European Castles through Japanese Eyes and Minds


  • Chiemi Yagi University of the Ryukyu, Faculty of Tourism Sciences and Industrial Management
  • Philip L. Pearce James Cook University, Tourism, College of Business, Law and Governance, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, Telephone: (07) 478 14762, Email:



European castles, expressive reactions, Japanese culture, authenticity, place making


European castles are important and common components in the tour itineraries of Japanese tourists. There is, however, limited understanding of the way Japanese tourists view these heritage sites. The first aim of the study is to document the Japanese tourists’ views. Secondly, the researchers seek to explain the Japanese perspectives, while the third aim attempts to draw out the implications of the findings for our conceptual understanding of key, largely western-derived, perspectives on authenticity. Three representative European castles were selected as case study sites. Japanese remarks on TripAdvisor were collected as rich sources of data. The text-mining software Leximancer was used to analyse the broad themes. Manual content analysis was then employed for identifying the unique Japanese views. The interpretation of the Japanese perspectives was built on an understanding of the cultural capital they bring to the site - especially the legacy of anime (the Japanese entertainment format), natsukashii (nostalgia), meisho (famous places), mujou (the beauty of the transitory), and “power spots”. The study identified the value of internationalising the concepts of authenticity. Practical implications for marketing European castles to the Japanese are noted.




How to Cite

Yagi, C., & Pearce, P. (2018). European Castles through Japanese Eyes and Minds. European Journal of Tourism Research, 19, 5–22.