure. Highways, shinkansens, and other express trains linking towns that do not need them, with a high percentage of the world's longest and most expensive tunnels. Tarmac roads through paddy fields that only see tractors and the odd person walking their dog. 4G everywhere, even where there are steep mountains and every reason to not have it. Amazon Prime delivering stuff ordered from Tokyo at 10pm the next day. Pokey towns of 30,000 or fewer people with big bunka-kaikan concert halls and sport halls, little hamlets of twenty houses with their own kominkan community center. Inaka has many problems, but lack of infrastructure is not one of them.

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Great post Kohaku. Inakas in Japan really are amazing. I can't believe more young people prefer to live in overcrowded cities. Sure theres no jobs there but who wants to work anyway...

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@kohakuebisu: I've traveled much of rural Japan by car, and I'm just not seeing the same road and train infrastructure that you're talking about. Maybe your definition of rural is different from mine. The roads in most mountainous rural areas are not just narrow, but are near death-traps. In non-mountainous rural areas, roads are safer, but still narrow and slow. Many people have to drive/bus 10+ km to the nearest train station. A quick glance on Google maps will reveal numerous places out of reach except for one, maybe two tiny (albeit paved) roads. I know people who live in the inaka, and it takes them nearly 2 hours to commute a 40 km distance via bus/train. That same distance took me 25 minutes in the rural US, and 35 minutes in rural France, by car because of real highways (free, wide, with many lanes). OTOH, yes, I have seen some of the community building infrastructure that you mention.

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The best news of these last days. Check Fukuoka in Kyushu, taste the best food here! All around Fukuoka are beautiful rural landscapes, of seashores, vast fields and mounts/hills around. Fukuoka city is a starting spot to visit touristic places in Kyushu.

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Would be interesting to see a breakdown of these Tourists figures:

Age group

Visiting alone ,with Friends, with Family, package tour.


Country of origin.

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Question: How many tourists rent cars in Japan? Enough to cause traffic jams in the countryside?

A hell of a lot down here!

Let me put it this way, they ran out of わ number plates for registering rental cars, and now use れ as well. Not to mention that we get more tourists, both domestic and international, than Hawaii down here, and rental car companies are doing a booming business.

You can rent a Ferrari here for ¥18,000 and hour!

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The inaka I am thinking about is deep inaka. You cannot compare distances on roads in rural Japan with rural France because a lot of France is rolling countryside. Japan is mountainous. Roads have to be suspended on and tunneled through mountains. Japan's mountains aren't made of rock, so they can't just carve out a couple of lanes and forget about it for fifty years. Everything has to be supported and is at risk of landslides.

The size of roads on mountainsides and infrequency of trains and buses in inaka should tell you how much actual demand there is for these things. Many trains and buses will survive on subsidies.

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Good for Japan, ignore the naysayers.

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I like the large number of tourists finally visiting Japan. I'd like to see a little more of a friendlier attitude towards the Asian visitors by the locals though. Some are friendly but quite a few act a bit distant to them. Stoic service but with not much of a friendly feel to it.

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The biggest barrier that needs to be brought down is the discriminatory attitude far too many japanese have towards foreigners!

Best quote I've heard all day!

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Question: How many tourists rent cars in Japan? Enough to cause traffic jams in the countryside?

A fair number here in Hokkaido.

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