First it was bulk buying of rice cookers and heated toilet seats.
Now the latest draw for tourists from China, Taiwan, Malaysia and other Asian countries is Japanese sake from the source.
They have recently poured into the Nada Gogo area, near Kobe in western Japan, to buy the potent rice wine from traditional breweries that still supply nearly a third of the country’s output.
An increase in flights to Japan on budget airlines and the cheap yen have brought hordes of tourists to the country, and sake is just the latest souvenir to become a fad, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
Citing local media, it said all the four parking spaces of Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum in Nada were occupied by tour buses in the middle of this month.
Each of the 40 Malaysian and 20 Taiwanese tourists bought 720-milliliter bottles of Hakutsuru sake at 3,000 Japanese yen (US$24.90) a bottle.
The curator of the museum was quoted as saying that such a scene has recently become quite common, and some tourists even buy a box of sake, which contains six bottles.
The museum received 135,000 tourists last year, of which 40,000 were from overseas, most of them from Asia, especially mainland China and Taiwan.
To better serve them, the museum has hired Chinese-speaking guides and set up tax-free cashiers.
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