Tourism in Japan

Tourism in Japan

Berger (2010) analysis of Japanese tourism has widely been considered as the most comprehensive study. Berger sees tourism in Japan as a major activity that generates income and stabilizes the country’s economy. In recent years, the country has tremendously improved in its tourism services to attract a wide number of tourisms both nationally and internationally. In recent years, tourism has widely been recognized in Japan such that the country has worked hard to boost the number of tourists visiting annually. This research paper seeks to present the number and figures of national and international tourism in Japan. In addition, it will also highlight customer profiles, customer choices, and product choices.

Japan tourism report – Q4 (2011) indicates that, the total number of international tourists to Japan was down by 23.1% in the first 10 months of 2009 compared to those of 2008. This study indicates that, there were over 7.28 million visitors who visited Japan. However in 2009, the number decreased gradually whereby only 5.6 million foreign travelers visited Japan. Additionally, the number decreased in 2011 because of the natural disasters that affected the country. In 2012 and 2013, there has been a slight improvement on the number of international travellers.  In March 2013, the numbers of foreign visitors to Japan were 857, 000 that was an increase of 26.3% from 2012 (Japan Tourism Marketing Co, 2013). The overall increase in the tourism industry was because of the global recession reforms and the current strengths of better infrastructures that ease travelling. The majority of international tourists includes South Korean, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. These segments identify themselves with the Japanese culture. Just like domestic tourism, most tourists prefer products that promote the culture and remind them of their historical overview. These products include islands, mountains, and art and culture. The following table illustrates the number of international countries from country to country as from January to March 2013.

Countries Jan 2013 Feb 2013 March 2013
Korea 234, 456 234, 400 206, 900
Taiwan 111, 345 150, 300 147, 000
China 72, 301 80, 900 102, 300
Hong Kong 31, 237 56, 500 59, 400
Thailand 16, 101 19, 900 44, 800
Australia 31, 669 21, 300 22, 600
USA 51, 261 45, 000 75, 500

Noted by Japan Tourism Marketing Co (2013).

Domestic tourism in Japan has enhanced a tremendous impact to the Japanese culture and economy. The trends of national tourism indicate that, in 2009 there was an increase in the number of tourists travelling within the country. This is because the country had recovered from the global recession and many Japanese were privileged to enjoy their own resources. In early 2011, the industry was promising as there was an increase of customers’ spending on tourism. However, in March 2011 the country experienced the largest earthquake in history, which in turn impacted the domestic tourism (Yasuda, 2010). Many could not travel within the country as there was fear all over of being affected by the disaster. According to the Euro monitor (2012), the domestic tourism decreased by 42% from 2010 to 2011. The decline in tourism industry created the need for the country to offer large discounts to its clients. Large discounts helped the country to stimulate the industry particularly the family segment. The most preferred tourist destinations include Hokkaido, Tohoku region, Kanto region, Chubu region, and Kansai region among others.



Berger, A. A. (2010). Tourism in Japan: An ethno-semiotic analysis. Bristol: Channel View Publications.

Euromonitor. (2012). Tourism Flows Domestic in Japan. Retrieved from

Japan Tourism Marketing Co. (2013).  Tourism Statistics. Retrieved from

Japan tourism report – Q4 2011. (2011). London, United Kingdom, London: Business Monitor International. Retrieved from

Williams, J. (2009). International tourism in Japan down 23 percent. Retrieved from

Yasuda, H. (2010). World heritage and cultural tourism in japan. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 4 (4), 366-375. doi:



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