International Tourism Trade Show Tokyo
25-27 June, 2025
Tokyo Big Sight, Japan

Current State of Japanese Wellness Tourism

03 12, 2023

Wellness tourism is a rapidly growing industry, with Japan emerging as a major player in the market. Japan’s unique culture, natural beauty, and traditional practices make it an attractive destination for wellness tourism. In this blog post, we will explore the Japanese wellness tourism market and its growth over the years.

Japan's Traditional Practices

Japan is home to a variety of traditional wellness practices that have been practiced for centuries. Some of the most popular practices include Onsen, Shiatsu, and Reiki. Onsen refers to hot springs, which are popular in Japan due to their healing properties. Many of these hot springs are in rural areas surrounded by nature, providing a peaceful environment for relaxation and rejuvenation. 

Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to promote relaxation and stress relief. Reiki is a form of energy healing that is believed to balance the body’s energy and promote healing. These traditional practices have been passed down through generations and are still widely practiced today.

Natural Beauty of Japan

Japan's natural beauty is another attraction for wellness tourists. The country is home to a variety of natural hot springs, which are believed to have therapeutic benefits. The mineral-rich water of these hot springs is known to help with various ailments such as arthritis, muscle pain, and skin conditions.

Additionally, Japan has several scenic hiking trails, including the Kumano Kodo trail, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country also has national parks, such as the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, which is home to Mount Fuji, a symbol of Japan and a popular destination for both tourists and locals.

These natural attractions provide a serene environment for wellness tourists to immerse themselves in nature while experiencing traditional practices.

Growth in Japanese Wellness Tourism

The Japanese wellness tourism market has seen significant growth over the past few years. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, the number of inbound wellness tourists to Japan increased from 1.1 million in 2016 to 1.5 million in 2018. 

The growth can be attributed to several factors, including the increasing popularity of wellness tourism globally, the growing interest in Japanese culture and traditions, and the government's efforts to promote Japan as a wellness tourism destination. According to Statista, the market size of wellness tourism in Japan was approximately 19 billion USD in 2020, a decline compared to the previous year due to the pandemic, but still a hefty figure. 

The Japanese government has recognized the potential of wellness tourism to boost the economy and has been actively promoting it as a key tourism sector. Government organizations have also been investing in infrastructure projects to improve accessibility to hot springs and other natural attractions.

The Future of Japanese Wellness Tourism

The future of Japanese wellness tourism looks promising, with the market expected to continue to grow in the coming years. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the tourism industry, but wellness tourism is expected to bounce back quickly due to the increasing demand for health- and wellness-focused travel. 

Japan will continue to attract tourists due to its nature, heritage, and culture. The government's efforts to promote wellness tourism and improve infrastructure will also contribute to the growth of the market. Additionally, the integration of modern technology and innovation into traditional practices is expected to attract younger generations of wellness tourists.

Make the Most of the Growing Japanese Wellness Tourism Market

Japan appeals to wellness tourists due to its traditional practices, natural beauty, and growing market. The country's focus on wellness tourism is expected to continue to drive growth in the industry, making Japan an attractive destination for those seeking relaxation, rejuvenation, and a deeper connection with traditional practices. 

Be a part of the first and only wellness tourism event in Japan. International Wellness Tourism EXPO is a gathering of local and international businesses in the wellness tourism sector. Don’t miss this three-day event on May 10–12, 2023, at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan. As the world becomes more health-conscious, wellness tourism is expected to become an increasingly important sector in the tourism industry, and Japan is poised to be a leader in this market.