This week, Gary and Hannah take a virtual trip to Japan - Land of the Rising Sun and, pre-pandemic, an increasingly popular destination for travellers from across South East Asia. Having started the year expecting the biggest ever Sakura festival in history followed by the Tokyo Olympics, 2020 has been particularly unkind to Japan.
A so-called “Plague Ship” in Yokohama harbour catalysed a year of uncertainty that saw the Olympics shelved for 12 months, and hopes dashed of welcoming 10 million Chinese arrivals and 40 million visitors overall.
The economy is deep in recession and COVID-19 isn’t yet under control. Ever a pragmatic nation, though, Japan has plenty of plans for its tourism future. These range from the rescheduled Olympics in 2021 to space trips for super-rich tourists, casino resorts and new theme park dedicated to the hero of Hogwarts.