Chinese group tours are back in Japan but anyone banking on them arriving in droves and splashing around cash like they did before the pandemic is likely to be disappointed.

An ANA Holdings flight on Wednesday evening brought in the first package-tour visitors from Beijing since China lifted its pandemic restrictions on trips to Japan and other key markets including the United States.

But hopes the return of packaged tours will herald big returns for department stores, hotels and restaurants in Japan clash with a Chinese economy struggling to post significant growth and Japan's controversial release of treated wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.