Perhaps some of my readers have made the New Year resolution to head to Japan, so here are a few suggestions for where to go from a survey by goo Ranking into sights that Japanese are surprised to hear are popular with foreigners.
I’ve linked all the sights to either their official sites or to other reviews of the places. I’ve never really understood the attraction of the Shibuya crossing; perhaps I was too used to other busy crossings in Osaka before it appeared on my radar? The Robot Restaurant looks utterly cheesy and I’ve heard it’s quite overpriced for what it offers. The one I’d recommend the most (although probably the most out-of-the-way one) is number 16 Koyasan Okunoin, a graveyard with a lot of spooky atmosphere:
Q: What location are you most surprised to hear is popular with foreigners? (Sample size=1,335)
Rank Votes 1 Maishima Incinerator, Osaka 467 2 Shibuya scramble crossing, Tokyo 100 3 Robot Restaurant, Tokyo 71 4 Sanrio Puroland, Tokyo 65 5 Video Game Centre “Space Station”, Osaka 63 6 Toyota Automobile Museum, Aichi 60 7 Hakone Open-Air Museum, Kanagawa 53 8 Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwata Mountain, Kyoto 50 9 Shinjuku Golden Gai, Tokyo 48 10 Roppongi Hills, Tokyo 37 11 Kaiyukan Aquarium, Osaka 35 12 Samurai Kembu Theatre, Kyoto 33 13= Akihabara, Tokyo 32 13= Naritasan Shinshoji Temple 32 15 Nara Park, Nara 29 16 Koyasan Okunoin, Wakayama 28 17 Jigokudani Monkey Park, Nagano 27 18= Churaumi Aquarium, Okinawa 26 18= Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo 26 20 Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo 20 21 Kuromon Ichiba Market, Osaka 19 22 Kyoto Nishiki Market, Kyoto 14
Between the 4th and 18th of March 2016 1,335 members of the iResearch monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were available.