Go to a random bookstore in Japan and you’ll quickly find the section with travel guides. Domestic travel guides. From the southern islands of Okinawa to the northern Hokkaido, every area in Japan is covered. Because domestic tourism in Japan is big. Really big. Not so surprising, really, as there are big geographical and cultural differences all across Japan. In fact, only 200 years ago, Japan consisted of many separate domains with a mostly decentralized government. A teacher from Tokyo once even told me that Fukuoka felt to her like some foreign country where they just happened to speak Japanese!
But with such differences, it’s not strange that domestic tourism is so popular. For example, people go on two-day trips to hot springs, or on trips to try out local culinary specialties. The word kuidaore, a word strongly associated with the city of Osaka, literally meaning “eating till you drop”, is often used when talking about these gourmet trips.