Michinori Yamasaki Michinori Yamasaki

Japan debunks reputation

Forget the perceptions that Japan is expensive and crowded, that’s just Tokyo, says Michinori Yamasaki, executive vice president of JNTO RWC2019 and Tokyo Olympic 2020 Games Projects.


The Rugby World Cup will take place in a tourism shoulder season, so it will be a good time to visit Japan, he adds, speaking to TRAVELinc Memo in Yokohama last week. ‘There are strong perceptions of Japan being expensive, also of crowded cities, busy traffic, high rise buildings and prices sky high. However we also have nice countryside and so many mountains and rivers, and the countryside is not expensive.’ In fact, 70 percent of all Japan is made up of mountains, from the powder skiing opportunities of Hokkaido in the north, to the volcanoes and high plateaux of southern Kyushu, he adds.


‘Tokyo is always busy that’s why accommodation rates there are high, especially when the city hosts big events then we have very expensive hotels,’ says Yamasaki. ‘Our peak tourism seasons are in April/May, and in summer vacation time. The Rugby World Cup will happen over several weeks, from October to November, all around Japan, so I don’t think we will have congestion or expensive accommodation, at least outside Tokyo.’

- By Kathy Ombler in Japan