Tokyo: With tourism coming to a standstill during the pandemic, Japan's tourism industry was no exception.
After a four-year hiatus, the "Tourism Expo Japan 2022" was held in Tokyo with the motive of reviving tourism in the country. At the expo, major players from the tourism industry, along with Japanese authorities, set up booths and invited tourists to the country. Okinawa is a popular tourist destination. Tourists visit Okinawa to see the beautiful ocean, and mountains, and to taste unique food.
Okinawa Prefecture is promoting "Okinawa Karate" as a new way to attract tourists while they spread awareness regarding the origin of Karate in Okinawa.
"Okinawa is the birthplace of karate. From a small island with about one million people, karate has spread throughout the world, and it is said that there are 130 million karate enthusiasts around the world. There are many different styles of Okinawan karate, but We would like 130 million people to know that the origin of karate is Okinawa. We want people to experience what it is like in Okinawa, the birthplace of Okinawan karate, so we want them to come to Okinawa and experience it first-hand," said Hayato Sawada, Karate Promotion Division, Okinawa Prefectural Government.
In addition, Okinawa Prefecture is promoting "workcation," combining work and vacation. Teleworking job style accelerates moving to the countryside to enjoy the rural atmosphere and work. It is the change of lifestyle that derives from the coronavirus pandemic.
"Okinawa has potential as a resort destination and environment. In Okinawa, there is an extraordinary everyday working life. In addition, the geographical proximity of Asia is creating new business opportunities. We believe that this style of work and vacation in Okinawa is the best way to combine tourism, work, and industry," said Yuichiro Kawamura, Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Hokkaido is also popular among tourists from Southeast Asia. The local government, Noboribetsu Toya, is trying to attract more tourists by promoting "Upopoi," a museum that allows visitors to experience its nature and Ainu culture.
The Ainu have a long history of living in Hokkaido.
"The most attractive point in this area is its rich natural beauty. This area is surrounded by mountains and oceans, hot springs, and many large lakes. Therefore, it is the place where people can experience such an extraordinary viewpoint in the city center, including activities in a such rich natural environment," Tomoko Okawa, the Foundation for Ainu Culture.
Japan has significantly eased entry from foreign countries due to the reduction of coronavirus cases.