Tourism to Japan Soars, Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Levels

Japan is setting records for the number of tourists visiting — and it’s doing this despite record low turnout from China.

Unseen Japan


By Jay Allen

Picture up airplane against Japanese flag

Tourism has been on the rise since Japan re-opened its doors in October 2022. Now, the country’s tourism agency says that business is better than it was even before the pandemic.

Who’s coming to Japan?

Creative abstract business travel and tourism concept: air tickets or boarding pass, passports, touchscreen smartphone with online airline tickets booking or reservation internet application, magnetic compass, credit cards and pen on world geographic map atlas with selective focus effect

As we’ve covered before, tourism to Japan went from overflowing to nonexistent in the blink of an eye when the COVID-19 crisis hit. Since October 2022, however, the number of tourists has steadily increased.

We reported recently that tourist spending had already surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Now, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization, the number of visitors is setting new records as well.

The JNTO reported this week that, for the month of October, 2,561,500 people visited Japan. That exceeds the October 2019 totals — the first time that’s happened since re-opening. This is also the fifth month in a row that visitors to Japan have exceeded 2 million people.

Who’s visiting? The largest number come from South Korea, which saw 631,100 tourists vacation here. Next up was Taiwan, at 424,800, China at 256,300, and America at 211,900.

China’s numbers continue to lag

What’s remarkable about this number is that the number of tourists from China is down a whopping 64.9%. Part of that is due to Japan not lifting restrictions on travel from China until August. However, disputes over the handling of radioactive water from tsunami-ravaged Fukushima, along with a lull in China’s economy, have continued to depress tourism.

Fortunately, visits from other countries are exceeding historic levels. 3.2 times more South Koreans are visiting than usual, and Taiwan’s numbers are up by 2.7 times.

The JNTO predicts that, by the end of the year, Japan will have hosted a whopping 25…