Foreign visitors come back to Japan


TOKYO (majirox news) Among the economic gloom, there’s some good news for this beautiful and fascinating country. The tourists are coming back. The number of foreign visitors to Japan in May reached 669,000 — a jump of 87 percent from a year ago.

The March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident had dissuaded tourists from visiting last year, but things have changed now. Even the strong yen and relatively high prices are not keeping visitors away.

“It’s very easy to find good reasonable rates through the Internet from 20 to 30 dollar accommodations for young people,” said Mamoru Kobori, director at the Japan National Tourism Organization.” They can just click in and find cheap accommodations. Also hotels and travel agencies offer good rates through the Internet.”

Japan has many famous sights and it takes time to see it all. Tourists typically spend between three days and two weeks to visit the tourist attractions and experience the culture of the country.

“The so called golden route spots include Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and the Osaka area are still the number one destination,” he said. “But neighboring countries go to places like Okinawa and Hokkaido and recently are emerging as very popular places.”

China provided a record number of visitors in May. Even so, there were more South Koreans and Taiwanese visitors than Chinese. And Malaysian and Indonesian tourists with Islamic backgrounds are now visiting Japan. Though they may have specific requirements, such as dietary restrictions, the Tourism Organization is making efforts to cope with this. Although big tour groups may experience a few problems now, these should be solved in the near future.

The feeling is that if you have the time and the interest, Japan is once more a viable vacation spot, according to Kobori.

“We decided to go somewhere different,” said Ben from Ireland who was visiting Tokyo for his 60th birthday.

His wife said, “It’s completely different, the people the customs, the food, everything.”

The number of visitors at famous sights such as Tokyo’s Sensoji Temple, built in the 7th century, has shot up from the post-disaster hundreds last year to thousands this year. More and more people from different parts of the world are discovering the charm of nation.

This trend augurs well for Japan’s tourism business, as more and more people from different parts of the world discover the charm of the country.

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