Japan Data

Karuizawa Popular Destination Among Repeat Visitors to Japan

Economy Travel

Internet search results on popular Japanese tourist destinations among foreign visitors reveal a growing trend toward trips to regional sightseeing spots such as Karuizawa and Shirakawa-gō.

Highland resort Karuizawa is an increasingly popular Internet search term for prospective visitors to Japan looking up where to go. Analysis conducted by Tokyo-based firm Aun Consulting on Japanese tourist destination search results in 13 countries and regions found that in September 2018, “Karuizawa” was the most-searched destination in Taiwan and number two in Hong Kong. The Nagano Prefecture town was also in the top 20 among search results in Britain, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. Along with its easy accessibility, at just an hour and a half by Shinkansen from Tokyo, Karuizawa’s charms include distinctive scenic beauty in all four seasons, as well as outlet shopping malls and other commercial facilities.

A comparison of search results in the United States and Taiwan for September 2018 shows that Mount Fuji topped the US results, followed by famous spots in Tokyo ranking second to sixth; whereas in Taiwan, which has many repeat visitors to Japan, Karuizawa was by far the most-searched destination, and the only Tokyo spots in the top ten were the Tsukiji fish market and Meiji Shrine. The results show that tourists who return to Japan are looking to find new charms outside the main sightseeing destinations.

Top-Searched Tourist Destinations in September 2018

Searches in the United States Searches in Taiwan
Mount Fuji 74,000 Karuizawa 135,000
Harajuku 27,100 Mount Fuji 22,200
Tokyo Disneyland 22,200 Ishigakijima 18,100
Tokyo Skytree 9,900 Tsukiji fish market 18,100
Tokyo Tower 9,900 Kiyomizudera 14,800
Tokyo DisneySea 8,100 Osaka Castle 12,100
Hakone 8,100 Arashiyama 12,100
Universal Studios Japan 8,100 Lake Kawaguchi 12,100
Himeji Castle 6,600 Meiji Shrine 12,100
Arashiyama 6,600 Himeji Castle 9,900

Compiled by Nippon.com based on data from Aun Consulting.

The World Heritage site Shirakawa-gō in Gifu Prefecture was another frequently searched destination in September 2018, ranking second in Indonesia, fourth in Singapore and Malaysia, fifth in Hong Kong, tenth in Vietnam, twelfth in Australia, fifteenth in Britain, and sixteenth in the Philippines. Such results, according to Aun Consulting, suggest that also promoting common winter destinations as lush summer tourist spots can attract more regional visitors and lead to repeat visits.

The same study of search results found that Osaka Castle and Himeji Castle were among the 20 most-searched destinations in 11 countries and regions, including Australia, Britain, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. Himeji Castle, with its beautiful white appearance, and Osaka Castle, which is a fixture among tourist destinations in the Kansai region, were the overwhelming favorites among the 200 or so castles nationwide.

Aun Consulting studied search results in 13 countries and regions for over 200 Japanese destinations, but China was not included because adequate data was not obtainable.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: Prince Shopping Plaza, a popular outlet mall in Karuizawa. © Pixta.)