Hotel and inn stays by overseas tourists rose 12.4 percent from a year earlier to a record high of 78 million, reflecting robust demand in rural areas, the Japan Tourism Agency said Wednesday.
Visitor stays are estimated by multiplying the number of visitors by days they stayed.
The figure for regions outside the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya areas rose 15.8 percent from a year earlier and accounted for 40.9 percent of the total, with the Tohoku and Kyushu regions seeing particularly brisk demand on the back of a rise in the number of low-cost carrier flights, according to preliminary data.
Aided by flights from China, Aomori Prefecture saw the biggest increase of 60.3 percent, while Oita and Saga prefectures saw a rise of 59.3 percent and 51.9 percent respectively, supported by South Korean LCC flights.
By prefecture, Tokyo was at the top in terms of hotel stays at 19.03 million, followed by Osaka at 11.71 million, Hokkaido at 7.43 million, Kyoto at 5.59 million and Okinawa at 4.6 million.