Ancient capital Nara falls short in domestic tourism ratings


TOKYO (majirox news) — Nara prefecture, home to one of Japan’s ancient capitals and active in promoting tourism, ranks in the bottom quarter for tourism popularity across most categories, according to an annual online survey by Recruit Co.

Nara ranked fourth among Japan’s 47 prefectures for its “spots and facilities that adults can enjoy,” trailing only Chiba, Kyoto and Okinawa prefectures, according to the survey of 15,556 people who went on a domestic vacation during the 2010 fiscal year.

But its rankings fell dramatically in other areas despite its efforts to promote tourism based on its status of the prefectural capital having been Japan’s capital from 710 to 794.

“Last year, Nara gained tourists because it was topical (due to the 1,300th anniversary of shifting the capital to Kyoto). Going forward, it’s important for Nara to devise policies to gain repeat visitors by creating local specialties or new attractions,” a Recruit spokesman said.

Nara’s rankings fell especially sharply during the past year in the “spots and facilities that young people can enjoy,” dropping from 20th to 36th, and for having “many attractive local specialties or souvenirs,” where it fell from 21st to 39th.

Nara ranked 44th for “spots and facilities that children can enjoy” and for having “many attractive accommodation facilities,” and 45th for having “many tasty foods that can only be enjoyed locally.”

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