Visitors to Japan set new record above 24 million, tourism chief says
Japan Times -- Nov 11
The number of foreign visitors to Japan this year hit a new record, exceeding the previous high of over 24 million logged last year, Japan’s tourism minister said Friday.

After hitting the 20 million mark on Sept. 15 at the fastest pace ever, the number of visitors surpassed last year's record of 24,039,700 last Saturday, tourism chief Keiichi Ishii said.

The figure was boosted by an increase in budget airlines and cruise ships connecting Japan with neighbors including China, South Korea and Taiwan, according to officials.

"The government's efforts (to promote inbound tourism) have brought a consistent growth in the number," the land, infrastructure, transport and tourism minister said. "We'd like to accelerate steps to cultivate new tourism resources."

Data released by the Japan Tourism Agency in October showed about 21.2 million foreigners were estimated to have visited in the first nine months of 2017, up 17.9 percent from a year earlier.

今年、日本を訪れた外国人旅行者数が過去最高になりました。 石井国土交通大臣は日本を訪れた外国人旅行者数が今年1月から今月4日までの推計で、去年1年間の2403万人を超え、過去最高になったことを明らかにしました。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
Nov 19
The Phoenix Hall of Byodoin temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, glows at night during a trial illumination on Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
Nov 17
Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui sought support for the western Japan prefecture's bid to host the 2025 World Exposition at a general meeting of the Bureau International des Expositions in Paris on Wednesday. (Jiji)
Nov 17
Japanese regional carrier Air Do becomes the latest airline struck by the global shortage of pilots, saying Thursday it has canceled 26 flights scheduled for February after already grounding 34 trips this month. (Nikkei)
Nov 17
The government plans to actively promote stays at farming villages geared toward foreign tourists. Supportive measures to begin next fiscal year will include sponsoring skilled chefs to hold cooking classes at women’s clubs to enhance local cuisine, and other steps to attract foreigners interested Japanese food and culture. (the-japan-news.com)
Nov 16
Colorful autumn leaves are in their prime at a park in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, drawing many visitors. (NHK)
Nov 16
The Imperial Household Agency said Wednesday that it will open Inui Street, running through the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo, to the public on Dec. 2-10. (Jiji)
Nov 15
The first public exhibition of a giant panda cub born at a Tokyo zoo in 29 years will begin next month, with large numbers of visitors expected. (Japan Today)
Nov 13
Of all the things there are to see and do in a foreign city, it's fair to say a visit to the local garbage incinerator is not usually one of them. But a garbage facility in the Japanese city of Osaka has become a major tourist attraction --- for all the wrong reasons. (cairnspost.com.au)
Nov 13
The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka’s French restaurant La Baie and The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto’s Japanese restaurant Tempura Mizuki have both been awarded one Michelin star in the Michelin Guide to Kyoto and Osaka 2018. (Japan Today)
Nov 12
Airports around the world have found an unconventional, eco-friendly way to take advantage of all the unused open space around their runways and buildings: hosting beehives. (Japan Times)