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Ajankohtaista tietoa Japanin matkailusta

Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tilastoja ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia Japanista matkailumarkkinana.

Current situation

Japan has tightened the procedure regarding entering the country and basically all new entries from abroad are suspended. So called "Business track" relaxed border control for select countries is also suspended for the time being. All returning Japanese nationals and foreign residents are required to self-quarantine for 14 days in a hotel or at home and to give a written pledge that they will comply with the quarantine.

Residents in Japan can travel overseas including Finland without any restrictions provided that returning travelers self-quarantine for 14 days at home or in a hotel, and refrain from using public transportation upon arrival. PCR testing is required at the airport upon arrival from all countries. For returning foreigners living in Japan, PCR testing is also required within 72 hours prior departure.

As of 8th January, Japanese government has declared a second state of emergency for Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama due to the third wave and surge in Covid-19 infections since late October. The emergency declaration was later expanded to a total of 11 prefectures including also prefectures from middle and southern Japan. The state of emergency is to be extended until 7th March. The Cabinet is also planning to propose revising the law regarding infectious diseases. By far, nearly all virus countermeasures in Japan have been non-compulsory, ending up with many people being unwilling to comply. During the state of emergency, food and drink facilities are asked to close their doors at 8 p.m. and people are asked to avoid non-essential outings after this time. Remote-working is strongly recommended


All nationals arriving from abroad are called upon to self-quarantine at home or hotel for 14 days. PCR testing is required at the airport upon arrival from all countries. Use of public transportation from/to airports is not recommended. Wear a face mask at all time.

Flights: Finnair continues to operate 3 flights per week between Helsinki and Narita. JAL continues to operate 3 weekly flights between Helsinki and Haneda. Nagoya and Osaka routes continue to be suspended during Northern Winter 2020 schedule.

2021 summer schedule for passenger boarding has been finalized. It was published as below on 21st January. Further changes are subject to the status of COVID-19 pandemic and the border controls for Japan and Finland.

  • ex Narita/Tokyo 6 weekly flights in April in the planning
  • ex-Haneda/Tokyo 26th April targeted as the inaugural day from Japan in the planning
  • ex-Kansai/Osaka 30th March targeted as the resumption of the suspended operations in the planning
  • ex-Centrair/Nagoya suspended operations to be resumed during the summer schedule in the planning
  • ex Fukuoka and Sapporo/Shinchitose suspension continuing during the Northern Summer schedule period

Consumer behaviour

Go to Travel, a domestic campaign to support traveling within Japan, was also suspended for the year-end holidays. While consumers are afraid of traveling and uncertain economic outlook for the post corona world, they are also very frustrated with the ongoing stay home environment craving for leisure activities. Japanese are known for the mentality for not wanting to cause trouble to other people.

Vaccination will be critical. The government is aiming to begin distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of February, starting with medical workers, older people and nursing home staff. The vaccine will be provided free of charge for all residents in Japan, foreign residents included.

Japanese stock market rose to the highest in 29 years when the Nikkei index rose to 26,800. GDP growth turned from negative to positive in the first three quarters of 2020 and recovered quickly.

Future Outlook

Interest towards the Nordic countries was on the rise already pre-covid, and the image of spaciousness / room to roam and pure, beautiful nature are most likely to increase the interest even further. Safety, security and cleanliness along with nature will be essential. After lockdowns and restrictions, consumers are looking for new authentic experiences, wellbeing through nature as well as tailor-made services. Nature traveller segments seem to grow.

Accessibility is the key. A shift from circle trip itinerary to "point to point" and mono destination which provides great opportunities for Finland as well.

Japan is still coming behind in terms of awareness and knowledge about sustainability but especially during covid, a shift towards more sustainable consumption can be seen. Consumers are placing more importance on spending money on something to share the same value and to show empathy with their vision and the message offered, which gives them a sense of fulfilment. Finland has potential to become a leading destination in sustainable traveling during the recovery phase.

Japanese outbound travel industry is contemplating a proposal of "kanrigata" type products where travelers are basically monitored and looked after by the tour conductor. He or she is responsible for group tours up to 20 people to minimize the risk and enhance the traceability in case someone infected. Infection can be tracked and contained with this "monitored" program. Japan Association of Travel Agents believe that this style of business model could be one of convincing solution to Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the relaxed border control similar to the concept behind the "business track" exceptions.

Depending on a possible lifting of the quarantine measurements, corporate markets and researchers will resume overseas traveling along with FIT. Depending on the economic recovery in the post Corona time, students and millennial segments may become active. We might expect some senior markets for luxury travel. Special Interest Tour on certain themes and hobbies may also be another market to keep in mind with "kanrigata" monitored programs.

Finland's USP's: Finland's top of mind image among Japanese consumers are very well positioned for its nature, interior design, Santa Clause and lifestyle. It is an ideal destination to drive FIT markets. Aurora in Lapland is a very strong tourism icon as Japanese travel agents have experience during the SARS outbreak in Canada between 2003 and 2004 where winter business to Canada grew by double digits after the huge drop in the annual visitor number by 200,000 in 2003. Potential for Finland to be the leading destination to introduce sustainable traveling for the Japanese audience during the recovery phase. Sustainability can also be used as one key to the possible rise in tour prices in post-covid time.

Travel trade update

Most of outbound travel business continue to remain suspended. Travel agents have put overseas tourism employees on the employment adjustment subsidy or transferred personnel to domestic travel sections. Business model is changing drastically.

JTB is reactivating its overseas purchasing departments in rebooting customer engagement activities towards this spring. Various ideas and plans for consumer events showcasing select outbound destinations are under review. Visit Finland Japan working closely with Finnair is making sure that Finland plays a big role in this program as well as the joint promotion scheme including product development and promotion of Finnish "kanrigata" special monitored group tour.

Aurora viewing and nature experiences such as berry picking, hiking, sauna and swimming in lakes, bicycling etc. combined with city lifestyle such as shopping Finnish design and cafe hopping.

Updated 2.2.

Japani matkailumarkkinana

Suomi on menestynyt hyvin Skandinavian maiden välisessä kisassa. Se on johtanut yöpymistilastoa jo monen vuoden ajan.

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Tarja Koivisto

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Kiina, Japani, Korea, Intia, lentoyhtiöyhteistyö, isot projektit

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Koichi Numata