More Japanese travellers shun cities for countryside escapes

Countryside excursions trump city breaks when it comes to Japanese travellers seeking domestic getaways in this Covid era, while family and friends are cited as the most popular choices for travel companions.

Those are among the findings of Agoda’s recent GoLocal travel survey, which revealed that nationally, Japanese domestic travellers want to visit the countryside most (57%), while holidays to the cities (47%), and beach (40%) come in second and third.

Hokkaido emerges as the top domestic getaway for Japanese travellers, with more skipping cities and beaches in favour of the countryside; a sunflower garden in Hokkaido, Japan pictured

The survey, which polled 1,000 respondents in Japan, found that Japanese domestic travellers from Hokkaido, Tohoku and Shikoku are most likely to want to visit cities and metropolitan areas (65%), with 37% of Japanese from Hokkaido wanting to travel to Kanto on their next domestic trip.

Travelling with friends is the joint second most popular travel companion choice (18%) aligned with partner (18%), after family at 58% for Japanese travellers surveyed in general, with women more keen on travelling with friends than men (22% and 13%, respectively).

Female domestic travellers are most likely to want to visit the countryside (55%), followed by 49% looking to explore cities and 39% hoping to visit the beaches. Hokkaido again came out tops (48%) as the preferred destination for female Japanese, followed by Kyushu (46%) and Kinki (27%). Kyushu nudges Hokkaido off the top spot for repeat visits for female Japanese, with Kinki in third spot.

According to the survey, Hokkaido come out tops as the local region most domestic travellers would like to visit on their next trip (46%), followed by Kyushu (43%) and Kinki (24%). Those three destinations are also the most popular Japanese destinations to revisit for domestic travellers.

Kanto is the topmost region visited by Japanese travellers, with 83% of Japanese travellers claiming to have visited previously. Kinki (72%) and Kyushu (62%) make the top three, followed by Chubu (57%), Hokkaido (56%), Tohoku (49%), Chugoku (48%) and Shikoku (43%). Interestingly, Kyushu (34%), Hokkaido (31%) and Kinki (21%) are the three destinations that Japanese would want to return to again and again.

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