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Marchio di Ospitalità Italiana

Italian tourism flow toward Japan is on the rise

According to the data published by the Japanese Embassy in Rome, in the period from January to October of the last year 56,248 Italian tourists have visited Japan, up more than 30% compared to 2012. This is an impressive figure if we consider that in the first half of 2013 the inflow has been even higher than the same period in 2010, before the awful tsunami of 2011.

Indeed, it seems that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has not cast a long-lasting spell on the appeal of Japan to tourists: as soon as the alarming news about the radiation risk for travelers have begun to fade, the inflow of Italian tourists to Japan has started growing at an astonishing rate.

Traveling to Japan has long suffered the belief of being too expensive, but lately many young couples are choosing the country as honeymoon destination; accordingly, the number of travel agencies offering couples romantic trips to Japan is arising. The phenomenon is particularly evident for main cities like Rome and Milan.

From the beginning of this year, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has organized a series of events to raise the interest of Italian tourists toward Japan. Among these, a contest that took place in February aimed at increase awareness on Japanese food culture (one of the Unesco Intangible Heritage of Humanity since last December) registered an amazing number of participants (17.603 people, JNTO data). The winners received free airline tickets, vouchers for food-related tours and hotels in Japan, ikebana and sumi-e classes, and discount coupons valid for dining in the still few, real Japanese restaurants in Italy.

Where does the attractiveness of Japan lies according to Italian visitors and, more in general, to travelers from all over the world? Tokyo has certainly become a paradise of sorts for geeks, who can now take an advantage of the strong devaluation of the yen. With an amazing observation desk, also the brand new Sky Tree (634 meters) is one of the most visited attractions of the city by all the tourists that want admire the Tokyo skyline. But Japan does not mean just Tokyo and many Italian travelers know that, planning also on journeys along the so-called The Golden Route, or discovering the thousand temple of Kyoto; wandering through the streets of Osaka, largely considered a primary target for tasting Japanese food, or simply stretching out in the sun of the Okinawan Islands.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the international flights towards Japan are growing at a pace that Japanese skies are now on the edge of a flight crisis. The Japanese airlines are worried about the advanced age of the pilots and the lack of young staff needed to host the about 20 million people that the country expects by 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

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