Most satisfying food among foreign visitors in Japan 2019

The most popular food among foreign visitors in Japan was meat, according to a survey conducted in 2019. The Japanese cuisine offers a variety of meat-based dishes including rice bowls with meat toppings (donburi), pork cutlet (tonkatsu) or new trend foods like meat sushi.

Who spends the most money on culinary tourism?

Eating and drinking made up the third largest expense item of inbound tourists in Japan, following shopping and accommodation expenditures. In 2019, a majority of inbound tourists in Japan arrived from regions in close proximity to the Japanese archipelago. Consequently, the highest expenses on food and beverages were generated by foreign visitors from China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong, respectively.
While Chinese visitors led the ranking for the highest accumulated expenses during their stay in Japan, Australian tourists spent the most money on foodstuff on a per person average.

The Japanese food service industry

The food service industry in Japan is growing steadily within the domestic HRI sector. Strengthened by a lively tourism sector, businesses specializing in popular Japanese dishes like noodle shops and sushi restaurants were recording an upward trend in sales revenue in recent years.
However, with fast food like hamburgers and chicken wings growing popular among Japanese consumers, major franchises like MOS Food Services and McDonald’s Japan arranged their product lines to include Western-style fast food with inspirations taken from the local cuisine.

Most popular food according to foreign visitors in Japan in 2019

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period


Number of respondents

46,053 respondents

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

Open-ended survey question.
The annual data is compiled from the monthly surveys conducted by the Japan Tourism Agency and its contractor.

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Statistics on "Travel and tourism in Japan "

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