Japan is letting 10,000 tourists visit… for free!!

Written on:October 10, 2011
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Tourism Ministry proposes to invite 10,000 foreign tourists to Japan, paying all travel expenses

Aiming to recover Japan’s tourism industry, which has suffered badly from the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Tourism Ministry has proposed to bring 10,000 tourists from all over the world to visit Japan for free in 2012.

Prospective tourists will apply mainly through an Internet application. Those selected will receive a round trip plane ticket.

The objective is to have the 10,000 tourists discuss their experiences online, and allow word-of-mouth reports to propagate about safe and hassle-free travel in Japan. Visitors will also fill out a questionnaire about how they feel about visiting Japan after the earthquake and any proposals they might have to renew interest in tourism. The Ministry will request $150 million in funding for this program.

Original article in Japanese


Goodbye, Kyoto

Japanese Internet users respond:

30 : 名無しさん@12周年 : 2011/10/10(月) 03:33:40.00 ID:GRyO5F3s0 [1/1回発言]
With a strong yen?!

31 : 名無しさん@12周年 : 2011/10/10(月) 03:33:40.45 ID:mM686xbr0 [1/2回発言]
Hey, where’s that money coming from?

97 : 名無しさん@12周年 : 2011/10/10(月) 03:41:34.86 ID:KX124zCT0
Seriously, this is a good idea.
We have to revive the slump of the tourist industry.
Japanese people always travel abroad,
so we should similarly be inviting people from other countries over here.

151 : 名無しさん@12周年 : 2011/10/10(月) 03:48:31.95 ID:+3AbSpZ+0 [4/9回発言]
It’s like the fucking JET program

195 : 名無しさん@12周年 : 2011/10/10(月) 03:54:19.96 ID:uYdOUUaN0
Hmm, good idea.
I hope it has a ripple effect.

271 : 忍法帖【Lv=40,xxxPT】 : 2011/10/10(月) 04:04:49.19 ID:Vni6nDIi0
Is there even a point to this program?

305 : 名無しさん@12周年 : 2011/10/10(月) 04:09:08.47 ID:J8g3aqQd0
There is a point.
The rumors being spread around about radiation have had a terrible effect on food exports, mechanical exports, and tourism.
Japan has to combat misinformation by any means possible.

414 : 名無しさん@12周年 : 2011/10/10(月) 04:27:59.91 ID:u3g+7W6x0
Personally, I think we should mostly bring people from Taiwan and Southeast Asia (esp. Singapore, Malaysia). America and Europe are too far away; people over there don’t want to spend so much to come here.

431 : 名無しさん@12周年 : 2011/10/10(月) 04:32:10.98 ID:Y/4YKB/zO
It doesn’t make sense to jump-start tourism when the yen is so strong

522 : 名無しさん@12周年 : 2011/10/10(月) 04:50:11.52 ID:5afsQmPQ0 [1/1回発言]
I just e-mailed all the foreigners I know telling them that Tokyo glows green at night with radiation. Stay out of my country!!

[File this under “Things That Never Happened” –Shii]

557 : 名無しさん@12周年 : 2011/10/10(月) 04:58:05.86 ID:uPwLoZrU0 [2/4回発言]
I’ll call all my foreign friends I made on FF14

661 : 名無しさん@12周年 : 2011/10/10(月) 05:13:57.01 ID:tjnySOdD0 [2/2回発言]
With $150 million, we could make a COOL ANIME.
Make an anime set in Japan’s picturesque locations, and distribute it all over the world.
Foreigners who love Japan will come here on pilgrimage!

