Japanese high school students love to take graduation trips after finishing high school, and who wouldn’t, after all of the countless hours spent studying for exams and going to cram school? It’s a worthy way to celebrate their emergence as independent young adults.
For years, Tokyo Disneyland has been the place where the most high school grads want to celebrate their graduation, especially for young women. That’s no surprise when the amusement park is affordable, easy to get to, and always full of fun parades and events. But this year, Disneyland’s reign as the top destination has been surprisingly usurped by South Korea.
As part of a recent survey by H.J., Inc, owner of the online high school student network Koukousei Lab 47, 513 graduating high school girls from all across Japan were asked where they want to go for their graduation trip, and South Korea was named as the number one spot.
The girls weren’t asked what their reasons were for choosing South Korea, but H.J., Inc has a few ideas, mainly involving social media. For starters, Korea offers a delightful array of delicious, and unique, street food, with previous standouts including French-fry encrusted corn dogs and Pikachu-shaped fried cutlets. Street food is easy to find in even the heart of Seoul, and can be munched on while shopping and strolling around. Most importantly, however, it’s often perfectly Instagram-worthy, which, for many Japanese high school girls, is a major priority.
Overall, South Korea has major appeal on social media. There is plenty of sightseeing to do, lots of picturesque spots to see, and, of course, plenty of trendy shops and restaurants to explore. That makes for a selfie-lover’s dream come true!
But Tokyo Disneyland has all of those things and more. Just ask our resident Disneyland expert, Tashiro! So why, then, are Japanese high school girls picking South Korea over Disney these days? It might have something to do with K-Pop. With superstar groups like BTS making waves all around the world, it’s hard to believe that Japanese fangirls wouldn’t relish the chance to visit the group’s native country.
On another note, Korean beauty products are also hot on the Japanese market right now. Companies like Etude House, with cute and innovative designs like Kit-Kat eye shadow, are causing waves on social media with their attractive marketing campaigns. What’s more, some Korean beauty companies have products that are only available in Korea, and they tend to be cheaper than Japanese products, so there are plenty of reasons for young beauty aficionados to want to go there.
By the way, ranking as the third “most desirable graduation trip” was Hawaii, followed by Guam, and then, sadly, by Universal Studios Japan, who, despite their constant stream of awesome anime, movie, and video game collaborations, still can’t seem to keep up with Disneyland, at least in the eyes of high school girls.