Assuming such a concept exists in Japanese, how do you say "tourist trap"?

Wikipedia describes it as:

A tourist trap is an establishment, or group of establishments, that has been created with the aim of attracting tourists and their money. Tourist traps will typically provide services, entertainment, souvenirs and other products for tourists to purchase.

and Travel Stack Exchange describes it as "A disparaging term for places and attractions designed specifically for tourists."

While it's often used for describing attractions, it's also used used for describing cities or areas overdeveloped for tourism, for example:

Unfortunately, many tourists believe the highrise buildings and crowds of Surfers Paradise make it an overdeveloped 'tourist trap'. Most of these buildings are however local residential. The city also has many services and industries not directly related to tourism.

I tried using 「観光トラップ」 to ask if Atami was a tourist trap, but that apparently didn't work well, as it attracted a few comments. One person mentioned 「ぼったくり」 (ripoff), which seems a little too vague.

The English edition of Wiktionary doesn't have a Japanese translation, and the Japanese edition doesn't even have an entry for "tourist". Jisho.org has 「観光都市」, but according to the Japanese edition of Wikipedia, 観光都市 is a city that's popular with tourists, rather than something dodgy or artificial. Oddly enough, the Lonely Planet phrasebook for Japan didn't have an entry for "tourist trap"!

  • 1
    Did you see the definitions on the dictionaries on Yahoo? Here's one and here's the other (scroll down to the bottom). Oh, and ALC has one, too.
    – user1478
    Nov 30, 2012 at 23:06
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    Here's another one dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/ej3/87432/m0u Dec 1, 2012 at 1:03
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    Yes, I googled "tourist trap" and saw these pages too, but couldn't find a Japanese equivalent... maybe because we have no tourist traps in Japan? (^o^)?
    – user1016
    Dec 1, 2012 at 15:11
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    @Chocolate trust me, that's far from the case @_@ Dec 2, 2012 at 2:31
  • @phoenixheart6 あ、やっぱり? w
    – user1016
    Dec 2, 2012 at 23:56

2 Answers 2


I think ぼったくり is a pretty good attempt. Maybe "観光客狙い" or "観光客向け" is pretty good, too, also these expression do not have necessarily negative nuances.


観光地価格{かんこうちかかく} is a phrase used to describe unreasonable pricings seen in tourist attractions.

(source: random Google search hits)

From what I understand, it may not be about the exact equivalent of "tourist trap"; "tourist trap" seems to be about greedy establishments that are set up to swindle money from tourists, while 観光地価格 says nothing about the purpose of the establishment.

That said, however, it can be useful if your focus was on the pricing.

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