Chinese tourists arrive in Osaka ahead of Lunar New Year holidays

Tourists from China are arriving at Kansai Airport in Japan's western prefecture of Osaka ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays, which start on Saturday.

Passenger planes carrying vacationers from China and other places that celebrate the Lunar New Year arrived at the airport on Friday.

A woman traveling with her family from China's northeastern city of Shenyang expressed her excitement about visiting the Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka City and Tokyo Disneyland. She also said she looks forward to going to Kyoto.

A tourist from the eastern city of Qingdao says he plans to spend two weeks in Japan.

He said one advantage of traveling to Japan is that it is more cost-effective than a trip to Europe or other parts of the world.

Airlines say that recent flights between Kansai Airport and Chinese airports have been at 70 to 80 percent of capacity, but they are almost fully booked for the first half of the holidays.

However, the number of such flights has recovered to only around 40 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Carriers say they do not plan to increase flights during this holiday season.