Gap year travellers returning to Japan

Japan is back in business after travellers and backpackers return to the country for the first time since the devastating earthquake in March.

A survey conducted by showed that more than 60% are open to visiting Japan and 86% are considering a trip within the next year. Also, Japan was ranked in the top three for favourite countries to travel to in 2012, either on a holiday or as part of a gap year.

In October, interest in Japan reached the highest it’s been this year and it has recovered to the same level as this time last year.

Hideki Yokoyama, senior director of the tourism division of Japan, said: “I am very encouraged that so many people in the survey indicated that they are willing to travel to Japan. I hope that everyone can visit Japan and experience the best of Tokyo's fantastic hospitality which never changes. Moreover, I would like everyone to see that the whole of Japan is working together for a rapid recovery.”

Johan Svanstrom, managing director of, added: “It is great to see the intention to travel to Japan remains, despite the recent natural disasters, and that it has been named a favourite destination. Much of Japan remains open for business and it is vital that the global travel industry supports its operators and hotels."

A month ago, the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) announced that it would give away 10,000 free flights in an attempt to boost tourism for 2012.

Japan is always a popular country to visit on a gap year and it’s great to see that it’s recovering from its recent disasters. The question is, are you thinking of going to Japan in 2012 as part of your gap year? What are some of the attractions of Japan?

For more information on Japan, read our Japan country section and Amber Mezbourian’s Guide to Japan.