1 Introduction

Japan is faced with decline of population, because of low birthrate. Especially, in the many regions without active industries, aging is advancing. Under this condition, tourism is being paid attention, as newer industry, because the demand for travel increases in the countries around Japan. However, the needs of people in these countries have not been clarified. In this study, the similarities and differences in the psychological evaluation for the sightseeing scenes in Hiroshima by Japanese, Korean and Chinese subjects are examined, to find the new attractive points felt by foreigners.

Forty scenes as the stimuli in the psychological experiments were chosen from the photo gallery in the homepages for sightseeing in Hiroshima prefecture. The questionnaire consisted of two parts, a face sheet and a psychological evaluation sheet for each scene. The latter consisted of comprehensive evaluation items, “Hopes to visit”, “Interest”, “Likeness of Japan”, etc. and 13 image evaluation items based on the Semantic Differential technique.

The foreign students in Hiroshima took part in the experiment, as the Chinese and Korean subjects. The students of Hiroshima University were employed as the Japanese subjects.

In the evaluation of “Hopes to visit”, the scenes largely occupied by artificial elements were evaluated lower. On the other hand, the scenes including nature and the scenes of Japanese gardens were evaluated higher. These tendencies were almost similar among the three subjects groups. However, few natural scenes were evaluated higher by the foreign subjects and lower by the Japanese subjects.

In “Likeness of Japan”, the similarities among the three subjects groups were shown in the scenes with historical shrines or temples and the traditional streetscape scenes. However, the Japanese subjects’ evaluation differed from the foreign subjects’ it in the scenes of ravines and the scenes of terraced paddy fields. The foreign subjects evaluated these scenes less Japanese, because they might be used to see the natural scenes like them in their mother countries.

The factor analysis was applied to the data combined the image evaluation by three subjects groups. Based on the pairs of bipolar adjectives with high factor loadings, factor one to four extracted were interpreted as “Inherency”, “Pleasantness”, “Traditionality” and “Openness”.

According to the correlation coefficients between the comprehensive evaluation items and these four factors, “Inherency” had more influence on “Hopes to visit” in the foreign subjects compared with the Japanese subjects. In the results of the Chinese subjects, “Likeness of Japan” was related to “Inherence”. On the other hand, “Pleasantness” affected “Likeness of Japan” in the results of the Japanese subjects.

From the results, the similarities and differences among three subjects groups were grasped. However, the foreign students were living in Japan and they might obtain the knowledge and the experiences concerned with Japan. Therefore, it will be required to compare the results with the evaluation by the people who have lived in their mother countries and have not been in other countries.