Japan Visitor Numbers Recover to More than Half of Pre-Pandemic Level

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Foreign tourists are seen at Sensoji temple in the Asakusa district of Taito Ward, Tokyo, on Jan. 18.

The number of foreign visitors to Japan in January is estimated to be about 1,497,300, which is 55.7% of what it was in January 2019 before the pandemic began, the Japan National Tourism Organization reported Wednesday.

The latest figure is 84.3 times the level it was compared to January 2022, when the government had strict COVID-19 border control measures in place. The data also showed an upward trend of visitors to Japan, especially from Asian countries, excluding China.

By country and region, 565,200, or 37.7%, arrived from South Korea, 259,300 from Taiwan, 151,900 from Hong Kong, 88,100 from the United States and 63,400 arrived from Thailand.

The resumption of direct flights from many countries and regions to various parts of Japan has contributed to the increase in tourists.

Prior to the pandemic, most foreign tourists were from China. However, only about 31,200 Chinese tourists are estimated to have visited Japan in January as a result of continued sales restrictions of travel packages to Japan in China, as well as tighter border controls in Japan.