Deserted Narita Airport
Normally, hoards of foreigners rush to come to Japan during summer. However, this year Japan's tourism industry faces a different tune. Instead of seeing an influx of people swarming around and ogling at cherry blossoms, Japan has seen a steady stream of foreigners fleeing.
I was at Narita last April 28 to pick up my family. Yes, they came despite a lot of disapproving looks and concerned advices from friends and relatives. As I have expected, the usually crowded gate A at the arrival lounge was deserted. In my past experiences of picking them up at Narita, this was the easiest one since there were only a handful of people waiting. This was clearly not a good sign for the tourism industry. Despite the hotels' and airlines' efforts to encourage visitors to come to Japan by slashing prices and giving no re-booking fees, people were still apprehensive about coming to Japan.