Diplomatic relations between Asia's two biggest economies remain strained, but cheap prices are driving savvy Chinese shoppers to Japan with many making an unexpected purchase: Electronic toilet seats that heat up, wash, dry and disinfect.
The Japanese yen has weakened by nearly 40 percent against the Chinese yuan over the past two years, making it cheaper for mainland tourists to shop in Japan, analysts say.
Indeed Chinese tourists are visiting in droves and spending big time: The number of mainland Chinese tourist arrivals in Japan nearly doubled on year to 2.4 million in 2014, while their average spending rose 10.4 percent to 231,753 yen ($1,935), according to government data.
One of the principal reasons the Chinese are choosing to go to Japan is "rising affordability given the yen's decline," said Nomura China Consumer analyst Katherine Chan in a note published on Tuesday.
Tourists often marvel at Japan's multifunctional electronic toilet seats, but until now few took them home.