Aussie tourists turn their back on Niseko

Australians have been a long staple of Niseko’s winter crowd. But, recent tourist numbers show a shifting trend as Aussies shun the slopes of Niseko for the ski fields in Honshu.

In 2018, foreign tourists spent a total of 465,000 nights in Niseko. Visitors from Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries in Asia are up, while visitor numbers from Australia are down by much as 20% since 2015.

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Former British Embassy Villa in Nikko to be open to public

Tochigi Prefecture is making plans to restore and open up the former villa of the British Embassy on Lake Chuzenji to the public as a way to promote tourism in the Nikko area.

The prefecture has allocated 6 million Yen in their 2012 budget to start work on analyzing the foundations and earthquake-resistance of the villa. After carrying out any necessary repairs, the villa is scheduled to be open to the public from 2014.

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Foreign visitors to Mt. Fuji area down 77%

Foreign visitors represent an important of the tourism industry in the areas surrounding Mt. Fuji. The Mt. Fuji Visitor Center in Yamanashi Prefecture reported that the number of foreign visitors to the center between April and September, 2011, fell 77% from a year earlier to 20,650.

Chinese tourists typically make up the majority of foreign visitors to the Mt. Fuji area, however, the number of Chinese visitors fell by 78% to 10,300. Fuji Kyuko, a tourism company that operates in conjunction with the Visitor Center, had opened a sales office in Shanghai in July, 2010, but the effects of the March disaster continue to have a negative effect on their business.

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Foreign tourist numbers drop 25% in September

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the number of foreign visitors to Japan in September, 2011, was 539,000. This was 24.9% lower than the number of visitors in September, 2010.

This is the 7th continuous month of decline following the March 11 Tohoku disaster. The JNTO said that the high yen and ongoing nuclear disaster has kept away wealthy visitors as well as those traveling with children and family.

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Chinese citizens can now receive 3-yr multiple entry tourist visas for Japan

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) announced that from July, 2011, citizens of mainland China can apply for multiple entry tourist visas to Okinawa Prefecture.

The visa’s term of validity is 3 years and the tourist can visit as many times as they like during this period and stay for a maximum of 90 days each visit. The terms require the traveler to arrive in Okinawa and stay for at least one night, after which they are free to travel elsewhere.

This will be a welcome change for Chinese citizens wanting to visit Okinawa and Japan. Up until now, individual tourist visas for Chinese citizens only allowed them to

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British Embassy’s vacation home acquired by Tochigi Prefecture

British Embassy Villa Nikko
Before and after the renovations.

It was announced on April 15 that the British Embassy’s vacation home on Lake Chuzenji, Oku-Nikko, Tochigi-ken will be transferred to Tochigi Prefecture. The prefecture announced to the Prefectural Assembly Agriculture and Forestry Committee  that they are considering using the British villa in conjunction with the nearby Italian Embassy House Memorial Park.

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