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Travel & Leisure

Medicine, sweets, whisky, even stationery hot souvenirs in Japan

Local retailers celebrate the return of the tourist hordes

Shoppers in the medical section of a Tokyo store. Pharmaceutical products are popular as Japanese souvenirs. 

TOKYO -- Step off the train -- or even onto the train -- in one of Tokyo's trendy neighborhoods and it becomes obvious: The foreign tourist hordes are back. But what are they doing while not recording videos of themselves stepping through Shibuya crossing? Nikkei has surveyed retailers and manufacturers and put together a foreign tourist shopping list.

Actually, national estimates show foreign tourists are mostly back. In April, 1.95 million of them visited Japan, about 30% fewer than those who arrived four years earlier, before COVID. The falloff is mostly attributable to Chinese traveler arrivals. While Chinese accounted for 30% of total visitors before the virus, they constituted less than 10% in the latest monthly data.

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