Okayama Korakuen Garden enjoys rebound in tourism
Japan Times -- Jun 06
Visitors to Korakuen Garden in Okayama, one of the nation's top three Japanese gardens, exceeded 800,000 for the first time in 15 years, thanks to a surge in tourism and events to lure young people.

Attendance hit 817,260 in fiscal 2015 ended in March. The last time it passed the 800,000 line was in fiscal 2000, on the 300th anniversary of its foundation.

Korakuen was created by Ikeda Tsunamasa, the feudal lord of the Okayama clan, about 300 years ago. It is widely known as one of Japan's three beautiful gardens, along with Kenrokuen in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, and Kairakuen in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Visitors peaked in fiscal 1972, when shinkansen runs began to Okayama. The number has hovered between 600,000 and 800,000 since dropping below 1 million in fiscal 1994. In fiscal 2014, the prefecture crafted an action plan to push it back up to 750,000 by fiscal 2016.

Okayama is also focusing on reeling in foreign tourists.

The prefecture began increasing the number of information boards written in English and Chinese after the Japan edition of the Michelin Guide travel book rated the garden as a three star destination in 2009, along with Mount Fuji and other places.

The city then increased the number of Wi-Fi hot spots to meet tourist demand.

News source: Japan Times
Mar 25
Springtime cherry blossoms are drawing crowds of sightseers to the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo. (NHK)
Mar 25
Local residents and tourists are visiting Kumamoto Castle in southwestern Japan to view cherry blossoms in a picturesque setting. (NHK)
Mar 24
In 2017, Japan attracted a record number of foreign tourists – 28.69 million people which is 19.3% more than in the previous year. Being one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Japan is often listed on people's must-go-to places. (newsonjapan.com)
Mar 24
Tokyo Customs and the conservation group WWF Japan launched a campaign Friday to warn foreign visitors about traveling with souvenirs made from ivory, notifying them that it is illegal to depart with such products. (Japan Today)
Mar 23
Railway fans have flocked to Kyoto for a debut of new train cars that will take tourists to the ancient Enryaku-ji Temple in Mount Hiei. (NHK)
Mar 23
The Legoland Japan Hotel and Sea Life Nagoya aquarium built next to the Legoland theme park in Nagoya. (Japan Today)
Mar 22
After months of cold weather, which brought the heaviest snowfall in four years to Tokyo back in January, the days finally began warming up in the capital last week, with sunny skies and temperatures reaching highs of 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 degrees Fahrenheit). (soranews24.com)
Mar 22
Many foreign tourists to Japan often wonder why public transportation, especially in areas of Tokyo renowned for their nightlife, is so limited after the last trains of the night. (Kyodo)
Mar 21
Japan saw an estimated 2,509,300 visitors from overseas in February, up 23.3 pct from a year earlier, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Tuesday. (Jiji)
Mar 20
A Somei-Yoshino cherry tree being monitored in Kochi reached full bloom on Monday, the Metrological Agency said. (Japan Times)