The Japanese capital Tokyo is set to welcome 40,000 visitors to its fifth annual international art fair from April 2.
The week after, 60,000 visitors will flock to the Wine and Gourmet Fair at the Tokyo Exhibition Centre, perhaps proving that no matter how many times Tokyo is proclaimed "over", it still has the power to innovate and attract.
Despite having a bust national airline, wallowing in record levels of debt and facing a global PR crisis in its automotive industry, Japan is a tremendously popular destination. The Japan National Tourism Organisation hopes to lure 10 million visitors this year, with the majority likely to visit from Asia, followed by North America and Europe.
As the birthplace of Nintendo, Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Sony and manga, Japan's global appeal is bolstered by consumers' familiarity with its brands and culture. Last year, Rough Guide published a 292 page to Anime sights in Japan, whilst specialist tour operators sell year-round tours featuring Manga- and Anime-themed sights.
Tokyo has a legendary reputation for being expensive and its top five hotels are no exception. The Mandarin Oriental takes top spot, with one guest saying that there was little about the hotel "not to love". It pushed the Park Hyatt Tokyo, star of hit movie Lost in Translation, into second place.
1 Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
2 Park Hyatt Tokyo
3 The Prince Park Tower Tokyo
4 Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinza
5 The Peninsula Tokyo
Average price of top five hotels $596/€440
Kyoto is known as one of the most beautiful places in Japan, its striking architecture and zen gardens a world away from the manic streets Tokyo. Hotel Granvia, atop the Kyoto rail station, takes top spot with travelers.
1 Hotel Granvia Kyoto
2 Hyatt Regency Kyoto
3 Hotel Monterey Kyoto
4 Brighton Hotel Kyoto
5 Kyoto Hotel Okura
Average price of top five hotels $333/€246
Osaka is Japan's third city and second only to Tokyo in terms of economic importance - its nighttime population is 2.6 million but over a million people surge into the city to work every day. As such, it welcomes its fair share of business travelers, although the budget Arietta hotel pushed the grand Ritz-Carlton into second place in its top five hotels - and kept the top five average price down.
1 Arietta Hotel & Osteria
2 Ritz-Carlton Osaka
3 Cross Hotel Osaka
4 Imperial Hotel Osaka
5 New Otani Hotel Osaka
Average price of top five hotels $221/€163
The five-star Yokohama Royal Park was travelers' pick of Yokohama hotels, with guests wowed at the stunning views - it is situated on the top floors of Japan's tallest building. The Pan Pacific Yokohama Bay took second place.
1 Yokohama Royal Park Hotel
2 Pan Pacific Yokohama Bay Hotel
3 New Grand Hotel
4 InterContinental Yokohama Grand
5 Hotel Associa Shin-Yokohama
Average price of top five hotels $177/€130
Marriott, Hilton, ANA and Westin battled it out in the top five hotels in Nagoya, leaving Daiwa Roynet the only Japanese-owned property on the list. Guests praised the excellent location and views from the Marriott Nagoya.
1 Marriott Nagoya
2 Hilton Nagoya Hotel
3 ANA Grand Court Nagoya
4 Daiwa Roynet Hotel Nagoya Ekimae
5 Westin Nagoya Castle
Average price of top five hotels $269/€198
Data is taken from millions of independent reviews and rankings surveyed at TripAdvisor taken on March 31, 2010.
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