By: Seleny Santamaria - Research assistant CCJCI
Japan is a country of contrasts, a place where ancient tradition meets modern technology and where natural beauty coexists with the bustling metropolis of Tokyo. Therefore, it is not surprising that Japan is a very popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors every year. Globally, we can find that 5 cities in Japan are among the top 100 most popular destinations worldwide. In 2019, Tokyo reached the 16th place with 10.44 million tourists.
Before talking about the amazing destinations that this country has, let's take a look at the evolution of tourism since 1995, the following graph shows the number of tourists arriving in Japan each year. We must clarify that a tourist is any person who spends at least one night in the country, but does not reside there for more than 12 months. According to the JNTO, the estimated number of international travelers to Japan from January to October 2022 was 1.527.210 million people.
According to JNTO (JAPAN NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION), in 1995, tourism revenues amounted to US$4,89 billion, or about 0,088% of GDP. In that year, some 3,35 million tourists visited the country and spent an average of US$1,463 per person. In 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased dramatically, with sales amounting to US$49,21 billion, or 0,96% of GDP. Thus, each visitor spent an average of USD 1.544 on his or her vacation in Japan. However, in 2020, tourism revenues plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Where they only brought in $11,4 billion. This represents a 77% decline in Japan.
What is expected for 2023?
Japan reopened its borders to international travelers as of October 11, 2022, where 498.646 tourists were registered. This fuels hopes for a broader travel recovery next year and the rapid recovery in visitor numbers suggests that the country's retailers and restaurants have high hopes for next year, following the sharp drop in business during the pandemic. On the other hand, tourists are traveling to Japan and the sectors of Japanese transportation and hospitality are struggling to find enough staff to cope with the upturn in demand. According to a September survey by Teikoku Databank Ltd., more than 60% of inns and hotels are understaffed, both full and part-time, and a weak yen, coupled with more moderate inflation, has helped boost travel to Japan, where hotels, meals, travel and shopping are cheaper for tourists.
Some recommended places to visit in Japan.
Finally, Japan has many more destinations to offer, if you are planning to visit the country of the rising sun this year, we recommend the following destinations to make your trip. these are just some of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Japan is famous for its temples, shrines, hot springs, natural beauty and delicious food, and is a perfect place for history and culture lovers, but also for those looking for a unique experience.
Japan's capital and largest city, Tokyo is a vibrant and exciting place to visit. From the neon lights of Shinjuku and Shibuya to the serene gardens of the Imperial Palace, there is something for everyone in Tokyo. Be sure to visit the city's many museums and art galleries, as well as its delicious Street food.
Often referred to as the cultural heart of Japan, Kyoto is home to thousands of temples and shrines, as well as traditional geisha quarters. Visitors can also see the famous Kyoto Imperial Palace, residence of Japan's Imperial Family, and the famous Golden Pavilion.
The tragic history of Hiroshima, which was the first city to be hit by an atomic bomb, is a sobering reminder of the destructive power of war. But visitors can also find peace and inspiration in the city's many memorials, such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
Japan's highest mountain and an active volcano, Mount Fuji is a popular destination for hikers and climbers. Even if you don't want to climb it, you can enjoy the beautiful views from the base or from one of the nearby hot springs.
Japan's northernmost island, it is known for its rugged natural beauty and outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and hot springs. Visitors can also see the Ainu people, an indigenous group with their own unique culture and traditions.
Okinawa's tropical islands offer a stark contrast to the rest of Japan, with their sandy beaches, coral reefs, and subtropical climate. Visitors can also learn about the history of the Ryukyu Kingdom and the Battle of Okinawa.
Mercado de Pescado de Tsukiji
For seafood lovers, a visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market is a must. It is one of the largest fish markets in the world, and is a great place to try fresh sushi and sashimi.
A small town located in the mountains north of Tokyo, Nikko is home to numerous beautiful temples and shrines, including the famous Toshogu Shrine. Visitors can also enjoy the natural beauty of the area, including the famous Kegon Waterfall.
Nara, Japan's first permanent capital, is home to many important historical sites, such as Todai-ji Temple, which houses the world's largest bronze Buddha statue. Visitors can also view the city's many deer, which are considered sacred and roam freely in Nara Park.
Osaka is the third largest city in Japan and was the first capital of the country. It is considered the booming economic center of Japan. It is home to the country's largest seaport and many of Japan's leading manufacturers. It is also considered a gastronomic paradise, nicknamed Tenka no Daidokoro which means homeland cuisine.
· Japan Tourism Statistics https://statistics.jnto.go.jp/en/