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Japan tourism returns to pre-COVID ranges. How expensive is it, and where should you go?

Japan’s falling foreign money has made the notoriously dear vacation spot way more reasonably priced.


Guests have been flocking again to Japan this yr, with vacationer numbers almost at pre-pandemic ranges in accordance to official knowledge.

The nation welcomed greater than 2 million worldwide guests for a fourth consecutive month in September, the Japan Nationwide Tourism Group (JNTO) discovered.

That equates to simply over 96 per cent of ranges seen in 2019 earlier than the outbreak of COVID-19 led to journey curbs all over the world.

Japan’s falling foreign money has additionally made the notoriously dear vacation spot way more reasonably priced.

Does Japan nonetheless have COVID restrictions for travellers?

Japan had a number of the world’s strictest COVID-19 border restrictions and was one of many final to carry them.

The nation solely resumed visa-free journey for a lot of nations a yr in the past and all remaining controls had been abolished in Could.

Regardless of lifted restrictions, the nation additionally appeared unprepared for the primary wave of travellers who discovered outlets shuttered and a scarcity of hospitality employees.

Guests had been additionally initially solely permitted to journey with personal tour teams authorised by the federal government.

Japan is a stunning cut price vacation spot

Now guests are flooding again, notably because the yen’s slide to a close to 33-year low has made Japan a surprisingly low-cost vacation spot.

“With inflation in the USA, every little thing is outrageously expensive, and coming right here, it is lots cheaper,” John Hardisty, a vacationer from Hawaii, stated throughout a latest buying journey in Tokyo. “It is like an evening and day distinction.”

The variety of guests arriving from the USA, South Korea and Singapore reached file ranges for the month of September, the JNTO stated. Travellers from Mexico had been a file for any month.

How is the return of tourism affecting Japan?

The renewed inflow of vacationers is placing stress on Japan’s hottest websites.

Mount Fuji has seen a dramatic enhance in customer numbers which is inflicting air pollution, security issues, and discussions about limiting entry.

The crowds of climbers are inflicting worries about human visitors jams on the pathways up the mountainside.

“Overtourism additionally entails quite a few dangers, together with the protection of hikers,” defined Masatake Izumi, a Yamanashi prefecture official.

“For instance, if massive numbers of individuals find yourself in a human visitors jam beneath the summit, there may very well be jostling and falls or falling rocks, which may lead to severe accidents. This is a really worrying risk for us.”

Japan’s crowd-free island

As an alternative of crowding into Japan’s customer hotspots, strive choosing various locations – a transfer which additionally helps mitigate the consequences of overtourism.

In 2021, the distant island of Iriomote was added to the listing of UNESCO World Heritage websites.


Iriomote is a part of an archipelago of 160 subtropical islands within the Okinawa prefecture within the East China Sea.

The island is a nature lover’s paradise, with over 90 per cent lined in tropical forest, and is house to the most important mangrove jungle in Japan.

You’ll additionally discover picture-perfect seashores, the breathtaking Mariudo Waterfall and leafy mountain climbing trails all unsullied by mass tourism.


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