Hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists descended upon Japan during the one-week National Day holiday, buying up everything from electrical appliances to cosmetics and medicine.

According to mainland media, anti-cold drugs have taken over from smart toilet seats to become the latest must-have item for Chinese visitors to Japan.

chinese tourists in japan
Chinese tourists buying cosmetics in Japan. Photo:

When asked why they favour Japanese medicine, some travellers said they tasted better and were easier to use while others praised Japanese drugs’ “cute packaging.”

A "magic" cold medicine on the "must-buy" list for Chinese tourists in Japan. Photo:
A “magic” cold medicine on the “must-buy” list for Chinese tourists in Japan. Photo:

A list of “12 must-buy magic drugs in Japan” went viral on Chinese social media. The list included “Ryukakusan Herbal Powder”, a cold medicine said to do wonders in fighting sore throats caused by smog.

Other items included rose-scented eye drops, liquid band-aids and fever cooling patches for kids.

chinese tourists in japan
A rose-scented eye drops on the “must-buy” list for Chinese tourists in Japan. Photo:

Last week, travel website Ctrip said Japan was Chinese holiday goers’ No.1 choice during this year’s “Golden Week”, followed by South Korea and Thailand.

While Japanese retailers welcomed Chinese shoppers by hiring Chinese-speaking shop assistants and rolling out special promotions, others complained about Chinese tourists’ uncivilised behaviour.

chinese tourists in japan
Chinese buyers in Japan. Photo:

According to the Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV, a Japanese female driver in Kyoto had to pay an elderly Chinese man 100,000 yen (HK$6,453) after the man claimed he was hit by her car, even though local doctors said the man was “not injured.”

Meanwhile, other Kyoto residents complained about being hit by Chinese tourists’ selfie sticks.

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.