World / Asia-Pacific

Chinese tourists flock to Japan during cherry blossom season

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-04-23 14:12

Chinese tourists flock to Japan during cherry blossom season

People take a selfie with cherry blossoms in full bloom in Tokyo, March 30, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

OSAKA, Japan - The number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan has surged recently as the cherry blossoms enter their peak period of bloom, reports the Yangtze Evening News.

Some online travel sites have posted warnings that hotel rooms may be unavailable for those traveling to Japan during peak season.

Miao, employed at a foreign enterprise in China, had planned a family trip to Japan to see the cherry blossoms right after the Chinese New Year holiday in February, but was unable to book a decent place to stay by the end of March. She had to ask her Japanese colleague to let her family stay at his friend's rural home in Chiba prefecture, adjacent to Tokyo.

Even though Miao's friends all praised the beautiful cherry blossoms when they saw Miao's pictures posted online, they could not help but notice that there were crowds everywhere. "You have to line up to take a picture," said one friend.

Miao had prepare instant food such as dumplings at the home she had been staying at before leaving because of the impossibility of finding a place to eat during the long tours.

The occupancy rates of business hotels in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka and Kyodo have risen to between 80-90%. The influx of Chinese tourists wiped out bookings in the Tokyo metropolitan area in early April, according to the report.

Miao said that the majority of tourists in some famous cherry blossom scenic sports were Chinese. Japanese shop owners even hired temp overseas Chinese students to serve the enormous number of Chinese tourists, Miao said. Shops display price tags in Japanese as well as in Chinese and China's popular UnionPay cards are accepted at checkout.

Some Japanese stores go out of their way to hire Chinese instructors to teach Chinese customs, such as their preference for the search engine Baidu, instead of Google.

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