The government is rolling out numerous initiatives to increase tourism and to make the country more tourist-friendly. They have set a goal to have 40 million tourists a year by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games.
Tourists are exploring the northern island of Hokkaido and the southern island of Okinawa where the climate is significantly different from the main island of Honshu. Repeat visitors are leaving the urban areas to explore the less densely populated countryside. Travelers are developing more sophisticated palates and want to sample local food specialties.
When you ask for directions in Japan, it is not uncommon for the person to guide you to your intended destination. Public transportation is clean, efficient, and reliable. Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, making it a very safe place to explore. While taxis can be quite expensive, you don’t have to worry about being scammed, as is the case in many other countries.
The juxtaposition of the old and new can be seen wherever you go. And yet, even the new tends to have its own unique Japanese flavor.