The estimated number of foreign guests at hotels and other types of accommodations in the country hit a record 88.59 million in 2018, the Japan Tourism Agency said Thursday.
The figure surpassed 80 million for the first time as the government steps up efforts to draw foreign visitors for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The pace of increase, however, slowed to 11.2 percent from 14.8 percent the previous year, according to the data.
By country and region, China accounted for the largest number of overnight guests at 20.94 million, or 26.5 percent of the total, followed by Taiwan at 11.47 million, or 14.5 percent, and South Korea at 11.26 million, or 14.2 percent. Hong Kong was fourth at 5.94 million and the United States fifth at 5.33 million.
Visitors from the top five countries and regions accounted for 70 percent of those who stayed at least one night at Japanese accommodations, the data showed.