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Talia Avakian
August 17, 2016

Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture has hit a tourism milestone, drawing in more than 50 million visitors in the past year, according to data released by the Fukushima Prefectural Government.

The prefecture drew in a total of 50.31 million tourists, making it the first time this annual threshold has been achieved since the nuclear disaster of 2011.

According to the The Japan Times, the area has seen a recovery of close to 90 percent since then, which officials in the region contribute to several factors.

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Last year, Fukushima officials launched the “Fukushima Destination Campaign,” tapping into the country’s transportation resources to offering railway deals and promotions.

Officials pointed to the opening of the section between the Tomioka and Namie interchanges on the Jōban Expressway last March as a key player in the surge of visitors in eastern Fukushima last year, which was up 59.9 percent from 2014.

The opening of new leisure facilities and a re-emergence of the area’s famous hot springs is also helping draw in visitors.

Above all, the data found that travelers were most drawn to the prefecture’s natural sights, with destinations like the Bandai-kogen highlands drawing in a total of 2.18 million visitors last year.

Talia Avakian is a digital reporter at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @TaliaAvak.

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