A group of 180 Chinese tourists will take a chartered plane from Shanghai to Japan on June 2. Their trip to the country marks the start of the recovery of China-Japan tourism since Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
The 180 tourists' destinations in Japan include the urban regions of Osaka, Kobe and Kagawa, according to a spokesperson with the Spring and Autumn International Travel Agency.
China's National Tourism Administration issued warnings to Chinese tourists after the massive earthquake, saying that tourists should be "prudent" about their travel choices and should avoid traveling to disaster-struck areas. Tourism from China to Japan has stagnated since then.
On April 29, the administration posted a new notice on its website, saying that Japan had begun post-disaster reconstruction and that most of the country, with the exception of the area surrounding the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, was safe to visit.
The notice stated that Chinese tourists intending to go to Japan should take care to educate themselves about disaster safety and should pay attention to relevant information posted by Japanese authorities.
Just two weeks later, a three-day international tourism expo held in Shanghai allowed a dozen Japanese travel agencies to do their best to win back the trust of Chinese tourists.
According to Kawamata Toshiro, chief representative of the Shanghai office of Japan's Ibaraki Prefectural Government, Japan is known to be a relatively safe place for tourists.
"We hope that tourists know that Ibaraki is a safe place. Tourists are welcome to visit our prefecture," he said.
Now, after two months of stagnation, tourism from China to Japan is finally beginning to recover.
Shanghai's Jinjiang Travel Agency has been arranging for groups of tourists to visit the country in June. The Shanghai branches of the China International Travel Service and the China Travel Service plan to organize trips to Japan in July.
According to Zou Qingling, vice general manager of the Asia-Pacific department of the Spring and Autumn travel agency, the region of Kansai was not badly damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, making it safe for travel.
The agency's Kagawa-Osaka-Kobe-Nara itinerary is just one of several new itineraries being offered by the company since the disaster.