Western Japan’s special sales to lure foreign tourists


OSAKA — Local governments and businesses in western Japan will launch special sales events in the Kansai region this autumn and winter to attract foreign tourists, especially from China, by promoting shopping.

The campaign is aimed at reviving travel to the region by foreign tourists, whose numbers nosedived in the aftermath of the March earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters in the northeast.

The event, called the “Kansai Mega Sale,” will be held mainly in the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, from Oct. 1 to 7, coinciding with the weeklong China National Day period that begins Oct. 1, and also from Dec. 1 to Jan. 31, which includes the Chinese New Year on Jan. 23, the organizers said Friday.

Foreign tourists will receive special coupons, discounts and, if they’re lucky, giveaways by showing their passports at 59 tourist attractions and facilities and more than 3,300 stores.

For example, Universal Studio Japan in the city of Osaka will offer a 10 percent discount on goods, while Kobe-Sanda Premium Outlets will discount goods by up to 20 percent, according to the organizers, which include the Osaka Municipal Government and the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry.