Japan Tourism Awards

Total 209 nominations received this year.
Nomination period for Japan Tourism awards has ended.

Business Regional Total
Field of
Domestic and
Inbound Travel
99 74 173
Field of
Outbound Travel
29 7 36
Total 128 81 209
Japan has made Tourism part of its growth strategy, and hopes for increased exchanges between Japanese people and foreigners. The tourism industry plays a major role in Japan's economic growth, involving a broad range of industries in revitalizing tourism in the areas of Japanese domestic tourism, outbound Japanese tourism to other countries, and inbound foreign tourists visiting Japan. These awards recognize those who contribute to the development and expansion of the tourism industry, adding synergistic effects to the "Tourism EXPO Japan," while also giving recognition to exceptionally sustainable initiatives by associations, organizations, and companies in Japan and overseas. These awards utilize this event as an opportunity to pursue the goal of spreading the word and educating others about the efforts to make "Tourist Destination: Japan" a reality both domestically and internationally.


Fields and Categories for Applications

The JAPAN TOURISM AWARDS accept applications under the following fields and categories.
Field of Domestic and Inbound Travel
Initiatives to promote or invigorate domestic or inbound travel
Field of Outbound Travel
Initiatives to promote or invigorate international travel demand from within Japan

Description of Categories

1.Business Category (Field of Domestic and Inbound Travel / Field of Outbound Travel)

Recognizes efforts that have expanded the number of people who travel domestically and internationally, and feasible efforts that have contributed greatly to added value in the tourism industry. *Performance figures may relate to numbers of tour results, invitations (Inbound travelers, groups or something) or something.

* Projects that have been under way for at least one year.

■ Examples

Planning and sales of series type travel commodities, development of community-based tourism projects, service utilizing Digital Technology, initiatives for event creations, such as "MICE”, initiatives for drawing in visitors to Japan, initiatives for expansion of several themed tourism such as industry tourism, eco-tourism, universal tourism, sports tourism, food tourism, shopping tourism and so on. tourism human resources development, initiatives of leading to expansion of accommodation, initiatives of luxury market, entertainment business, initiatives gentle to a disabled person, disaster recovery programs, program/film production, guidebook, books, novels, comics, photo collections, etc.

2.Regional Category (Field of Domestic and Inbound Travel / Field of Outbound Travel)

Recognizes efforts of national and regional tourism-related organizations that come together to develop attractive tourist destinations, or that work towards comprehensive revitalization of communities using national and regional tourism resources.

■ Examples

Regional tourism development by DMOs,promotion using regional content (including video and posters), efforts to convey regional traditions, of culture or craftworks, promotion using regional products, event development, promotionusing mascots, regional tourism development which enables access for persons with disabilities (universaltourism), initiatives to encourage international visitors to Japan (promotion, infrastructure, hospitality, etc.) disasterrecovery initiatives and tourism personnel training.

Application Deadline

Application Period: Friday, March 15 to Friday, May 31, 2019
Application Deadline: May 31, 2019 (Friday) by 11:59 p.m.

*Dependent on the time that application data is registered.

*Please take into account that applications sent just before the deadline may encounter transmission difficulties that could cause them to miss the deadline.

*We may need to contact some applicants to ask about the information in their application, so please make sure that all of the contact information is included for the person(s) in charge of your application.

How to Apply

Please apply by filling in the required information according to the application form on the Tourism EXPO Japan official website. Accompanying images and other media can also be uploaded through the application form.



Awards are decided by an examination committee composed of experts from a number of industries including tourism (CommitteeChairman: Yoshiaki Hompo, Chief, Regional Support Office for Asia and Pacific, UNWTO) based on the application materials.

Judging Criteria

The points on which applications are judged are as follows.

Pioneering and Creativity Is a new market being created through an as-yet unrecognized initiative?
Does it match the needs of the market?
Is the intiative original?
Sustainability Is the initiative ongoing, is it yielding results, and are those results helping to broaden exchanges?
Can the initiative be continued in the future while adjusting it in light of changes in the market environment?
*Give the number of users, number of visitors, number of uses, number of operations, or amount of tourism spending, economic effect, over, at the most, the last five years
Expandability Can the initiative be further developed or expanded as a best practice?
Can the initiative be expected to develop further, for example through partnerships with other industries?
Contribution to societies Does the initiative seek to grow in tandem with the region, and contribute to problem solving and attracting tourism?
Does the initiative contribute. to realizing a sustainable society, such as through preserving historical and cultural inheritance, protecting the environment, human resource development, or implementing universal design and diversity?

