Peace Memorial Museum and A-bomb Dome fall to second most popular destination among international travelers to Japan

Hiroshima determined to regain top ranking next year, the 70th anniversary of the A-bombing

by Aya Kano, Staff Writer

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome have fallen to second place in the ranking of popular tourist destinations in Japan for international travelers. The ranking is compiled by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, based on reader comments. The museum and the A-bomb Dome had held the first position for two years in a row before the latest ranking was released. With the number of international travelers to Japan rising, tourist locations around the country have been vying for the top spot by pursuing promotional efforts overseas.

The Japanese arm of the U.S. company which operates the website tallied up scores and comments given by international travelers. According to the company’s calculations, Fushimiinari Shrine, located in Kyoto, has risen to first place. Itsukushima Shrine, located in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, has moved up one spot to No. 3 in the latest ranking, followed by Kinkakuji Temple in Kyoto and Todaiji Temple in Nara. All of these tourist destinations received 4.5 points on a scale of one to five. According to the company, the margins were narrow, but Fushimiinari Shrine gained more comments.

The number of international visitors who stayed at least one night in Kyoto and Hiroshima in 2013 were 1.13 million and 310,000 respectively, both of which were record numbers. Pleased with the top slot, a Kyoto city official said that the efforts of their promotional activities have borne fruit. Kyoto has expanded its travel campaigns in ten places in Europe, the Unites States, and Asia, as well as in other parts of the world.

Meanwhile, according to a Hiroshima city official overseeing tourism efforts, the Hiroshima municipal government is determined to strive harder to bring international travelers to the city, and provide even better service, so that Hiroshima will regain the top position.

(Originally published on July 11, 2014)