Why Osaka is popular among foreigners

Why Osaka is popular among foreigners Japan

Osaka ranks first in visitation rate

When most foreigners think of Japanese tourist destinations, Tokyo and Kyoto come to mind, but in fact, Osaka ranked first in terms of foreign visitors in the 2018 fiscal year. The number of foreigners who visited Japan in 2018 increased by 8.7% from the previous year to approximately 31,192,000, which is the highest number of visits since 1964.

The reasons for the increase in tourists visiting Japan can be attributed to a variety of factors

mainly visa easing, the spread of low-cost airline tickets, and the depreciation of the Yen. Osaka has contributed to the increase in the number of tourists visiting Japan, with the third highest growth rate of inbound tourists in the world between 2009 and 2017. The New York Times introduced Osaka as one of the best places to visit in 2017, and the fact that Osaka’s food culture is popular among tourists may be another reason for the city’s high visitation rate.

The history of the increase in the number of non-Japanese people in Osaka

The background to the increase in the number of foreign visitors to Osaka can be attributed to the fact that the Osaka Expo will be held in 2025 and that redevelopment of the area around the Osaka-Umeda station is in progress to cater to tourists who come to Osaka for shopping purposes. In order to create an atmosphere that is different from that of Tokyo and Kyoto, the theme is not just to construct modern buildings, but to create an Osaka-like atmosphere where people can see traditional life.

Therefore, tourists who come to Osaka with an image of an orderly and serious city may be somewhat attracted to the cityscape of Osaka. In order to develop an urban environment that makes people want to return again and again, Osaka places an importance on creating an atmosphere that cannot be experienced in Tokyo.

What Osaka is working On:

In preparation for the Osaka Expo, Osaka has begun to implement inbound measures.

Osaka is working on the following three inbound measures:

  • Reinforcement of multilingualism
  • Installation of free Wi-Fi
  • Coupon distribution

These measures will make it easier for foreigners nationals to visit. 

Here is an explanation below:

Reinforcements of multilingualism

In Osaka, efforts are being made to provide multilingual support to make it easier for foreigners to engage in activities. In addition to the notation of product descriptions, Osaka is characterized by interpersonal sales, so there is a high awareness of communication with foreign languages. In one shopping district, efforts are being made to provide multilingual support, such as an English conversation class held by the union so that English can be used for customer service.

By actually communicating with each other in their own languages, some foreigners may feel more familiar with each other. Since this will help attract customers and increase sales, multilingual customer service is a must in inbound countermeasures.

Installation of free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is another effective inbound measure. With the spread of the Internet, it is now possible to obtain a variety of information even in foreign countries via smartphones. If it does not connect to the Internet, it is just a machine, so installing Wi-Fi so that it can be used anywhere is essential to attracting foreigners.

In Osaka, more than 10,000 stores have free Wi-Fi, making it easier for foreigners to gather

information, which is probably why many people appreciate it.

Distribution of Coupons

Osaka actively distributes coupons to foreigners. By distributing coupons, it is possible to encourage consumption in Osaka, so it is understandable that many foreigners try to complete their shopping in Osaka.

Since many foreigners visiting Japan want to enjoy sightseeing until late at night, we are working to increase foreigners’ satisfaction by distributing coupons for stores that are open at night. Since the night-time economy is not yet widespread in Japan, Osaka is probably the

tourist destination of choice because of its many facilities that allow people to play until late

at night.