2019 Winter Destinations in Japan Popular With Foreign Tourists

09.January.2019 | SPOT

Travel lodging website Booking.com has revealed the most popular winter break destinations in Japan with foreign travellers from 2018 to 2019*.

East Asia: Kyushu & Okinawa, close to many other countries

Countries that are close to Japan including South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan have voted Kyushu and Okinawa as their favourite. South Koreans in particular have a tendency to enjoy hot spring spots in Kyushu such as the cities of Yufu, Beppu and Kumamoto. The number of people visiting these places not just as tourist locations but to enjoy the hot springs is on the increase.


Taiwanese travellers voted for 3 cities in Okinawa that made the list up to No. 20. A direct flight from Taiwan to Okinawa takes about one hour which is thought to be part of the reason behind its popularity.

South-East Asia: If you’re going in winter then why not enjoy the cold

The ranking shows that a lot of people in South-East Asian countries like Thailand and Singapore where the climate is warm all year round travel to Japan to enjoy the winter. Hokkaido is of course one of the main players, but the list shows that people tend to go to Takayama too where there is heavy snowfall. Their popularity can be accredited to providing snow like nowhere else in South-East Asia. Other spots include the beautiful resort town Fujikawaguchiko where you can see Mount Fuji.

Europe and America: Winter Sports & World Heritage Sites

Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hokkaido ranked up to No. 10 among foreign travellers from Europe and America. One especially interesting place that clocked in was Narita. This is because of the amount of arrivals and departures from Europe and America at Narita Airport. Its convenient location provides access to many tourist destinations in Japan.


Skiing and snowboarding are the perfect winter activities and ranked popular with travellers from the US and UK with places like Niseko and Hakuba. There are travellers who pointed towards Japan’s “JAPOW” powder snow.


For France places like the artistic town of Naoshima and World Heritage Site locations such as Nara, Nikko and Itsukushima proved popular. According to a report from the Japan Tourism Agency, 95% of French travellers stay in Japan over a long period of time spanning 7 to 90 days. This can be interpreted as giving themselves enough time to travel around these historical landmarks.


If you’re visiting Japan during this winter season, where do you plan on going?