Visitors to Japan Recover to 66% of Pre-Pandemic Level

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Visitors crowd Owakudani, a tourist destination in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, in December 2022.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of foreign visitors to Japan in April recovered to 66.6% of the level in the same month of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, amid higher tourism demand during the cherry blossom season, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Wednesday.

Excluding those from mainland China, where the recovery was sluggish due to Beijing’s restrictions on travel to Japan, the figure reached 83.7% of the pre-pandemic level.

An estimated 1,949,100 foreigners visited Japan last month, an increase of about 14-fold from a year earlier and up from about 1.81 million in March, the organization said.

Visitors from South Korea were the largest, at 467,000, followed by Taiwan, at 291,600, the United States, at 183,900, and Hong Kong, at 152,800.

Compared with April 2019, the number of visitors from the United States was up 8%. The number climbed 22.5% for those from Indonesia and 14.4% from Singapore.

Visitors from mainland China, which had accounted for some 20% of all foreign visitors before the pandemic, came to 108,300, up from 75,700 in March but only 14.9% of the pre-pandemic level.

Some executives in the Japanese airline and tourism industries have voiced expectations for a further recovery in inbound demand, after Tokyo lifted pandemic border controls at the end of April.