Want to visit Japan? 10,000 tourists could be given the chance to fly there for free

The Japan Tourism Agency hopes to coax 10,000 foreign visitors to Japan with free-round trip flights, in a bid to boost tourism.

There’s much more to Japan than Tokyo’s famous bright lights and bullet trains.

If the idea of joining a tea ceremony at a cherry blossom festival in Spring or sleeping on a tatami-covered floor in a traditional Japanese ryokan appeals, the Japanese government could make it happen, for free.

The Japan Tourism Agency hopes to offer free round-trip flights to 10,000 foreigners to travel to the country – in return for publishing their experiences on social media.

The national tourism agency has asked the government to approve US$14m (£9m) of extra funding to launch the initiative next year, but it is still at proposal stage.

If the funding is given the go-ahead, online applications for the free flights would open next April – at the height of Japan’s cherry blossom season – and the agency would be expected to select the candidates by early summer.

The 10,000 people selected would be required to pay for all other trip expenses, including accommodation and excursions.

Japan is keen to rebuild its declining tourism industry and reassure foreigners that it is safe to visit, seven months on since a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the East Coast of Japan on March 11, triggering a devastating tsunami and fears of a nuclear crisis at Fukushima, 240km north of Tokyo.

The number of inbound tourists to Japan have continued to slide in the last six months. According to official figures from the Japan National Tourism Organization, the number of foreign visitors to Japan dropped 32% to 546,800 people in August compared to the same period last year.

The Japanese government is concerned that the ongoing Fukushima nuclear plant fallout is putting off visitors. It has reassured citizens that the country is safe except for the immediate vicinity of the plant, which is still being secured.

Update: TERMINAL U will keep our readers informed of how to apply to the Japan Tourism Agency for the chance to win a free flight to Japan if the government approves the giveaway. Stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Email.

What others have said

  1. I like Japan they made their first movies like the Ultraman in the year 1972 in black and white TV.
    I never miss any saga during my children days.
    I love Japan,cos there had is 120 year fountain hot spring in mountains,I will like to tried it before I depart from this world.Also tried the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka.
    Thus is my first trip to Japan,whether I win or lose this free tickets,I will be there with my own tickets,……..to tried this hot spring which might to some goods to my back accidents.
    I just came from Australia ,with my helicopter flight around ,Adellaide ,wine tasting.
    I need to do something for myself.see the miracle that happens in Japan.
    Uncle pek patrix,Can find me in Facebook too.
    Thank u.

  2. I would absolutely love to go to Japan. It has been a dream of mine to go since I was seven to see the old and new of the country, and see the beautiful architecture, and experience the culture.

  3. Hello, i am called Caleb and i would not like but love to se japan for even a minute i love everything about what interested me the most was when my aunt travelled and told me about how it was i was so impressed i love it a lot please please please please please please pick me pick me pick me

  4. i wanna go thereeeee
    japan is my love
    Japan is always been my dream.
    attract me is their scenery, culture,
    history and food.
    Please consider me!!!!

  5. I loooooooooooooooooooove japan OMG i really want to visit it all my friends call me japan girl its my dream i really want to go there :/ japan daisuki <3 its my fav place in the world

  6. I am married with an adorable “Nisei” and I love her as well her culture. I’ve learn how to speak and how to write in Japanese characters. I would like to go back there to know more about beautiful places to view, mainly where the tsunami cause that catastrophe.

  7. Wow this would be fab,that,s a good news for everyone.I LOVE JAPAN. Please consider me…………………..with regards
    mukhtar wains

  8. OK we all love Japan I hope the free seats are given to all those who posted their lovely comments in the “Terminal” I wish you all Guys & Dolls the very best of luck for the Japanes visit is worth a million .

  9. “It’ll be better if the chance were given to anyone who had never been to japan before…. and still dreaming to visit japan.. and i would be very blessed if i had been given the seats!”

  10. Wow this would be fab, I went to Japan (Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto) last year and loved it, have been learning the language two years now and I love love the culture. Have been planning a selfguided adventure of my own for next year and the free flight would be an added bonus, the country has tons to offer,and the tsunami has most definatley NOT put me off going am driving my friends crazy with my trip planning lol

  11. ,,i’ve been there 7yrs ago,,,its beautiful,,, and the food is great,,, given a chance to be back there with a free flight will be awesome…

  12. As a South african I would like to visit,but I’m not previlaged to carry the costs,I will be happy to tour such a wonderful country and it technology. I would like to visit areas they create different types of construction machinery,trucks and automobile

  13. I am a tourism journalist. Going to Japan would not be a bad idea at all. I am doing the story right away for my publication and having an opportunity to do it live would be awesome. Looking forward to seeing Japan next year.

  14. I have been to Japan and I loved it. I still have friends there. To go back would be wonderful, I love the food, the people the chance to return would be the utmost opportunity. Pick me, Pick me! :) If I have to video the whole trip, consider it done, whatever it takes.

  15. am juliet from Kenya 22years and am a model. it has always been a dream to always visit japan due to its ethnicity and tourist attractions. am a very adventorous lady and as a model it would be my pleasure to DO Modeling there. A visa to Japan will open opportunities for me.

  16. thats a good news for everyone …thumbs up japan..but im so much exciting and glad if i will be given a visa..im 2 years married to japanesse but till now i dont have a visa yet ,,japanesse embassy denied my application twice..i dont know what to do..my husband need me badly..

  17. i am also excited for visit my drem country japan they make our life easy and to much easy i love japan and i will pray for my deep of heart for country of japan success.

    zafar ali
    United Arab Emirates
    just i would like request just inform us which website lunch for submitting for tour for japan.


  18. I’m from Malaysia.

    I have never been to Japan before but visiting to Japan is always been my dream. What’s attract me is their scenery, culture, history and food.

    The scenery in Hokkaido attracted me the most, like the flowers in Lavender Garden, Sapporo white illumination and Hakodate night view. The ice-breaking and ice-fishing should not be missed too.

    Japanese culture is rich in the field of art, music, literature and many more. Samurai and the history is what I want to find out more.

    Having ishikari nabe, izushi and Hokkaido crab with my love one as a dinner at the seaside of Hokkaido will always be a romantic experience I’m always looking for.

    Hope that my luck will be good enough for me to have the chance to visit my favourite country that I always been dreaming of.

  19. I have visited Japan and it is one of the few countries I want to revisit. I have never been to Shikoku Island and would love to go, as I have read that this island is virtually unthouched by Westernization. It is my wish to do the 88 temple pilgrimage. I have read that the pilgimage retraces the route of Kukai, the fonder of Shingan Buddhism. I would also love to see the tradisional Awa-Odori dancing. Also love to visit the scenic town of Uchiko. Lastly I would love to visit Ozu as I have read it is known as little Kyoto. I LOVE JAPAN. Please consider me. Regards Margaret

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