Japan hosts 10m international visitors
With a weak yen and the announcement of Tokyo 2020, more tourists are flooding to Japan than ever before in order to see what the fuss is about.
According to new statistics from the Japan National Tourism Organization, the government’s annual goal of hosting more than ten million foreign visitors was achieved for the first time in 2013, with December’s figure of 864,600 enough to push it over the edge.
In response to the news, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe called a meeting and informed his government that they should work on a new action plan to up the number of holidaymakers to 20 million.
This may appear ambitious to some, but with the most historic sporting event set to be held in Japan in just six short years, the target might be achieved more quickly than anticipated.
Besides the obvious attraction of the Olympics, Japan is home to one of the most fascinating societies on the planet, and it’s understandable why visitor numbers are on the increase.
Blending ancient traditions with the ultra modern, it counts cities Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya among its ranks.
Those who enjoy the historical aspects will want to check out temples and places of worship such as the Meiji Shrine and the Golden Pavilion, while fans of tomorrow’s technology simply must visit Tokyo’s electric town Akihabara.
Traditional activities such as taking tea with a geisha (or geiko, as they are known) are tricky for tourists to experience without knowing the right person, but karaoke is open to all and Westerners often find themselves applauded and cheered on their first try.
The country is also acclaimed for its delicious gastronomic delights and it outranks France in terms of Michelin stars.
If raw fish makes you feel squeamish, be sure to try Okonomiyaki pancake and Japanese barbecue – both of these are traditional Japanese dishes.