Osaka has become Japan’s “fastest-growing” destination for inbound tourism, with a five-fold increase between 2012 and 2017, according to a Reuters report, based on government data. In 2017, there were more than 11 million foreign visitors to Osaka.
“Compared to Tokyo, Osaka is positioned for longer and more sustainable growth in development and tourism because of things like the IR,” Takeshi Yamaguchi, associate director of research at real estate consulting firm CBRE, told Reuters.
The main advantage that Osaka has over the Tokyo region is its easy access to the main centers of traditional Japanese culture, Kyoto and Nara. Osaka is also gaining more appreciation for its own unique food culture and its improving infrastructure.
Chinese tourists are leading the way in Osaka’s tourism boom, as they are in other parts of Japan.
Many analysts feel that the development of Yumeshima in the next decade, including both the 2025 World Expo and the anticipated IR, could herald a genuine rebirth of Japan’s second city, which has for decades been steeply overshadowed by Tokyo.