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Monday, February 6, 2023

Asia tourist hubs ready for China influx

Chinese tourists are expected to once again fill popular Tokyo tourist sites like the Sensoji Temple thanks to recent changes to Covid rules.

TOKYO: In Tokyo’s Asakusa tourist district, caricaturist Masashi Higashitani is dusting off his Chinese as he prepares for an influx of travellers after Beijing ends inbound quarantine rules.

“We used to say ‘ni hao’ all the time,” he said with a laugh as he whipped up a portrait in minutes.

Nearly 9.6 million Chinese visited Japan in 2019, the biggest group of foreign tourists by far and a massive leap from the 450,000 who came in 2003.

Higashitani estimates around 20% of his customers were from China before the pandemic, and he and his employees picked up Chinese phrases from those…

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