The Japan National Tourism Organization has announced that more than 30 million overseas travelers visited Japan in 2018, an all-time record and an 8.7 percent increase over 2017 (the previous record year).
"Tourism to Japan from the United States - about 5 percent of the total - soared 11 percent," said Naohito Ise, Executive Director of the Japan National Tourism Organization in New York in a written statement, "with more and more Americans seeking beyond the classic tourism destinations of Tokyo and Kyoto to discover lesser-known parts of the country."
In 2018, America's two most influential travel magazines gave travel to Japan a major thumbs-up, with Travel+Leisure pronouncing Japan the "Destination of the Year" for 2018 and the Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards citing Tokyo and Kyoto as the top two big cities in the world.
"American tourism to Japan is expected to continue to rise in 2019 as the country builds up to host major international sporting events," continued Ise, "with a host of prestigious American media including Japan in their much-valued annual lists of the most recommended places to visit in the coming year." The list of media includes the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, AFAR, Architectural Digest, Departures, Fodor's, and Frommer's.