There’s So Many Tourists in Japan Now

Oh my stars and garters, there’s so many tourists in Japan right now!! It’s absolute lunacy every time I go anywhere!

Part of it is that I moved to Kyoto. There’s brand-new tourists every day with their glassy-eyed mild jetlag looks wandering around stations and famous spots. But it’s not just here. Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Nara… It’s all the same. Even when I went on a two-day trip to Okayama in September, I still found plenty of tourists who seemed mildly confused to be here. Even now in cold winter, the streets are still crowded with people from all over the world. Lunar New Year starting this weekend is going to bring Chinese and Taiwanese and Koreans out in massive crowds, too…

The yen is extremely weak. For me, it’s a disastrous turn that has led my yearly salary to become something like $20,000 a year just because exchange rates are so bad. For tourists, it means they can buy more things for less. Collectors, theme park junkies, people paying for expensive JR Passes… it’s perfect for them.

Japan’s been open to outsiders for just over one year now. And that’s led to an absolute supernova of activity. Three years of everyone cooped up in their homes, trips canceled, businesses floundering… It’s an undoubtedly great thing that there’s so many tourists in Japan now, for tourists and for shops. But it’s becoming excessive.

Giant crowds of tourists everywhere even mildly popular. International tourists, yeah, but domestic tourists are a huge issue too.

There’s so many tourists in Japan that it’s making daily life kinda difficult!

Japan is experiencing an overtourism crisis right now. The government wants to pass specific policies to alleviate this by sending support to small tourist towns and… I have no idea for the big cities. Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo are inundated right now, even in the dead of winter. Summer 2024 is going to be even bigger, I suspect.

It also means a lot of Youtubers coming out and ruining things for the rest of us. And kids who can’t behave themselves. Racism is gonna increase, even for people who live here not just tour here. It’s the natural, unfortunate consequence of a massive influx of travelers.

But it’s still nice to see so many tourists in Japan, because it means things are finally returning to normal. The pandemic that ate up our lives for basically four straight years has almost disappeared and we can finally move onto the 2020s proper. Almost halfway through the decade and we’re just now here.

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