Last week, Japan’s National Tourism Organization unveiled a glossy website aimed at international visitors looking to experience the country’s famous hospitality. An introductory video presents sweeping views of lush green islands dotting a cerulean bay, sleek hotel rooms boasting breathtaking views and a mouthwatering close-up of elegantly prepared seafood.
Good luck experiencing any of it in person.
In a normal year, this would be peak season for tourism to Japan. But as the cherry blossoms burst into bloom along Kyoto’s ancient, temple-lined alleys and boat tours ply the waters of Tokyo’s flower-lined rivers, Japanese tourists largely have the spectacular display to themselves.