In 2016, Japan welcomed more than 24 million visitors, a record of more than 20million as forecast by the national government for 2020 and Muslims representing a large part of the total number and still on the increase.
Japan has over the years customized its hospitality and restaurant services to suit and accommodate the increasing number of visitors from Muslim countries and the results are visible and astounding. Apart from a steady rise in the number of Muslim visitors settling in Japan, prayer rooms can be found in several shopping malls, hotel rooms and airports and Halal food are fast becoming a staple in most Japanese restaurants.
According to Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), 271,000 Indonesians visited Japan last year compared to 63,000 in 2009 and 394,000 Malaysians compared to 89,000 seven years ago.
The lowered requirements for entry visa as well as the growth in low-cost airlines coming into Japan is believed to be one of the main reasons behind this. The recent low yen rate also makes it more affordable for most Southeast Asian locals in particular.
With the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the ease and rate with which the Muslim travelers’ needs can be met within the country, an even larger number is expected in the following years.