[Pretty sure someone already did this. Or, rather, that’s every good anime ever. –Shii]

Original comments: 2channel (Japanese)

  • Milfeulle

    oh man sign me up

  • shirokiryuu

    I’m totally up for it. LOL at the 2ch comments XD

  • Tokyo Cowboy

    This is a stupid idea. All the people in trouble after the quake needs help first. The ripple effect? Don’t count on too much. Strong japanese yen is not going to help. There were already more than 10000 tourist visit to Japan every year. Those ripple effect didn’t work. What makes 10000 free trip would create the ripple effect? What they have to do is to cancel those stupid TV campaign with unknown Japanese talents and localize the Japan campaign with local ad agency rather than hiring travel agency to do the advertising campaign world wide. That way, less cost, more effect.

  • Filair888

    hi where can we get details for this ?

  • Felecia Singh

    i would really like to go tp japan!! i hope they finalize it… it would be so great. i would definitely apply!

  • Sweden

    Shit, I’m from Europe. I would love to travel to Japan and experience your culture. The tragic incident with Fukushima, the radition and the tsunami was indeed horrific but it didn’t change the fact that I’d really would like to visit Japan. I hope the Japanese government and tourist industry doesn’t hide any information regarding this project though. I think alot of people, at least from this part of Europe would be upset if it turned out that you guys (the people of Japan) had to pay for it through extra taxes or stuff like that.

  • Sasapin

    Good Idea . This is Japan. Always have a good idea to do something better.

  • Externalmtcra08

    Japan is a wonderful place and Japanese people are great! I was in Japan for a month for a training and my impressions are owesome!!!!

  • Taribu519

    I would travel to Japan in a heart beat if I could save up the money…. Just saying.

  • Merridy

    how do you apply??

    • cynthia

      yes and how

  • Ann Riojas

    Lol @ those comments – they’re promoting tourism, not asking people to move in.

    Personally, I’d rather visit South Korea instead of Japan!

  • Gino Van de Walle

    Where can we register?

  • m.d.claude Nelson

    Its nice idea to promote tourism to Japan and get to know the internationally people and culture best regards from sri lanka

  • Ybab_dejesus

    what email address can we forward our application? I work with a travel agency. I am a Tour Operator and I am interested to your offer. Hope I will be one of the chosen few. God bless.

  • Cynthia belen

    hi i am a tour operator hear in philippines, and i am interested with your offer for free trips… how can apply for ?

  • Melinda I. de Jesus

    Good day, this is Melinda I. de Jesus from the Philippines. I would be very grateful if I will be one of the chose few. I am a Tour Operator here in Manila. I hope I can be part of promoting your tourism. I would appreciate much if you could give me your email address or website where I can forward my application. Thanks and God bless.

  • Sasha

    Yes, how do I apply?

  • Sasha Zakharova

    Yes, how do I apply?

  • Meo WiWi

    What a good news! I love traveling in Japan!

  • Joshua

    how do u apply

  • adeola

    i really love to visit japan

  • Liz Q

    wow that would be totally rad to go to Japan!

  • Farzam_777z

    I have been in JAPAN for 3 yaers , I love JAPAN

  • Ohoho

    Where do we have to apply?

  • Herbert Dt


  • r.jay_lil

    im living here in italy for 13 years.. i have a u.s and uk visa.. so i think this is my next stop in 2012.. and is the most easily to have a japanese visa toursit.! SIGN ME HERE FOR FREE TICKET

  • Kmhjpp

    I would like to visit japan

  • Susana F. Sun

    I will be looking forward to this experience. Japan is a beautiful place.

  • Susana F. Sun

    I really look forward to this experience. Japan is a beautiful place and it still is even though it was ravaged by that catastrophe. Tell us more about this.

  • Anisah

    How to register than … , i really love to see hows JAPAN which is very nice view and almost perfect design , after the disaster .. Yeaaa this is the best way to let the people know that there is nothing to be worry and scareeeeddd . so how please tell us okeh !

  • Pa O

    when do we get the updates???

  • Pa O

    when and how do we get the updates??

