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Travel News 2018: 30m visitors - bad tourists?

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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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Twenty-eight million foreign visitors to Japan in 2017, more than 30 million in 2018: Japan is slowly approaching the target of 40 million annual visitors set by the government for 2020.

“We are still on the way to our goal, but I am glad that the number is steadily growing,” Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii said at a news conference on Friday. “We will strive to promote tourism as much as we can.” The government is targeting 40 million foreign visitors by 2020 when Tokyo will host the Olympics and Paralympics. Japan logged an all-time high of 28.69 million foreign visitors in 2017, up 19.3 per cent from the previous year. Growth in inbound tourism continues despite a series of natural disasters this year. Kansai International Airport in Osaka and New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido were both temporarily closed in September following a strong typhoon and earthquake, respectively. Japan has seen a continued rise in foreign tourists from Asian countries, particularly China, as a result of eased visa requirements and an expanded tax exemption program.

Source: Foreign tourists in Japan set to hit record 30 million in 2018 | The Japan Times

Tied with the surging numbers of foreign visitors is the issue of "bad tourists": tourists who apparently misbehave or blatantly contravene Japanese decorum. Repercussions have already been seen in places like Kyoto where tourism seems to impede the daily lives of residents.

Amy Chavez puts the blame on the failure to educate foreign tourists accordingly. I can't say I agree with everything she states in her article, but it is an interesting read nevertheless.

Blame for 'bad tourists' to Japan lies with the advice they never receive | The Japan Times


Manuals like the one above pop up everywhere. I found this one in a small town in Tottori.


4 Sep 2015
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I wonder how many tourist overstay their visa. Also, anyone here know how many get deported yearly. I would think it is a large number.


Quietly exploding
27 Nov 2012
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I’m still pretty shocked by those toilet usage signs. They’re pretty much made for Chinese tourists, whether it’s written there or not. But I can’t believe anyone making it to an international airport doesn’t know how to use a Western toilet, even the grandpa dragged on some nouveau riche Chinese family vacation. But they’re now in pretty much all public toilets in Hokkaido. Hokkaido is a top destination for Chinese and had a mini-scandal with their “common-sense” rules to Japan pamphlet a few years back, implyng visitors lacked common-sense. Japanese have made toilet usage some exotic thing, as if it was some actually unique thing like the rule against slippers on tatamis, which has never been written anywhere, UNTIL THIS DAY. No matter how many times my soon-to-be wife screamed “当たり前!” at me, I wasn’t going to know. You can’t wear slippers on tatamis, FYI.

That said (/written), I took my father to a restaurant years ago, and he told me they had a very awkward urinal in the washroom. I explained that there was no urinal, that it was a unisex, simple washroom. “I guess I peed in the sink,” he said. I was a little... what’s the emotion you have when your dad tell you he pissed in a restaurant sink?

Japan is a special country, but usually not for the reasons it thinks it is.
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