|Above, a tourist information office at Niigata Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Until the past few years, Japan has been rather lackadaisical about promoting itself as a tourist destination. In preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Japan has accelerated their efforts to make the country more tourist-friendly.
That, and other factors have made Japan an "unpopular tourist destination" for foreigners. Compared to other Asian nations, Japan lags far behind in popularity.
Rocket News 24 has posted an article analyzing this. They begin with:
You would think that a country like Japan, rich as it is in both traditional culture and technical innovation, as well as plenty of weird and wacky things you’ll never see elsewhere, would be a huge hit with tourists. But as it turns out, Japan is actually not such a popular destination for people traveling abroad. Join us after the jump to find out why.Some of the other reasons cited in the article could be intimidating to a foreign visitor, but I personally never had any difficulty. The so-called "language barrier" has never been a problem for me. There are plenty of guidebooks on Japan to study (and bring along) before going. Also, there are racks of maps and guides in English and other languages in virtually every hotel lobby, train or subway station and at tourist information centers.
To read the full article, go here.