PH ranks first in ASEAN tourist arrivals in Japan

In the same period, Japan ranked third in Philippine arrivals.

Since the pandemic loosened its grip on travel restrictions over the past two years, Japan has become a top-of-mind destination for many revenge travelers—especially Filipinos. One only needs to check out travel news from the past few months to see the East Asian country figuring in many tourism surveys, travel articles, and itineraries for the resumption of global travel. 

And as of late, the numbers from the Japan National Travel Organization (JNTO), shared via X by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa, have spoken—the Philippines is now the top ASEAN country for tourist arrivals in Japan, with 51,700 Filipinos visiting the Land of the Rising Sun in July 2023. This is a 36.9% year-on-year increase from July 2019, wherein 37,771 Filipinos visited Japan. 

Capital city Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka remain the most popular destinations for Filipinos.

Tokyo remains in-demand for Filipinos. Photo by Jezael Melgoza/Unsplash.

Not far behind from the Philippines are Thailand and Vietnam, posting tourist arrivals of 49,600 and 44,800 in Japan within the same month, respectively. In terms of global numbers, South Korea still dominates tourist arrivals with 626,800, followed by Taiwan and China with 422,300 and 313,300, respectively.

The JNTO notes that these figures are based on numbers provided by the Ministry of Justice. It excludes crew members and permanent residents of Japan who note the country as their primary place. The numbers also include international students and foreigners entering or re-entering Japan.

The country recorded a 36.9% year-on-year growth compared to 2019. Report from the JNTO.

Conversely, data from the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) showed that Japan ranked fourth in visitor arrivals to the Philippines in July 2023, behind South Korea (140,718) and the United States (90,795).

In a recent high-profile visit of the Philippine government to Tokyo, Japan last February, DOT Secretary Christina Frasco emphasized the department’s efforts in developing popular tourism products among Japanese visitors, such as diving; meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (MICE); education tourism, such as English as a second language (ESL); and long-stay programs for retirement.

The DOT also noted that the Philippines holds the largest Japanese diaspora community within the ASEAN (fourth globally), and that Japan ranks sixth among retirement markets for the Philippines, according to the Philippine Retirement Authority.

The new lifestyle.