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Cool currency lures Chinese tourists

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2015-02-02 07:10

Cool currency lures Chinese tourists

Kinkaku-ji, or Golden Pavilion, in Kyoto is among Japan's popular tourist attractions. Xiao Yang / China Daily

Zhang Shiyi spent more than 20,000 yuan ($3,200) on health aids on her recent trip to Japan.

She believes her mother's health has since improved. "The yen's depreciation against the yuan gave me incentives and made me splurge a little," says Zhang, who works in Beijing.

Chinese tourists are heading to Japan as its currency depreciates. More than 2.5 million Chinese traveled to Japan from January to November in 2014, up 51 percent as compared with the same period in the previous year, the China National Tourism Administration says.

Japan was China's third-biggest outbound tourist destination last year, after South Korea and Thailand, says Dai Yu, marketing director at online travel giant Ctrip's tourism department. The company arranged Japan trips for hundreds of thousands Chinese last year, she adds.

The destination offers seasonal sceneries, culture, security and celebrated cuisine, Dai says.

Zhang was most impressed by Japanese society's eye for detail. "It was clean and comfortable, especially the streets and washrooms," she says.

A major attraction is Sensoji-aka Asakusa Kannon Temple-where visitors pray for blessings, buy knickknacks and savor local fare, Dai says. Shinsaibashi Plaza at the heart of Osaka is any foodie and shopper's paradise, she adds.

China's proximity to the island nation has become more critical since the yen's depreciation, and relaxed visa and tax policies, according to Beijing-based China Tourism Academy's International Tourism Development Institute director Jiang Yiyi.

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