|Above, Jonathan Bellés, Yoshikazu Ishii and Armand at the Tsukuba Hotel in Ueno last February.|
A record 13.4 million foreign tourists came to Japan in 2014, which is up about 30% from 2013's record of 10 million foreign visitors. This is according to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) estimate as reported in an article by Nikkei Asian Review.
According to the article, foreign visitors spent about 2.03 trillion yen ($17.2 billion) during their Japan visits. This was 40% more in tourist spending from the previous year.
It is remarkable that Japan has seen record numbers of foreign visitors during the past two years. This is especially true after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
Overseas travelers are increasingly a force to be reckoned with in Japan.
In 2011, the number of foreign tourists dropped after the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdowns hit the east coast of Japan that March. The number of visitors started rising again in 2012, and surpassed the threshold of 10 million for the first time in 2013.
Jonathan Bellés of Spain and I were just two of the 13.4 million foreign visitors when we visited Japan last February. So, we did our part in helping Japan hit the record.
Much of the increase was due to the weakening yen and the easing of some visa requirements, particularly for other Asian countries. The weakening yen made goods in Japan comparatively cheaper.
Will Japan top last year's record number of foreign visitors this year?
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