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Number of foreign visitors to Japan 2011-2020

In 2020, the number of foreign visitors traveling to Japan amounted to around 4.12 million, a sharp decrease from 31.88 million in the previous year. The majority of international visitors arrive from East Asian regions, with Korean, Chinese, and Taiwanese visitors in the lead.

Travel during COVID-19

Japan imposed international travel entry bans when COVID-19 had turned into a pandemic. As of March 2021, severe restrictions and stringent requirements that need to be fulfilled for those who wish to visit Japan remain in place. Inbound travel is generally discouraged. This is the reason for the sharp decrease of inbound travelers to Japan in 2020.

Inbound tourism in Japan

While the Japanese tourism industry is dominated by the prominence of domestic travels, the growing number of inbound visitors and the steadily increasing tourism expenditure shows the rising popularity of Japan as a travel destination. To tap into the potential of the vibrant industry, the Japanese government announced measures to reach its long-term target of 40 million tourists by 2020.

Motivations to visit Japan

The island nation offers international tourists a range of holiday activities in the bustling metropolises, contrasted by the overabundance of nature-related activities in the suburban areas away from city life. The most common activity that motivated tourists to visit Japan was to try the local cuisine. While well-known Japanese dishes like ramen and sushi ranked high among overseas travelers, the most popular food during their stay in Japan was meat and meat-related dishes.

Number of international visitors to Japan from 2011 to 2020

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Release date

January 2021



Survey time period

2011 to 2020

Supplementary notes


Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Travel and tourism in Japan "

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