|Above, Nakamise Street in Asakusa. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Japan's economy is doing much better in retail sales compared to the same period last year. And, foreign tourism is also up.
Japanese department store sales jumped 13.7 percent in April on a same-store basis compared with the same month last year, when shoppers closed their wallets after an increase in the national sales tax, an industry group said on Tuesday.
Business also got a shot in the arm from foreign tourists, with their buying more than tripling year-on-year for a third straight month as they snapped up items like cosmetics and luxury watches, the Japan Department Stores Association said.
Foreign tourist arrivals rose to a record in the first three months of the year, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization, with a weak yen and expanded duty-free offerings becoming a big draw for international shoppers.