Businesses in Tokyo are looking to get foreign visitors spending their time and cash on the city's wide-ranging nightlife options.
Travel agencies are arranging special events for foreign tourists such as Japanese taiko drum performances, while hotels are extending their business hours to allow guests to socialize into the early hours.
But while efforts are being made to boost the after-dark economy, the lack of late-night public transport remains a major obstacle to tourists getting a taste of what Tokyo has to offer -- especially when the only option after 1 a.m. is waiting for the first train four hours later, or taking an expensive taxi to their hotel.
Since last year, travel agency JTB Corp. has joined with "Drum Tao," a world-famous Japanese taiko percussion and dance troupe, to entertain foreign visitors.
Performances of the traditional Japanese drumming were held in September and October 2017. Due to their popularity, the shows are being held from May through November this year, a fourfold increase in the number of performances from the year before.
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, foreign tourists visiting Japan last year spent about 150,000 yen ($1,370) per person. This is well below the 200,000 yen amount required to hit the 8 trillion yen the government wants to be injected into the economy by tourists.
Designating tourism as a key growth area, the Japanese government aims to attract 40 million overseas visitors annually to the country by 2020, and 60 million by 2030.
In January, the Tokyo metropolitan government said it planned to survey foreign tourists on what they enjoy about the city's nightlife, including restaurants, theaters and sporting events, to better cater to their interests while encouraging them to part with their cash.
The central government is joining Tokyo's efforts to increase spending by tourists at night. Despite the rapid increase in tourism, the average amount spent per traveler has declined in recent years.