Japan releases new sustainable travel guide


As Japan continues to ease COVID-19 entry policies and allow more international travelers to visit the beloved country, the Japan National Tourism Organization is capitalizing on the time spent without international travel to focus on promoting more sustainable destinations, experiences and accommodations with a new brochure showcasing Japan’s sustainable travel offerings.

The brochure, titled “Explore Deeper: Sustainable Travel Experiences in Japan”, can be viewed, downloaded or printed from the official Japan Tourism website under Travel Brochures.


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“The Japanese travel industry is taking initiatives to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At JNTO, our commitment to sustainability focuses on three major pillars: the environment, our culture and our economy.With these three pillars, we hope not only to enrich and protect them, but also to enable them to improve the experiences of travelers in the country,” said Michiaki Yamada, Executive Director of JNTO in New York.

Ouchi-juku, Japan, Fukushima, JNTO, Japan National Tourism Organization
Ouchi-juku, an Edo-era town of the 1640s, is open to visitors from Fukushima. (photo via JNTO)

“While sustainability is often seen as the only environmental protection, Japan and JNTO’s efforts go beyond that to protect local and indigenous cultures and revitalize small businesses recovering from the economic downturn of the pandemic,” Yamada continued. “By highlighting multiple sites and experiences across our country, we hope to not only enrich and educate travelers, but also pass on these important aspects of Japanese culture while helping to support local small businesses.”

The guide focuses on a variety of sustainable travel offerings, such as outdoor adventures, Japanese culinary culture, sustainable accommodation, traditional towns and heritage stays, annual cultural festivals and more.

Outdoor adventures in Japan

Outdoor adventures are available all over Japan, and one such adventure for body and soul is the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Wakayama Prefecture. The centuries-old route continues to attract travelers from around the world to gaze at the natural world and enjoy a scenic trail that travelers can hike on a one-hour, three-hour, or multi-day trip.

Kumano Kodo, sustainability, pilgrimage route, Japan, Japan National Tourism Organization, JNTO
A pilgrim walks the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. (photo via JNTO)

Water lovers can enjoy a variety of activities both in freshwater lakes and along the coast of Japan. At Yoshino-Kumano National Park, divers can explore a rich underwater world filled with squid, sea turtles, seahorses and more, while kayakers can glide over the transparent waters of Lake Shikotsu, a caldera volcano of Shikotsu-Toya National Park, considered the clearest waters in the whole country.

Sustainable accommodation

The brochure also showcases some of Japan’s most exciting and interesting sustainable accommodations, ranging from more traditional hotel concepts to completely unique ones, such as the Treeful Treehouse Resort.

Located in Okinawa, the resort opened last summer and offers eco-friendly accommodation in the form of tree houses, powered by natural energy production. Guests can enjoy being immersed in the surrounding forest, with beautiful forest canopy views and great solitude.

Japan, sustainable accommodation in Japan, Okinawa, tree house
A woman swings under her tree house at the Treeful Treehouse Resort in Okinawa. (photo via Treeful Treehouse Resort)

An eco-friendly city hotel awaits in Kyoto: Good Nature Hotel is certified sustainable in its construction and offers seasonal and local plant-based dishes and other sustainable practices. The lifestyle hotel also offers a wide variety of wellness activities, including yoga and meditation, as well as excursions to nearby attractions.

Curious to know more?

Japan offers so many responsible and sustainable travel experiences. Check the brochure for a definitive guide, or visit the Japan National Tourism Organization website to learn more.

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