Japanese tourists feel quite at home on the Gold Coast.

For many years the Australian Gold Coast has been a favourite destination for Japanese holidaymakers. At first the market was driven by young couples seeking an ideal destination for their honeymoon. Over the years, as word has spread, more and more Japanese, of all ages have been visiting “The Coast”. The traditional holiday market has been supplemented by students and by retirees seeking a more relaxed lifestyle than Japan can offer.

As a result, the Japanese now have a visible presence on the Coast from Coolangatta to Paradise Point. There are Japanese restaurants to be found in almost all suburbs as well as groceries catering to Japanese tastes – even the major chains now have shelves supplying Japanese products.

In the 2006 Census 30,778 Japanese-born residents were counted in Australia. This excludes Australian-born persons of Japanese ancestry, and Japanese in Australia as overseas visitors (and would also include non-Japanese born in Japan). Of this number 24,373 spoke Japanese at home, and 40,968 others declared Japanese ancestry. Back then there were 3148 Japanese living here on the Coast – the fourth largest centre for Japanese in Australia (Brisbane was third).

A relatively recent ethnic group, only 2,384 Japanese-born had arrived in Australia before 1980. The lifting of barriers in Australia to non-European immigration in the 1960s coincided with the Japanese post-war economic miracle which dissuaded Japanese from emigrating.

Japanese only began to emigrate from their homeland in the 1980s. The Immigration Restriction Act 1901 temporarily prevented more Japanese from immigration to Australia, but they were shortly later exempted from the dictation test when applying for extended residency.

In Australia at the time many of the original Japanese settlers worked as pearlers in Northern Australia or in the sugar cane industry in Queensland. They were particularly prominent in the Western Australian Kimberley town of Broome, where until the Second World War they were the largest ethnic group, who were attracted to the opportunities in pearling. Several streets of Broome have Japanese names, and the town has one of the largest Japanese cemeteries outside Japan.

The Second World War led to the Japanese population being detained and later expelled at the cessation of hostilities. The Japanese population in Australia was later replenished in the 1950s by the arrival of 500 Japanese war brides, who had married Australian soldiers stationed in occupied Japan.

Japan’s increasing economic importance to Australia from the 1960s, and rising prosperity and linkages between the two countries, naturally led to an increase in the number of Japanese choosing to live in Australia. Most resorts on the Gold Coast cater to Japanese and have Japanese speaking staff. There is accommodation available to suit every budget and our holiday homes can cater to entire families.

Why not invite your own family or friends from Japan to visit Australia this year for a holiday? With a  range of options to choose ranging from resorts to houses, Gold Coast Holiday Rentals can supply accommodation for the entire family. They will have a holiday that they will never forget. Check out our availability at our website hrsp.com.au, book online and you will be doing them a favour.