New York, NY, December 2, 2015
More Destinations in Japan Gain Awareness in Awards in the US
More attention to less-known destinations for true Japan
Japan's publicity in the US market seems to continue through 2015 and into 2016, particularly with Japan's less-known destinations. As this year's international arrival statistics—which have already passed those from last year—show, Japan is attracting more people with more varieties of destinations and experiences, and it proves Japan tourism's transition to greater worldwide appeal.
Japan's northern Island Hokkaido has been selected as one of National Geographic Traveler's latest annual “Best of Trips 2016”Increasingly known for the best powder snow and its fantastic ski mountains, this is a timely announcement for 2016's early winter season in Hokkaido. Hokkaido also houses many natural hot springs and vast agricultural land that produces high quality food and liquor. Hokkaido is the home of Nikka, a recently internationally acclaimed whisky distillery.
Lonely Planet chose Japan as the #2 destination of their Best Countries list for 2016. They highly evaluated Japan's hybrid culture of futurism and old tradition from urban areas to country sides, and they are showing growing expectations for more unique cultural experiences in Japan as we approach the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.
CNN also showcases their list for 2016 online: Their 10 Amazing New Luxury Journeys to Experience in 2016 includes Kyushu, the southwestern island of Japan. Kyushu has been recommended by Artisans of Leisure, a specialized luxury tour operator, to this list for the comprehensive Japanese experiences of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, hot springs, active volcanoes, historic ceramic traditions and more.
Japan started the year with the annual New York Times' list of 52 Places to Go in 2015, released at the beginning of 2015. The Times ranked Shikoku as #35 for its historic pilgrimage culture and undisturbed nature. The pilgrimage route follows the 1200-year-old path that an ancient Japanese Buddhist monk took, and it visits all 88 posts that were believed to be blessed by him. The country's oldest natural spring bath is also in Shikoku, which articulates Shikoku's unique hybrid environment of old and new.
The trade magazine also awards Japan: Recommend Magazine just announced that their travel agent readers voted Japan as Best Selling Destination – Asia. This indicates Japan's popularity among travel agents and their clients. The whole list of the 19th Annual Readers' Choice Awards are on Recommend's website.
Major consumer travel magazines also recognize prime attractions in Japan. This summer, Travel+Leisure chose Kyoto as the World's Best City for two consecutive years in their World's Best Awards of 2015 , and Kyoto was also chosen as #25 in the Top 25 Cities in the World of Conde Nast Traveler, released in February 2015. Conde Nast Traveler also ranked Kyoto and Tokyo as #9 and # 15 respectively of the Best Cites in the World, according to the Reader's Choice Awards announced in October 2015.
Looking ahead the coming year, Travel+Leisure's staff also chose one Japanese destination for their Best Places to Travel in 2016 list. Mie Prefecture is hosting the World Summit 2016 in coming May, presenting their unique geographic beauty, Japan's most sacred Ise Shinto Shrines, the home of globally acclaimed pearl produced by Mikimoto, and vast coastline that boasts rich seafood culture.
Japan still maintains high levels of attention in the culinary industry. SAVEUR magazine chose Tokyo as the Greatest Place to Eat on Earth in September 2015, a category of SAVEUR Good Taste Awards.
Japan also appeared in a luxury market trade magazine, Virtuoso Life magazine. The Virtuoso Hot 10 is a list of the countries with the largest percentage growth in year-to-year bookings, and Japan came in 6th place, with a 35% increase.
From consumers to industry media, Japan maintains a strong presence and leads the US market in various corners in the country; at the same time, Tokyo continues gaining attention towards the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. Japan National Tourism Organization has been expanding its activities to increase visibility outside of major cities, where true Japanese culture and local experiences await international travelers looking for Japan's authenticity.
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