Top Source Countries For Tourists To Japan

China, South Korea, and Taiwan contributed the highest number of overseas tourists visiting Japan in the year 2016.


With four major islands, 19 world heritage sites, and abundant natural resources, Japan has a lot to offer the average tourist. Every year, millions of visitors from all over the world travel to Japan to sample its culture, nightlife, beautiful sceneries, shopping, and other attractions. Hundreds of expatriates also consider Japan as one of the most beautiful places to work and live in. With a rich history and mild climate, the country offers plenty of attractions and activities for tourists of all kinds. The Travel and Tourism Competitive Report 2017 ranked Japan as the best country in Asia and fourth overall out of 141 countries with the country gaining high points in almost all areas including health, hygiene, safety, cultural resources, and business travel among other aspects.

Overview Of The Tourism Sector In Japan

Domestic tourism plays an important role in promoting the economy of Japan and Japanese culture. The extensive transport network in the country includes extensive rail network and domestic flights which offer speedy transport and accessibility to the major attractions in the country. While Japanese’s past is characterized by events and a lengthy history, today’s Japan is intriguing with technology advancement and architecture which still maintains the country’s tradition.

Tokyo is one of the world’s best shopping areas and it is also famous for its temples and shrines. Cities such as Kyoto and Nara offer a wide range of architectural marvels and historic monuments that are major attractions in the country. Most of the tourists arrive in the country in the months of April, October, and November because of the favorable weather.

Tourist Statistics Of Japan

Japan attracted millions of domestic and foreign tourists in 2016. Japan was ranked 16th worldwide by the number of international arrivals and 5th in Asia in 2016. The country received over 24 million international tourists in 2016, a 21.8% increase compared to 2015. The Japanese government targets at least 40 million international tourists every year by 2020, a target that might be possible considering the recent statistics and the growth trend. China remains Japan’s top source of international tourists. In 2016, Japan received over 6.3 million visitors from China, a 27.6% increase from 2015 arrivals. The neighboring South Korea also remains an important source of foreign tourists for Japan. In 2016, 5.1 million South Koreans visited Japan, signifying a 27.2% growth from 2015. Other top source countries include Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the US with 4.1 million, 1.8 million, and 1.8 million tourists respectively visiting Japan. The highest percentage growth (29.1%) of visitors was from Malaysia with 394,200 tourists visiting the country in 2016 up from 305,000 in 2015.

Popular Tourists Destinations In Japan

From bustling cities to ancient shrines and temples, tourists visiting Japan have a lot of attractions to choose from. Most tourists make a stop in Tokyo, the largest city in Japan, to visit its shops, museums, and eateries. The Buddhist temples and shrines like the Golden Pavilion are frequented by tourists who are eager to learn about Japanese culture. Himeji Castle, comprising of a network of 83 buildings is one of the major attractions in the country with over 8 million tourists visiting the area. Other popular destinations include Hokkaido, Tohoku region, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai, Shikoku, and Chugoku regions.

Top Source Countries For Tourists To Japan

RankCountryNumber Of Tourist Arrivals in 2016
1 China6,373,000
2 South Korea5,090,300
3 Taiwan4,167,400
4 Hong Kong1,839,200
5 United States1,242,700
6 Thailand901,400
7 Australia445,200
8 Malaysia394,200
9 Singapore361,800
10 Philippines347,800
11 United Kingdom292,500
12 Canada273,100


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