Awards (Planned)

Minister of Land, Infra-structure, Transport and Tourism’s Award 1 selected
Commemorative shield and a certificate of Commendation will be awarded.
Japan Tourism Agency Commiss-ioner’s Awards 3 selected
Commemorative shield will be awarded.
Category Awards Generally between 1 and 5 selected from each category
Certificate of commendation will be awarded.
Awards for Excellent Partner 1 selected
Commemorative shield will be awarded.
Japan Tourism Awards elected by students 1 selected
A certificate of commendation will be awarded.
Special Awards for DMO Promotion
<Awarded 1 to 3>
Awarded in recognition of exceptional tourism DMO initiatives that promote regional tourism
Special Awards Digital Utilization
<Awarded 1 to 3>
Awarded in recognition of initiatives that use digital technology to promote tourism
The Japan Tourism Award for Responsible Tourism in collaboration with UNWTO Awarded in recognition of exceptional initiatives that resonlve local issues and improve value through tourism
*UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism:

Announcement of Results

Award winners will be contacted by our office. We also plan to make the selection results widely available to the public.

The 4th Japan Tourism Award Winners

Grand Prize

Organization name Snow Country Tourist Area Association (Snow Country Tourism Zone)
Initiative Creating new brand with the Regional Cooperation DMO, 'Meet the wisdom hidden in the white world'
Selection Comment • As a pioneering destination marketing organization (DMO) in the Japanese market, this sustainable community development initiative is recognized for the results it has engendered, including creating a collaborative structure between three prefectures and seven municipalities with a view to forging a new “brand story” for the snow country. • By creating new value—characterized by a lifestyle and culture firmly rooted in the community—this initiative sets clear visitor targets by applying marketing strategies, developing products to match customer needs, and implementing strict quality control.

Awards for Excellence

Organization name Hatagoya & Company
Initiative Expanding the only & the first MOTEL chain in Japan 'Family lodge Hatagoya' throughout the nation proposes for infrastructure building in the car-oriented society and for the new trip style
Selection Comment • The motel is often misunderstood in Japan as a not-so-classy place where people stay no more than a few hours. This initiative is moving to change that. • People have long been talking about the fact that younger people are not driving cars as much. However, when it comes to travel with children or the elderly, the car is an extremely convenient choice of transport. This initiative has gained recognition for its potential for opening up and expanding upon new markets by making it easy for travelers to stay at facilities with their vehicle. • Because these facilities offer mainly accommodation, and as such travelers use local area facilities for dining, shopping, etc., this initiative also helps to energize local communities.
Organization name JTB Corp.
Initiative Honolulu Festival
Selection Comment This event has been held continuously for about a quarter century as a symbol of the special friendship and relationship between Japan and Hawaii. The program continues to develop, to move beyond the realm of corporate operations—and has now become an integral part of the regional community.
Organization name Jinya Connect Co., Ltd.
Initiative Challenge for revolution of Ryokan-inn by using the Jinya Connect
Selection Comment This revolutionary program utilizes ICT to reform traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) operations, a typical example of a low productivity business. It has also achieved an increase in productivity, boosted customer satisfaction, and reformed the way employees work all at the same time. This methodology, which has been applied to other accommodation facilities, is recognized for its contribution to energizing the accommodation sector.

Awards for Excellent Partner

Organization name Tourism Authority of Thailand
Initiative 12 Hidden Gems in Thailand
Selection Comment This initiative features the “12 Hidden Gems,” a selection of new destinations for tourists visiting primarily Bangkok from Japan, 80% of whom are repeaters. The number of tourists is increasing, attracted by relatively unknown cultural and nature spots.

