Foreign arrivals to Japan from January to June topped 10 million for the first time since the same period in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic, as the country sees a continued recovery in inbound travelers, government data showed Wednesday.

Japan saw 10.71 million arrivals in the six months, equivalent to 64.4 percent of the level seen from January to June in 2019 and exponentially higher than the 507,630 logged in the same period in 2022, the Japan National Tourism Organization said.

By country or region, the most arrivals came from South Korea at 3.13 million, followed by 1.77 million from Taiwan, 972,200 from the United States and 909,700 from Hong Kong, it said.

Arrivals from China, which continues to restrict overseas group travel for its citizens, remained at 594,600, with a recovery level of 13.1 percent compared to the January to June period in 2019, it said.

For June alone, foreign arrivals reached 2.07 million, topping the 2 million mark for the first time since January 2020. The following month, arrivals began to plummet due to the spread of the pandemic.

Tourists walk along the Nakamise shopping street in Tokyo's Asakusa district on July 19, 2023. (Kyodo)