The UK-based Wanderlust magazine was first printed in 1993, and the publication has a keen focus on responsible and sustainable travel, off-the-beaten-path destinations, and hidden travel gems. They conduct an annual survey where they ask their reader base about their most desired destinations around the globe, and Japan fared extremely well in several categories.
In the Most Desirable Country in the World category, Japan came in second place – beaten out only by Australia. Japan also received third place honors in the Most Desirable Country for Culture, and fourth place in the Most Desirable Country for Gastronomy. As the country with the world's second-highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants (as of July 2023), it might not come as any real surprise that people would want to visit for food-related fun!
Tokyo also snagged third place in the Most Desirable City in the World category, and it's certainly a metropolis with a multitude of charms. Whether you appreciate tradition, modernity, nature, food, history, or shopping, there's something in Japan's capital for just about any traveler's interest.
The release of Wanderlust magazine's most desired destinations list coincides with news this week that Japan's visitor numbers exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time in October 2023, with an incredible 2.52 million travelers exploring the country during that period. It looks like it's not just Wanderlust readers who have Japan as one of their bucket list travel spots! The current weakening of the yen also helps incentivize travel, with foreign currencies having significantly more purchasing power – this makes goods, services, and accommodations more affordable. It's a great time to start dreaming about – and planning – your perfect trip!