  • Esmenez

    WELL i’M INTERESTED tO SEE JAPAN BECAUSE THAT IS MY DREAM LAND EVERSINCE. IF I CAN AVAIL OF THE FREE TRAVEL, JUST NOTIFY ME IN MY EMAIL AD, or you may send the invitation for application to 1078 A. mendoza St. Ipil, zamboanga Sibugay, Philippines

    • anonymous

      you never post your personal info accessible by public, bitch!

  • Ewing

    I would love to visit Japan. I am from Russia, and I would spend what little money I have on trip and cheap hotels, but I’d also need to either pay big money for invitation from tourist agency or prebook expensive hotels again through agency. That’s a big extra I won’t have to pay for a trip to China. I can appreciate bad blood toward us, and admittedly Japan needs richer tourists, but the point remains. A lot of people here would love to visit, but it is harder to get into than USA.

  • temujin khan

    “The rumors being spread around about radiation have had a terrible effect on food exports, mechanical exports, and tourism. Japan has to combat misinformation by any means possible.”

    please don’t be ridiculous — japan has been the SOURCE of misinformation ever since the fukushima disaster. it’s better to spend money on traveling somewhere else with an intact eco system and no threat of nuclear radiation, e.g. croatia. alternatively, buy vinyl records, it’s a great investment. japan is done.

  • Jade xander Tagnipis

    its good to know that japanese people is rising and to know that in spite of what happen they are still hero in heart and mind what a great courage they have. they’re patriotism can never compesate. I hope to see japan and to meet people with good and kind heart.sign me up!

  • Shaznaparts888

    My family are interested to avail of the program.i had so much fascination about the japanese people and its culture. We admire the sense of discipline shown during the disaster. We want to visit Japan and see all the beautiful places and belie all the negative reports in the media.

  • Villapana Edgardo

    i will highly grateful to visit japan for free.this is tha one of a kind chances to visit the most aqdvance country in the whole world coz of there high is my priveledges if they gave me a chances to visit JAPAN
    I want to see also all beautiful landscapes,scenery,hot spring,and knowing the culture and expirience on how japan know how to manage to stand fast despite of all the nature cause disarter.because all japanese had one thing in common,perseverance and unity to all corruption thats why they moving fast as a please give me a chance to visit japan at least for onc or maybe got the chance to move ther if evr great opportunty comes

  • Rio Burgos

    hello..this is Rio.. since before i really want to visit Japan.. and now I’m hoping to really visit Japan.. It’s my greatest wish.

  • Delia Tanseco

    I really love to see Japan.This will be a great opportunity on my part if I’d be given a slot. Hope I am one of those 10,000 lucky people….yahoooo!!!

  • Farzam_777z

    I really love to see Japan.This will be a great opportunity on my part if I’d be given a slot. Hope I am one of those 10,000 lucky people….yahoooo!!!

  • Gary Villapana

    where can i apply for application?

  • Rosemary Anne Berrell

    I have a penfriend in Japan and her first letter to me arrived in December 1962. In September/October last year my partner and I spent one week with her and her family and I would love to go back and see her as I see her as the older sister I’ve never had. I miss her very much after the wonderful time she and her family spent with us. The hospitality we received was truly amazing. I would also love to see so many more places in Japan that I didn’t see last year as Japan has so much to offer in her historical interests/sites and culture which I’d like to see more of.

  • Anabelle Kusumoto

    Yes I and my son are interested to visit again in japan and excited how i wish it is true.Where can i apply for application?japan is a wonderful place and Japanese people are so generous and polite.I hope i am the one of those lucky people.JAPAN IS NICE PLACE.

  • Anabelle Kusumoto

    I and my son i really want to visit again in japan to see his father and relatives of my husband and also to see a very nice place japan How i wish I’m the one of the lucky people to get a round trip ticket.GO BLESS YOU ALL.

  • julius gabuya

    good job for the japan government by the way how can i apply this program

  • Slyvka

    I wonna visit Japan very much
    I from Ukraine!!!!

