6 Reasons You Should Visit Japan in 2019/2020
2018 was a big year for Japan. The number of tourists visiting Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, reached record levels(1). Travel + Leisure named Japan their destination of the year(2) and Condé Nast Traveler recognized Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka as best cities in their Readers Choice Awards(3). Full of gratitude for these accolades, Japan is putting its best foot forward to welcome even more happy tourists in 2019. In case you need any more encouragement, here are six reasons you should make 2019 the year you finally visit Japan.
2 travelandleisure.com, “Japan: T+L’s 2018 Destination of the Year”
3 seejapan.co.uk, “Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka recognized as best cities in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Award”
It’s fewer than 100 days until the eyes of the world turn to Japan for a large-scale international sports tournament in 2019. This event officials expect around 600,000 international visitors across Japan’s 12 host cities that include Sapporo, Tokyo, and Kobe. For the superfans and casual viewers alike, this tournament is the perfect opportunity to visit Japan. It’s a country that is enchanting at any time of year as each season has its own pace and rhythms. So if this sport is your game, take your chance to visit Japan in 2019 and get a taste of every corner of this unique land.
2. Visit Japan for 2020
Japan is a place of constant change, technological inventions, and evolution, and no single event will have a greater impact on Japan’s future than the world’s largest sports event known being held there 2020. While you won’t catch any games if you visit Japan in 2019, you will, however, benefit from urban regeneration created in the run-up towards 2020. When Japan hosted in 1964, more than 10,000 new buildings were erected in Tokyo, an airport to city center monorail was introduced, and Japan’s crowning glory, the Shinkansen bullet train, was launched(4). Experts predict that Japan will improve visitor experience in big cities by offering more free wifi, international cashpoints, new green spaces, and non-smoking restaurants that visitors can take advantage of.
2019 marks 160 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and the UK. Visit Japan in 2019 and you’ll see the fruits of this long relationship with a year-long season of cultural exchange. Timed to coincide with the start of a large-scale international sports tournament in 2019 and lasting until the end of September 2020, the season is a diverse celebration of all that is innovative in arts, education, science and business across the two countries. Exploring themes like diversity and inclusion, digital technology, and public spaces and how these all intersect, the UK in Japan 2019-2020 program promises to be thought-provoking and inspirational. If you want to take part, take a look at the season’s program of exhibitions, workshops, and public events here.
4. Moominvalley Park grand opening
If you visit Japan in 2019, you’ll be among the first people to experience Moominvalley Park(5)! The newly-opened attraction is a fitting accompaniment to Nordic-themed Metsä (forest in Finnish) Village located in Hanno, Saitama Prefecture. Fans of the Moomin books by Tove Jansson will love Moominvalley Park which is said to resemble rural Finland. The attraction has a life-sized Moominhouse, bathing house, and lighthouse to explore as well as live events to keep the whole family thoroughly entertained.
2019 marks the fourth iteration of the Setouchi Triennale, a unique contemporary art festival held across 12 islands in the Seto Inland Sea, between Honshu and Shikoku. This year’s festival theme is “Restoration of the Sea.” Organizers and artists hope to restore the islands’ beautiful natural environment as part of their festival activities. The festival has three sessions in spring, summer, and fall, and welcomes artists like Kusama Yayoi, Otake Shinro and Sugiura Yasuyoshi to exhibit. Visitors are advised to buy a Triennale Passport, which offers admission to all of the exhibition sites across 12 islands, and to make use of the region’s ferries and speedboats.
Japan’s rail system is also living up to its reputation as one of the best in the world. The Odakyu Electric Railway recently unveiled two new Graceful Super Express trains(7) that run between Tokyo and Hakone and boast panoramic windows and a 16-seat observation saloon. This year, the East Japan Railway Company tested an automatic train system(8) in the hope of enhancing safety, and Tokyo Metro has put a series of new energy-efficient trains into operation on their Marunouchi line(9). Your journeys will be smooth all the way if you decide to visit Japan in the near future. There are hundreds of reasons to visit Japan in 2019, as you’ll see for yourself as soon as you arrive. We hope to welcome you to the Land of the Rising Sun soon!
8 japantimes.co.jp, “New JR East train does Tokyo's Yamanote Line loop twice on auto with just one touch of a button”
9 japantimes.co.jp, “Tokyo Metro's Marunouchi Line puts new, more energy-efficient trains into operation”