Japan was the twelfth most visited country by overseas tourists in 2017, while France was the first at the same period. Therefore, let’s compare the differences between the two countries.
France is rich in tourist attractions such as the historical architectures leading from the Louvre Museum, other numerous art museums, the Eiffel Tower, the Versailles palace and its food culture of wines, etc. Japan also has various tourist attractions starting from historical buildings such as shrines and temples, artistic items such as Buddha statues and Ukiyo-e Paintings, and food culture such as Kaiseki dishes. Although France has been accepting tourists for more than 100 years, Japan has much less history on that industry.
Moreover, France is connected with other European countries by land. Moreover, it is a member country of the European Union (EU) having an open border without passport controls between the other member countries, which makes tourists easily to visit.
In contrast, Japan is an island country, which requires means of transportation such as airplanes. If there aren’t many flights to Japan, even there may be many tourists eager to visit, they cannot come here. Therefore, they are increasing both numbers of international flights and the visitors to satisfy the demand of “Inbound”, which will be caused in “Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games” period.
In fact, some tourists pay too much money where they have to pay by themselves, such as into the fair box on the bus. France, as a member of the EU, uses the currency of euro, which is the official common currency of the EU members. Therefore, people who are familiar with the euro are able to enjoy shopping in other EU countries as easily as in their own country. Also, the cashless system in France pressing forward to 40% of the share allows tourists the cashless payment in any other countries in EU. Cashless system is being implemented to be wide-spread in Japan as well. Payment by cashless points or by e-money cards such as IC card for overseas tourists are the examples.
We have conducted a survey with some “Inbound” tourists as follows
Q: What brought you to Japan?
A: I came here to see the rugby match.
A: I visited Japan to ride the ropeway.
A: Because I wanted to see the difference of Japanese culture from that of ours.
Where did you come from？
Have you ever had any trouble living in Japan?
From these results above, people from overseas are fulfilling life in comfort here. However, we do see some of them having problems. For example, some tourists get into trouble by inserting their bus fare in notes to the fair box and cannot receive the change. As a solving measure, Japan Railway (JR) is planning to sell IC card for foreigner from 2020. However, this will not act as a perfect solution. It is important for us to help them and make them satisfied with their visit to Japan without difficulties. Learning other languages is also necessary to reduce problems during the trip.