Did you know that Japan is the number one tourist destination in England? A friend of mine in England sent me an email and told me that Japan is the most popular country for people to travel to. He told me that many of his friends are planning to visit Japan as soon as possible. Of course now it is very difficult to travel on airplanes because of the corona virus, but one day, maybe this year, or maybe next year, my friend is coming to Japan and also to Shikoku for a visit.
Did you know how beautiful your country is? Did you know how popular Japan is in the eyes of the world? Did you know that there are millions of people around the world who are very interested in Japanese life, Japanese culture, and Japanese food?
It’s true. I think that I am very lucky to wake up every day in Japan. Many of my friends are super jealous of me. I understand their feeling, but then I also invite them to come here and have their own wonderful and unique Japan experience.
There are so many wonderful and exciting places to see and visit in Japan.
For people from other countries the top places that they want to visit are: Mt. Fuji, Kyoto, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the shrine of Itsukushima in Miyajima, the temples of Nara, Osaka Castle, the nature of the Japanese Alps, Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya, Fukuoka Castle, and the city of Sapporo in Hokkaido are all top tourist spots and places many people want to go to.
But after many people have seen those places. After they have seen the downtown lights of Tokyo and the old temples of Kyoto they are often ready to see something different. They are ready to come and to experience the Deep Japan of places that are not easy to find. As a result, each year, more and more people come to places that are not so famous. People from Europe and North America come to Kyushu and to Shikoku.
More people come to Japan to see the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, the Wisteria Tunnel in Kitakyushu, the Jigokutani Monkey Park in Yamanouchi, the cat island of Ishinomaki, the vine bridges of Iya, the Kindai bridge of Iwakuni, Shirakawa-go, and places close to our homes like Naoshima, Shodoshima, and Megijima.
This is both a wonderful thing, and maybe a little scary thing too. Japan is becoming more and more popular of a place to visit for the people of the world. From my view, this is very understandable and reasonable.
Japan is clean. Japan is safe. Staff at hotels and restaurants are polite. The food is great. Traveling around is easy and convenient. Good food and hotels are not so expensive. The culture, history, and festivals are all wonderful to learn about and experience. And Japanese people can be wonderful friends.
Right now, however, there are no travelers to Japan. The airport are still closed and people cannot come from other countries to experience Japanese culture and food. But this will soon change. We expect that the Olympics will take place this year, and even if they are not so perfect, it will restart the custom of people coming to Japan for a wonderful trip to make beautiful memories.
And our lives will continue. We will come out of the corona trouble. We will find a new Japan, with new things, and start over. Life will continue. And the world will be better.
It is a special kind of miracle that happens in Japan. Even though there has been so much trouble and damage to the economy life will continue. Even though so many people have damage done to their lives and companies and communities, Japan will continue on. We will continue on.
In all the world, we know that Japan is one of the toughest cultures on the planet. Japan has earthquakes and tsunami. Japan has terrible typhoons every year. But even so, the heart of Japan is strong, is tough, and a beautiful life, a beautiful continuation, will be here for us to enjoy and celebrate.