Japanese Government Seeks More Foreign Tourists

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    Foreign tourism is in the news this week, with the result of a survey showing that most foreigner tourists like the food here:

    In the survey, which allowed multiple answers and was conducted by Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO), 71 percent of respondents cited Japanese cuisine among their motives for coming to Japan.

    Since interest in Japanese food overseas is expected to rise following the release in November of the Michelin Guide Tokyo 2008, the first Japanese restaurant guidebook to be published by the famous French tire company, the JNTO foresees an increase in travelers coming to Japan with the intention of sampling Japanese food.

    Among other reasons given for visiting Japan, 49 percent of respondents said they were interested in traditional Japanese architecture, followed by traditional Japanese gardens, at 46 percent, hot springs, at 36 percent, and visiting traditional ryokan inns, at 29 percent.

    While covering the news about the survey and the Japanese government’s desire for more tourists from abroad, one network asked random foreign tourists in Tokyo to suggest changes they’d like to see made:

    I suppose that it wouldn’t be too hard for restaurants in major tourist areas to print some English menus, but I’m afraid that it’s going to be much harder to simply Tokyo’s subway system…

    [If you’re interested in seeing more Japanese news reports on the effort to make things better for foreign tourists, you might want to check out this video report on foreign students advising Mizayaki Prefecture.]

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