Japanese Tourist

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"Ahh! Godzilla!"
Every Japanese tourist in any given monster movie

Before the bubble burst on the Japanese economy, waves and waves of tourists were coming overseas. In any Chase Scene or crowd scene, expect there to be such a group of tourists, who just ooh and ahh at the main action and take pictures while flashing the "V" Sign at one another. This has not quite passed into Dead Horse Trope territory, as plenty of Japanese still do travel overseas in Real Life, and tend to do so in large tour groups due to low levels of foreign-language proficiency and a lack of Japanese speakers and signage in other countries. Such groups are very likely to contain keen and very well-equipped photographers. However, it shows up quite a bit less now than The Eighties and The Nineties.

The trope usually pokes fun at their tendency to snap photos, travel in huge groups, and always behave like they're visiting a zoo.

Since the turn of the 21st century, the stereotypical Asian tourist is increasingly likely to be Chinese rather than Japanese.

A subtrope of Funny Foreigner. If they get a chance to talk, may often use Asian Speekee Engrish. Compare with the Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist, the Eagle Land equivalent.

Examples of Japanese Tourist include:

Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In a Dutch national lottery commercial, one of the number balls is seen mooning a bus full of Japanese tourists in America. Later, a tourist points this out to the police at the station.


Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • In Hellsing, Seras uses a group of elderly Japanese tourists to break up a fight between Alucard and Alexander Anderson in a museum, requiring the two combatants to freeze in place and be treated like statues. It's just as funny as it sounds.
  • Appears in The Big O of all things, where they develop a mech for Beck and proceed to gawk at the fight between it and Big O.
  • Japan/Honda Kiku from Axis Powers Hetalia, even moreso in Japanese fanart.
  • One Black Lagoon episode, a Japanese salaryman traveling with his son meets up with and has friendly conversation with the character Masahiro Takenaka, who he thinks looks familiar (Takenaka is a terrorist and fugitive- he actually looks familiar because his face is on wanted posters). Takenaka is based upon Kozo Okamoto, and the implication seems to be that the last time he was at an airport, he was blowing it up.


Comics[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • Miss Congeniality had a couple of these.
  • Jay jumps onto a tour bus filled with Japanese tourists in the second opening sequence of Men in Black.
  • Rush Hour features a bus of Japanese tourists as well, with Carter gladly posing for them, along with Lee getting plenty of shots as he hangs from the Hollywood Boulevard sign!
  • The guy from Gremlins 2: "Work a camera? I am a camera!"
  • At the the beginning of the third Austin Powers movie there are a couple of Asian tourists.
  • Foul Play with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase, Chevy needs to reach the Opera house in a hurry, so he commandeers a cab with a Japanese tourist couple in it.
  • The Lost World Jurassic Park. When the tyrannosaurus rex escapes in San Diego, a group of Japanese tourists are seen running away from it. There's a Bilingual Bonus too: they're saying "I left Japan to get away from this!" in Japanese, a Shout-Out to the Godzilla movies.
  • In The Spanish Prisoner these act as one of the many Checkhovs' Gunmen. "Nobody ever pays attention to Japanese tourists."
  • There are some Japanese tourists taking pictures of forks and knives in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
  • Actually played with in Moonwalker during the "Speed Demon" segment, where Michael runs into a herd of tromping feet and flashing cameras.
  • There are a couple of these in Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. They see the titular kid, and naturally, a Shout-Out to the Kaiju movies ensues... The subtitles lampshade it:

Tourist #1: Godzilla!
Tourist #2: No, it's a giant baby!

  • There is an entire busload of this trope in Under the Rainbow starring Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher.
  • In an early scene in Airplane!, a Japanese tourist at the airport terminal loses his balance after he adds yet another camera onto his already camera-laden shoulder.
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, when Magneto detaches the Golden Gate Bridge and moves one end onto Alcatraz Island, there's a cut to a group of Japanese tourists who flee, leaving one astounded man behind a camera on a tripod.
  • In Crocodile Dundee 2, two camera-toting salarymen on holiday in New York City help Dundee take down a hitman using flash photography and a karate kick. Afterwards, they convince each other that Dundee was Clint Eastwood.

Literature[edit | hide]

Live Action Television[edit | hide]

Other[edit | hide]

  • There is a joke about it: A criminal recently tried to hijack a bus filled with Japanese tourists. The police are currently overloaded trying to catalog 2,347 pieces of photographic evidence.

Videogames[edit | hide]

  • There's a group of these in The Adventures of Willy Beamish. If you're nice to them, they turn out to be disguised ninjas, who save you from a death by gang beating.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: Rose and Raiden reminisce about a group of Japanese tourists they had met in New York who asked which building King Kong had climbed on.
  • A cutscene in Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail goes like this: after returning from one of his disastrous sexual escapades, the protagonist stumbles upon a group of camera-wielding Japanese tourists. Who take very embarrassing photos of his butt-naked self.
  • Two survivors in Dead Rising turn out to be this. They run away from you, assuming you're a zombie; you have to pick up an English-to-Japanese dictionary to talk to them and convince them to come with you to the safe security room.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The "Misutaa Supaakuru!" tourists from the eighth-season Simpsons episode "In Marge We Trust". The comment at the top of the page about Japanese tourists acting like they were in a zoo, the tourists from that episode were in a zoo when they appeared.
    • A Japanese tourist family are getting their pictures taken in front of the Simpsons house when their foundation is sinking in "Marge Gets A Job".

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • As anyone who has worked at a tourist attraction can attest, this trope is Truth in Television.
    • Apparently it even occurs in Japan. Ainu artist Bikky Sunazawa coined the term "kanko Ainu" to describe Ainu who made their money selling art to tourists from Honshu.
    • Hilariously, going to Japan will make you into this. Everything is so different you'll want to take photos of it all.
    • And Japanese people will give you a funny look if you try to not behave like a visiting weaboo (at least in the most tourist-oriented spots; Kaminari-mon springs to mind.)
    • In America, the Disney Theme Parks are probably the most popular vacation destination for Japanese tourists.
  • Just to illustrate a photography bit: one of the largest electronics retail chains in Japan? Yodobashi Camera. Their major competitor? Bic Camera. Japanese are indeed big on photos.