  • Dieguitorosario


  • Syed Tausif

    we have aouth AIn community news paper in canada and we published many news regarding the japan last earthquake i really apprecitae japanese nation which stood on its own step i have been writing about japan if i have a chance to go there i would like to write lot of things about japan which can accelerate the japanese tourism from canad i am canadian and i have been many times in that part of near japan .
    how can i register let me know.

  • Syed Tausif

    we have south asian comunity news paper in canada i wrote many article on japan now i want to write down more things after the earthquake in my news after getting chance to go there stay tourism meals and other things not a problem.
    how can i apply
    syed tausif

  • Michelle

    Oh, what a great opportunity. I’m from Finland and I’ve been dreaming of traveling to Kyoto for ages. I really hope I’m going to be one of those 10,000 super lucky people

  • Kianperez

    how do i apply??? kindly message me in my email

  • Serangha

    very great opportunity.I would love to travel to Japan and experience your culture.i have been writing about japan if i have a chance to go there i would like to write lot of things about japan.I hope I can be part of promoting your tourism. I would appreciate much if you could give me your email address or website where I can forward my application. Thanks.

  • Sokhengkry

    Japan is among the country i like much because of the beautiful landscape and any thing to watch. and it is also i want to continue to my degree in the future. i would like to share my feeling to all Japaneses.

  • Aida

    I think it would be great! Your tourism definitely needs a boost. If this program chooses the right people, i.e. well-known bloggers, vlogers – people that have good reach in audiences all over the world, then these people could share their trips on the internet. And today that is the most influential media in the world! Another thought: just by announcing this program (even if it doesn’t come to life) – people all over the world will start googling “Japan travel”. Some will actually consider going without the program.

    In any case some measures are needed! I was recently discussing traveling with some people, and I mentioned that I would love to see Japan. Most answered that they wouldn’t want to go there – simply for the Fukushima catastrophe!!! I told them that many people visited Japan after the incident, and they are absolutely fine. But people just don’t trust anymore.

  • conchita chu

    yes definitely i love to visit japan i like japan culture and great fresh food and mystical country iam looking forward to visit in future how can i apply pleased send me an email when it happen ed i pray it would be funded by japan govt thank you and I really symphatized what happen last march 11 2011 tsunami i hope i can help if i have means to do so fr

  • Sang Eun

    could you please give me more details i really want to apply but where and when can i do it?

  • Linthant Htoo

    I really want to come to Japan and this is my dream for my life.We are Asian and we love Asia.I really love Japan’s culture and it’s famous places.I want to go and see mount Fuji and Matsumoto castle.I am very interests to go to one of the Japanese village which is far from a big city and near mountains cover with snow.If I were a winner I want to go to Shirakawa-go village.
    Japan were strike by Tsunami but it will raise from this night mere again.

  • Ana_chan89

    I am sorry about the earthquake in Japan, but that does not mean Japan is not beautiful anymore,,, Japan is famous for its bung cherry, a beautiful mountain Fujiyama and home gold in kyioto, as well as the famous hospitality of the people,, so let us disseminate to media and friends across the country about the beauty of japan

  • Dambaz

    i really dont think this will happen hope it does though

  • Grandmar

    how to register

  • Ggrandmar


  • Piotr Golebiowski

    I was in Japan in 2009 and it was a great experience. Still want to go back there and this goverment action might be a good reason.

  • Takkiai

    hopefully to be one of the luckies girl in the world… nihhon no suki desu….

  • majid hussain

    i would love travel to japan and experience in selling and parchazing

  • Lukegriffiths50

    Where do we find out how to apply? I seriously would lovea chance at a free flight. Please for all the Tofu in Tokyo, please tell me how!!? 😀

  • May m.lotfi

    I’m Egyptian and i would love to go to Japan but the expenses are my problem ,but for sure i want visit it someday i love Japan and the Japanese people !!!!

  • Nickjimmy23

    i’m from indonesia. i would really love if i can go to japan FREE ! i love Japan so freaking bad :((

  • Smartestssharara

    can any one help me to come japan