Japan is full of character and beauty. The country basks in it’s culture and scenery. For example, the impressive, mount Fuji, located in central Honshu offers beautiful views and a sense of escapism. Japans traditions are one of the biggest influences on why tourists come to visit, an example of this is their cuisines, which is presented in an art form (Boniface and cooper)
'The concept of mobility’s encompasses both the large-scale movements of people, objects, capital and information across the world, as well as the more local processes of daily transportation, movement through public space and the travel of material things within everyday life’ (Hannam, Sheller & Urry, 2006: 1). The experience economy is the way in which experiences are sold to customers, usually through things such as events. This links to my website as I will be investigating how successful hosting a festival would be in Japan.
This table shows countries across the globes competitiveness ranking, it is a measurement of factors which make a country appealing for businesses to develop in travel and tourism. Japan is ranked as number 9 out of 141 counties, showing that it is a successful and sought after area to start a business in the tourism industry. In addition to this it is the highest-ranking country in Asia, showing that opportunities to start a business would thrive here.
Aim of the website
The aim of this website is to investigate Japan as a country, what resources it has to offer tourists and how successful the country has been doing in recent years. This is to assess whether an event, such as a festival, would thrive here.
International travel flow
This graph shows the number of international tourists visiting japan per million, per year. The graph shows that up until 2004 tourism numbers were increasing slowly but started to rapidly increase until 2008 where we can see numbers of arrivals fluctuates. A reason was the big decrease of arrivals in 2011 is likely to be due to the tsunami caused by an earthquake which may have deterred people from visiting. However, since 2011 we can see arrival numbers have almost doubled with a dramatic increase in visitors, showing that japan is becoming a more desirable place to visit.
Figure 3 shows the number of overseas residents visiting japan by month. It is clear to see that the number of arrivals over the past 5 years has been increasing at a fast rate. An example of this is in February where visits have increased by almost 1,500, 000 in this month between 2016 and 2012.
Domestic travel trends
Japan has a strong level of domestic tourism, this can be shown with figures of domestic travel spending in 2014. Domestic spending was at 91.8% compared to foreign visitor spending which was 8.2% (World travel and Tourism council, 2015) This shows that Japan relies heavily on its domestic tourism as it contributes more to the economy than foreign visitors.
One of Japans benefits is the vast range of activities domestic tourists can do, which may be influential as to why domestic tourism is so popular, they don’t need to travel far to experience new things. For example, skiing, which is practised by 15 million Japanese residents in north Honshu and Hokkaido. (Boniface et al., 2016) Pilgrimages to Shinto and Buddhist shrines are popular family holidays. Visits to Onsens provide stress free relaxation holidays. In addition to some of these traditional Japanese holidays, western influences such as Tokyo Disneyland are attracting more visitors.
The strong level of domestic tourism is good for events because it is showing that this type of visitor are willing to travel and spend their money on different activities so an event should thrive here.
Japan hosts a wide range of different type of transport links which are highly developed. Many of the cities have extensive bus services, in addition to this, Taxis can be found even in small cities and islands. Big cities, for example Osaka and Tokyo have mass transit rail systems as well as subway systems. Tram line can be found in larger cities too, benefiting tourists as they get the views of the city and it is a relatively easy system to work. (Lonely planet, 2016)
In addition to these transport links, Japan also has a highly-advanced bullet train which is called Shinkansen which reaches speeds of 320 kph, making it quicker and easier to visit more than one place within japan. (ACPrail, 2016) Japan also has excellent air travel with 90 airports. Most major airlines fly to japan such as Emirates and Cathay Pacific. This is beneficial to japans Tourism because these are well known and trusted airlines which make japan well connected to the rest of the globe.
Another widely popular natural attraction are Onsens, natural hot springs. These hot springs are located throughout Japan and have been developed into tourist attractions. (Japan Guide, 2016) Spas are often built onsite to promote the high-quality water and the minerals within its benefits.
Japan is rich in culture and history. Temples and shrines can be found in most towns and cities, while large cities such as Kyoto can have several hundred located in them. Some examples of these sacred Buddhist temples are Osorenzan, Kiyomizudera and Todaiji Temple. People visit these shrines to learn about their origin and history, view the breath-taking architecture and the views around, as many are in mountainous areas.
Japan hosts a wide range of events and festivals from floating lantern festival to the blossom festival and to Gion Matsuri. Gion Matsuri is considered one of the largest events and most famous events held in the country, it is in the city of Kyoto. The festival takes place over the month of July and consists of many different events. The grand procession is one of the more well-known events, which takes place on July 17th. The event is promoted on tourism websites such as Kyoto Guide and Japan Guide, showing that this event isn’t just for locals and is quite the spectacle for all to see.
Tokyo Olympics 2020
In 2020 japan will be hosting their second Olympics, which was in 1964, in the countries capital Tokyo. Because the Olympics is a mega event it will put worldwide attention on Japan and provide lots of opportunities to encourage tourism here. It is being hosted in Japans capital, Tokyo. They plan to use as many existing venues as possible but are also redeveloping the Tokyo national stadium. (Olympics.org, 2016) This is good for Japan because they will be able to save money on building all new stadiums, reusing old ones will allows them to save money which can be reinvested elsewhere to further encourage visitors coming here for the event. There is an estimated 10 trillion yen being invested into construction to help achieve the 20 million estimated visitors in 2020. (Bank of Japan, 2016) To accommodate for this huge increase in visitor numbers, Tokyo will need to build more hotels. Previously in the London 2012 games, around 300 extra hotels were built between the time the games were announced and when they began(Matsutani, 2014) This helps shows just how many extra visitors to the city will be expected and what Japan will need to do to maximise the success. Previous Olympics in other destinations can help give an insight on how the event will affect Japans own success during and after the Olympics. London 2012 expected to welcome 4 million additional visitors by 2015, due to the impact of the Olympics. (London 2012 facts and figures, 2012)