Foreign visitors to Japan in 2023 jump over 6-fold to 25.07 million

The number of foreign visitors to Japan climbed more than six-fold to 25.07 million in 2023 from a year earlier, with their spending growing to a record 5.29 trillion yen ($35.8 billion), government data showed Wednesday.

The Japan National Tourism Organization said the number of overseas visitors had surged since April when Japan removed its coronavirus restrictions, with monthly visitors surpassing a pre-pandemic level for the first time in October. However, the annual total was still 21.4 percent lower than the 2019 record high of 31.88 million.

By country, the largest number of travelers came from South Korea at 6.96 million, up more than six-fold. Those from China came in second at 2.43 million, followed by Taiwan at 4.20 million.

The Japan Tourism Agency said the amount of money spent by overseas tourists in Japan exceeded 5 trillion yen for the first time since it began compiling such data in 2010.

The number of Japanese traveling overseas in 2023 more than tripled to 9.62 million from a year earlier, but was half the number seen in 2019.

The number of visitors to Japan in December alone was 2.73 million, nearly doubling from a year earlier and hitting a record high for the month.