The earthquake and tsunami, followed by the radiation leak in Fukushima caused an instant drop in tourist arrivals in Japan. Arrivals in March were about half those of the same month last year. The number of Australian visitors to Japan had been booming in January and February due to the snow season but also plummeted in March by about 47 per cent.
A few months on since the disaster, tourist numbers remain well down with 36 per cent fewer visitors to Japan in June compared with last year and about 42 per cent fewer Australians. Domestic travel in Japan has also suffered badly.
Japan’s tourism industry is nothing if not resilient and all around Japan are signs saying “Ganbaro Nippon” (Keep Trying Japan) and international passengers at airports are welcomed by posters to “beautiful resilient Japan”. The possibility of disaster has always loomed over Japan with big tsunamis and earthquakes hitting every few decades.
There is no doubt that Australian’s and other world travelers will gradually return to Japan which many have grown to admire and appreciate. This winter will be the big test with skiers bound to return for the famous deep powder snow in the mountains and hot spring baths. Spring next year should also see a big wave of tourists return to Japan for the cherry blossoms and hanami parties under the flowering trees. Spring is a time after all in Japan where people reflect on beauty and the importance of enjoying it.
Read more here on Is It Safe to Travel to Japan
and here Reasons to Visit Japan