Tourism in Japan

Tourism in Japan

Japan recorded a total of 4 million tourists in 2020, ranking 43rd in the world in absolute terms.

The fact that larger countries regularly perform better in a comparison of the absolute number of guests is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Japan, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.033 tourists per resident, Japan ranked 155th in the world. In East Asia, it ranked 4th.

Japan generated around 11.40 billion US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 0.23 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 35 percent of all international tourism receipts in East Asia.

A global comparison can be found here › International tourism

Back to overview: Japan

Most popular destinations in Japan

No less than 5 cities in Japan are among the top 100 most popular destinations worldwide. In 2019 Tokyo reached the 16th place with 10.44 million tourists. According to Euromonitor, all foreign tourists with at least one overnight stay were counted.


Tourism in JapanOn average, each of the tourists arriving in 2020 spent about 2,341 US Dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of Japan spend only around 1,796 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Development of the tourism sector in Japan from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Japan each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g. crew members of ships or flights are also not considered as tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 6 countries in East Asia.

Tourists per year in Japan

Revenues in tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 4.89 billion USD, or about 0.088 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 3.35 million tourists at that time and roughly 1,463 USD per person. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased drastically. In the last year of the survey, the revenue now amounts to 11.40 billion USD, accounting for 0.23 percent of the gross national product. Each visitor now spends an average of 2,769 USD for his holiday in Japan.

Tourism receipts in Japan per year

All data for Japan in detail

YearNumberof touristsReceipts% of GNPIncome per tourist
20204.12 m11.40 bn $0.23 %2,769 $
201931.88 m49.21 bn $0.96 %1,544 $
201831.19 m45.28 bn $0.90 %1,452 $
201728.69 m36.98 bn $0.75 %1,289 $
201624.04 m33.46 bn $0.67 %1,392 $
201519.74 m27.29 bn $0.61 %1,382 $
201413.41 m20.79 bn $0.42 %1,550 $
201310.36 m16.87 bn $0.32 %1,627 $
20128.36 m16.20 bn $0.26 %1,938 $
20116.22 m12.53 bn $0.20 %2,015 $
20108.61 m15.36 bn $0.27 %1,783 $
20096.79 m12.54 bn $0.24 %1,846 $
20088.35 m13.78 bn $0.27 %1,650 $
20078.35 m12.42 bn $0.27 %1,488 $
20067.33 m11.49 bn $0.25 %1,567 $
20056.73 m15.55 bn $0.32 %2,312 $
20046.14 m14.34 bn $0.29 %2,337 $
20035.21 m11.48 bn $0.25 %2,202 $
20025.24 m6.07 bn $0.15 %1,158 $
20014.77 m5.75 bn $0.13 %1,205 $
20004.76 m5.97 bn $0.12 %1,255 $
19994.44 m5.72 bn $0.12 %1,288 $
19984.11 m5.66 bn $0.14 %1,379 $
19974.22 m6.18 bn $0.14 %1,464 $
19963.84 m5.78 bn $0.12 %1,505 $
19953.35 m4.89 bn $0.088 %1,463 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The WTO additionally points out that in some countries the number of tourists is only counted at airports, in others also at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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