Anne Majumdar

An animated online game featuring a travelling frog has got Chinese travellers going crazy for Japan.

Since the game started a craze in China, the number of searches for travel to Japan via its platform has spiked by 150%, according to Chinese online retailer Ctrip.

Players of the Travel Frog game must kit their baby frog up with supplies so it can head off on adventures around Japan. In return, the little creature returns with photos and souvenirs from its travels to show them.

Travel Frog Karryon2

The showcasing of sights including Kusatsu Onsen and Zenkoji Temple has made Chinese players want to see the real thing, it would seem.

Osaka has emerged as the most popular spot, followed by Tokyo and Nagoya.

In fact, bookings to Nagoya through Ctrip have more than doubled month on month, it revealed.

Meanwhile, bookings to Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe shot up by 80%. Those to Kagoshima and Fukuoka rose 50%.

Pokemon-go

Pokemon-Go

It follows the popularity of augmented reality game Pokemon-Go which was also heralded as the next big thing for travel when it was first released.

The Chinese market currently accounts for around 96% of all 20 million downloads of Travel Frog, according to the company behind the game, Japanese company Hit-Point.

The firm said it would expand the number of sites featured in the game soon. It currently features 10 places.

Could Travel Frog be the next big thing in travel for Aussies too?