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Railway Tourism in Japan Becomes More Popular

News Japan’s tourism industry enjoyed a particularly successful year. The number of foreign guests was the highest on record. There is also a very interesting fact about tourists who visit Japan nowadays – they enjoy traveling by train. In 2019, foreign guests used Japanese railways more than during any other year of the decade. International travelers do not just buy tickets as they prefer to buy a JR Pass. The sales of passes doubled last year.

Not only hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto attract international guests these days. Many of them are eager to explore less famous parts of the country. In total, the country welcomed 32 million foreign visitors last year. This is almost five times more than a decade ago (the number of foreign visitors in 2009 was 6.8 million). What nations do visit the country the most and travel using Japanese railroads? It turns out that tourists from the United States, Australia, France, and the United Kingdom enjoy traveling by train the most.

In October 2019, 68,400 tourists from the United Kingdom traveled in Japan by train. This was enough to fill as many as 51 full Shinkansen trains. The overall number of train passengers in Japan increased by 3% in 2019 vs. 2018, reaching a total of 25.6 million travelers. Modern foreign guests are aware of JR Passes and prefer to buy them to save. This helped to double the sale of these passes last year. For example, 44% more guests from the US bought JR Passes in 2019, and 8.5% more tourists from the UK preferred to do the same. An interesting fact – even though Japan has 28,000 fewer rail routes than Germany, the country managed to carry 4.5 million more passengers than the European country.

Japan’s 2020 plans are truly overwhelming. The country hosts the Olympic Games this summer, and, therefore, hopes to welcome 40 million international tourists this year. Hopefully, more tourists will want to book a hotel in Osaka and visit this wonderful city thanks to the new N700S Shinkansen trains that will connect Osaka and Tokyo this year. These bullet trains have the potential to increase their speed to up to 360km/h, making it even easier to travel between the cities.

The Yamanote Line in Tokyo will get a new station for the Olympics. This is going to be the first new station on this line for 48 years. Finally, to make it more comfortable to move between the Olympic venues, Nissan and Toyota will provide 100 autonomous self-driving cars.


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