Japan recorded 19,740,000 inbound tourists in 2015.  It is an up 47.3 percent from the previous year and has almost reached four year ahead of schedule of the goal “20 million inbound tourists annually by 2020”.  And the Japanese government now reset the target double to 40 million in 2020 which is the year of Tokyo Olympics / Paralympic games.

According to JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization), the top 10 countries are as follows.

1. China:  4,993 (unit=thousand)
2. Korea:  4,002
3. Taiwan:  3,677
4. Hong Kong:  1,524
5. USA:  1,033
6. Thailand:  796
7. Australia:  376
8. Singapore:  308
9. Malaysia:  305
10.Philippines:  268

From Australia, Dec. & Jan. are the peak months to travel to Japan and the share of those months is up to 26% of year total while the overall figures indicates only 15%.  After all, winter ski resorts are the Australian’s favorite in Japan.


Under the new goal, it is also targeted ¥8 trillion in spending by overseas visitors by 2020 — more than double last year’s record ¥3.48 trillion.  Tourism is an important pillar for the country’s growth and it is expected to boost growth to achieve the ¥600 trillion GDP goal.

The plans also include increasing promotional efforts to attract more tourists from Europe, the United States and Australia.

As a part revamping strategy of the country’s tourism industry, easing of regulations such as the ban on minpaku (renting private homes and rooms) and to improving the immigration process at airports through the introduction of advanced technology are being put into action.