Bloody Japanese tourists!


Japanese Tourists in Florence

With the Golden Week holidays over today, this will be the final filler ranking survey (they’re always quick and easy to translate!) this time on the holiday theme of what typical Japanese tourist behaviour people end up doing on overseas holidays.


Over the 21st and 22nd of March 2008 1,036 people from the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.7% were male, 7.0% in their teens, 14.7% in their twenties, 30.1% in their thirties, 27.0% in their forties, 10.9% in their fifties, and 10.2% aged sixty or over. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

Although I’ve only done one Japanese group tour to Europe (you have to do it once yourself, just so you know how bad it is!) I think the taking of optional tours was the most common I saw from others. When the tour stopped at Vienna, we’d already ordered tickets for the musical Elizabeth so we went there whilst everyone else headed off on the optional tour.

Even on personal tours, my wife photographs and videos just about everything, which I find immensely dull as we’ll probably never watch the videos again, and seeing the sights through the viewfinder cannot be much fun at all.

The final choice, which I thought might be higher, ordering souvenirs before departure, perhaps needs a little explanation for people who are not so familiar with Japan. Souvenir giving is a highly ritualised event, such that one needs (yes, needs) to buy a small present for just about every friend and acquaintance, often macadamia chocolates, but close friends sometimes actually name what they want. So, rather than fill up one’s suitcase with 20 boxes of nuts or whatever, there are many mail-order catalogues to be had from the travel agent that will deliver the day you return from holiday. I find the whole business extremely impersonal, and would much rather a hand-written postcard that showed me someone took some effort to think of me while they were away, and it’s much more fun for me to write these cards compared to traipsing round airport shops.

Photo from nubui on flickr.

Research results

Q: What typical Japanese tourist behaviour do you end up doing on overseas holidays? (Sample size=1,036)

Rank Score
1Just follow the routes in the guidebooks100
2Photograph everything that moves88.9
3Go to Japanese restaurants76.5
4Put valuables in waist pouch, shoulder bag57.3
5Take the optional tours55.6
6Queue up for commemorative photos, photo spots53.3
7Go duty free shopping before leaving Japan44.9
8Go wild buying brand-name items43.2
9Usually take part in group activities40.7
10Worry about sunburn37.6
11Enter busy shops36.1
12Hang camera around neck33.8
13Don’t meet foreigners’ eyes29.3
14Keep blurting out “Sorry!” in English conversation26.0
15End up replying to touts who catch me in conversation24.2
16Wear a cheap watch21.7
17Split the bill equally at restaurants18.7
18Keep body under wraps on the beach15.4
19Wear beach sandals13.9
20Order souvenirs before leaving Japan12.6
Read more on: ,

1 Comment »

  1. Lurker said,
    August 13, 2011 @ 14:02

    Aren’t all tourists guilty of #2?

Leave a Comment