A record 13.41 million foreign tourists visited Japan in 2014, a 30 percent jump from the previous year, and the number may top 15 million in 2015. Infrastructure and tourism minister Akihiro Ota said that the goal of attracting 20 million foreign visitors annually by the time Tokyo hosts the 2020 Summer Olympic Games may be achievable.

But both the national and local governments as well as the tourism industry need to consider whether their efforts to make the visitors' stay in Japan comfortable and interesting are in step with the sharp rise in the number of tourists.

Improving the impression that tourists develop when they first arrive in Japan will contribute to increasing the number of repeat visitors.