Releases 2015 Half Year Trends for Travelers to Japan

Industry: Tourism/Vacation

Top Tours and Activities in Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa as Booked by Inbound Visitors

Tokyo, Japan (PRUnderground) July 14th, 2015

With the 2020 Olympics coming up in Tokyo, the number of visitors to the Land of the Rising Sun has been growing dramatically. The big question everyone from small businesses to major tour companies is: what exactly do visitors to Japan like to do?

To answer this query Veltra, an online tour and activity booking service with around 1700 listed tours in Japan, has announced their trends from the first half of 2015.

Tokyo, as both capital and major flight hub, remains in a firm first place with almost 60% of bookings focused on the city. Newly invested as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, tours to iconic Mt. Fuji account for 23% of Tokyo bookings. Moving from natural beauty to more futuristic entertainment, the Robot Restaurant (an elaborate, wacky show filled with robots, dancers and lasers) captured a whole 16% of the market, with US visitors in particular flocking to see the show. Despite the increase of free wi-fi spots around the city, wifi routers remain a necessity for many travelers, with 1 in 7 opting for a rental. While traditional Japanese arts and traditions (in particular kimono dressing, tea ceremonies and sumo wrestling) continue to be a draw, a major new development was the boom in food sample making, with visitors from across the globe flocking to learn how to make the hyper-realistic plastic creations.

20141230015752_1114062911_10001_9.jpgOutside of Tokyo, Kyoto’s historical streets and elegant culture remains a popular draw, particularly for European guests. The chance to meet one of the city’s famous maiko or geisha (or transform into one yourself!) is a must-do experience for many visitors, accounting for a whopping 57% of all Kyoto-based bookings. The chance to dive into the world of Zen Buddhism also attracts around 18% of travelers, who wish to try zen meditation, stay at a shukubo (temple lodging) or enjoy shojin-ryori, the vegetarian cuisine of the monks. Okinawa has grown dramatically over the past 6 months, now accounting for just over 10% of all bookings. A vacation destination for travelers from nearby Hong Kong and Korea, bus companies on the island have begun providing multi-lingual audio guides, making bus tours to famous spots like Churaumi Aquarium the most booked options.

The trend forecast for the next 6 months looks positive, with a continuation of the popularity of Mt. Fuji throughout the summer and fall (known as the best times to see the mountain). Tours between Kyoto and Hiroshima are predicted to increase, as Miyajima ranks as one of the top sights in Japan for inbound travelers. The cooler fall temperatures will create an uptick in indoor activities, such as maiko make-over experiences and dinner shows (the Ninja Restaurant in Kyoto will be one to watch). December is expected to see a rise in interest in yakatabune cruises to the Odaiba area of Tokyo, as the weekend fireworks draw in couples looking for a romantic evening.

About Veltra Corporation

VELTRA is an online tour and activity booking service based in Tokyo that connects travelers to memorable and unique local experiences. Founded in 1991, it has grown from a service primarily aimed at the Japanese market to a global tour provider with branches in Honolulu, London, Paris and Malaysia.

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