“The records are falling like ninepins“, said a delighted Bettina Kraemer of the Japanese tourist board. In 2016 more than 24 million people visited Japan, 21.8 per cent more than in 2015. However, for Japan’s prime minister Shinzō Abe that is still not enough. Kraemer added, though not altogether seriously, that he is hoping for 40 million in the year of the Olympics. Visitor numbers from Germany are rising too. In 2016 183,300 Germans visited Japan, 12.7 per cent more than the previous year.
The tourist board also had some news for visitors: the Japan Rail Pass can now be purchased directly in Japan. The pass is valid for the entire JR rail network including Shinkansen high-speed trains and was previously only available abroad.
In March 2017 new temple lodgings, under the name of Shukubo, are due to open in the historical Teramachi district of Osaka. Originally intended as overnight accommodation for pilgrims, the lodgings have also been available to tourists for some years now.
Before travelling to Japan visitors can now get information and advice from locals. A platform called Tomodachi Guide helps visitors to make contact or arrange meetings.
Two Japanese luxury trains are scheduled to go into service soon. The Twilight Express Mizukaze run by JR West will cover routes in western Japan. This elegant train is appointed like a luxury hotel. The Train Suite Shiki-Shima of JR East is due to go into service in May. Starting in Tokyo, it will operate in the northeast between Tohoku and Hokkaido. This train also has all the comforts one could wish for.
Hall 26a, booth 129
Press contact: Bettina Kraemer – Japanese Tourist Board
Tel.: +49 (0)69 - 203 54