Japan Data

Baidu Survey Finds Why Chinese Tourists Visit Japan


Chinese tourists are flocking to Japan with sightseeing their main objective.

Baidu Japan, headquartered in Tokyo, is a subsidiary of one of China’s largest search engine companies. In February 2018, the company published the results of a December 2017 survey of 2,810 Chinese aged 18 and older who had travelled to Japan within one year of the survey dates.

Chinese currently make up a quarter of the international visitors to Japan. In its survey, Baidu asked respondents to give their reasons for going, with multiple responses allowed. A majority of 76% said sightseeing was their primary purpose, followed by 39% who cited Japanese cuisine as their objective, and 38% who said they went to Japan to shop.

Guangdong Residents Go to Japan for Food

By place of residence, Chinese tourists from the province of Guangdong in southern China were most intent on sampling Japanese food. The capital of Guangdong is Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton) a city famous for its cuisine. At almost 50%, Guangdong residents were significantly ahead of Shanghai and Beijing residents in citing food as their primary objective in visiting Japan. In contrast, the same Chinese from Guangdong showed less interest in experiencing Japan’s natural scenery or culture. Relatively few Beijing residents expressed an interest in Japanese food while those from Shanghai showed a keen interest in all categories.

Reasons for Visiting Japan by Chinese Region (%)

Home province Sightseeing Cuisine Shopping Natural scenery Culture
Shanghai 77.0 42.0 40.8 33.5 31.3
Beijing 76.1 37.9 41.4 35.4 30.7
Guangdong 73.7 48.9 40.7 28.8 24.6
Total 76.1 39.0 38.1 32.4 27.3

Compiled by Nippon.com from Baidu Japan press release on February 22, 2018. Of 2,810 respondents, 400 were from Shanghai, 401 from Beijing, and 403 from Guangdong.

Shopping the Major Attraction for Many Chinese Women

Many women responded that they went to Japan to shop. And, among those who went to only one region of Japan, shopping was the primary objective for 40% of those who visited Japan’s Kansai region, data that backs up the region’s reputation for shopping sprees by Chinese tourists.

Hokkaidō had the largest number of Chinese visitors who only traveled to one region, but few said they went there for the culture or food. Second was Kantō to which Chinese visitors say they are attracted by both tourist sites and food.

In terms of travel arrangements, survey respondents were fairly evenly divided, with 39% who said they made their own travel plans, 32% who travelled in tour groups with organized activities, and 28% who said they went to Japan on package tours.

More than half said they made their travel reservations through Ctrip, an online Chinese travel agent which led by more than 30 points the second-place choice on the survey.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: From Baidu Japan press release on February 22, 2018.)

tourism China