4th International Symposium on Aspects of Tourism
THE END OF TOURISM? Mobility and Local-Global Connections
Eastbourne June 23/24 2005
Sustainable Tourism in Japan
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt
University of Applied Sciences Stralsund






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  2. Leisure and Tourism in

the Japanese society  


“The family holiday is not unknown, .. but in general such trips tend to be much shorter than .. in Europe. Two nights away is perhaps typical, and the father of the family will be itchy to get back to work.” (Hendry 1987, 165)


Long absence from work by making full use of granted paid holiday is still frowned upon. Unlike western positive images of otium as 'recharging the battery' and ‘getting new ideas’, i.e. self-actualisation through leisure, leisure activities and the necessary absence connected to it are seen as ‘letting down the collegues’, only partly redeemed by buying omiyage (souvenirs) for the left-behind. 

“A feeling of guilt in seeking mere pleasure dies hard within a culture of hard work. .. And this axiom is fortified by people’s concern for, and attention to, others in close proximity, such as family, relatives, neighbours, and fellow workers.” (Kajiwara 1997, 169)


 Paid holidays are granted to employees (app. 20 days/year). It is however socially impossible to use the full amout.   

© Arlt 2005 after (TIJ 2004)


 Japanese travel less and much shorter than the inhabitants of other OECD countries, travel motive is often an event: 3,9 nights p.P. p.y., compared to 17,1 (Germany) and 16 (France, GB). Japanese overnight stays per year decreased year-by-year since 1991 (OECD 2002).


 © Arlt 2005 after (TIJ 2004)



App. 13% of the Japanese travel across the border once a year.


© Arlt 2005 after (MLIT 2005)




 Contact: wolfgang.arlt@fh-stralsund.de  Tel. +49 (3831) 456 961