Special Awards for DMO Promotion

Organization name Chichibu Omotenashi Tourism Organization
Initiative Japanese ver. Regional Cooperation DMO (Destination Management Organization) <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
Aim of the Project The Chichibu area in Saitama Prefecture includes 1 City and 4 towns and is considered as one living area. With the Chichibu self-support settlement region framework, we have a cooperative agreement in various fields. In these fields, there are 4 tourism cooperative agreements as our mission: 'promoting living-type tourism', 'increasing foreign tourists', 'establishing the regional brand and sales promotion' and 'promotion of the Chichibu Geopark'. With the mission, we established the organization and we are working on the project.
Organization name Yatsugatake Tourism Management
Initiative Developing tourism regions beyond the Japanese ver. DMO (Destination Management Organization)
Aim of the Project To aim to create an affluent and active region which we can be proud of, residents in the region need to work on enlightening awareness for the regional resources, history and customs. This will be a framework to develop the region in both living and visiting. We believe that if the regional residents continuously work on their awareness and agreements, we can manage to develop the regions. To achieve this, we established a platform of tourism regional development, which is a pioneering organization of the Japanese ver. DMO (destination management organization). With this platform, we are able to manage the wide regional cooperative business for public and private sectors smoothly.

Special Awards for ICT Utilization

Organization name Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.
Initiative 'Dokokani Mairu - Go somewhere
Aim of the Project Looking for a next travel destination is always fascinating. However, we have too much information and we often get tired of looking for it in these modern times. JAL considered that people need new discovery tours which happen by chance, or an easy tour service with which tourists can go traveling without any stress, rather than fixed tours. With these ideas, we aim to create diverse values for service by promoting regions and the demand for domestic tours, not just to fill up vacancies of seats on flights.
Organization name GplusMedia Inc. (Fujisankei Communications Group)
Initiative GaijinPot Travel
Aim of the Project Our website’s purpose is to promote Japan’s unknown destinations to foreigners and connect tourists to local traditions and culture. A tourist may not know “Tohoku,” but they may love anime and manga, so they can browse according to their interests to discover what’s most fascinating about Japan based on their unique tastes. We shine a light on the lesser known regions of Japan by commissioning travel content from foreign writers local to and connected in that region who know what appeals to foreign travelers.
Organization name Keikyu Corporation
Initiative Enhancing the hospitality for foreign customers with multi-functional translation app 'Station Concierge'
Aim of the Project We aim to provide foreign tourists with a hospitality beyond language barriers by using the latest ICT (Information and communication technology). We started a collaborative research with research institutions and related-corporations, which hold various technologies. We succeeded in developing a multilingual voice translation app, 'Station Concierge'. The app includes various functions for the needs of station staff, when the station staff need to guide in a multilingual context in the stations in their daily work. We implemented the app in all the stations of the Keikyu line. With this app, we can enhance our hospitality to welcome foreign tourists who are increasing.

The Japan Tourism Awards for Responsible Tourism in collaboration with UNWTO

Organization name Saga Ureshino barrier free tour center
Initiative Project of barrier free tourism to welcome all the people including elderly people, disabled and foreigners etc. <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
Aim of the Project 1. In order for disabled people and foreigners to enjoy the Ureshino hot springs which are known as one of the best hot springs for the beautiful skin in Japan, we aim to remove all possible barriers for them in the facilities including system and language aspects. We expect that disabled people, elderly people and foreigners can experience the Ureshino hot spring. 2. We offer the services to receive elderly people and disabled people, who often give up traveling themselves, as well as conveying the needs of traveling with their families or companies, to stop the decline of the domestic tour market as much as possible. 3. We encourage Japanese to not give up traveling in Japan, no matter how old they are or whether they are disabled or not.
Organization name Roots & Fruits "Fujisan Nature Tours"
Initiative Nature tour to meet the unknown attractions of Mt. Fuji 'Fuji Gezan (Go down from Mt.Fuji)'
Aim of the Project Our activity is for tourists to experience the unknown attractions of Mount Fuji. Our tour is different from the common Mount Fuji tour which was mainly climbing Mount Fuji. We aim to convey its wonderful nature, its history and culture, as well as maintaining them to next generations. After registering Mount Fuji as a world heritage site, the media spoke about the negative factors such as over use or risks in the area. And we found out that there was not much positive information about its attractions, various kinds of nature, and how to enjoy Mount Fuji. In this situation, we realized that we needed to change our awareness for the Mount Fuji as users. Otherwise, we cannot protect Mount Fuji in the future. This is the background to start this project.
Organization name Kumamoto Office, JTB Corp.
Initiative Conveying an educational program (Kumamoto)
Aim of the Project The 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes struck Kumamoto prefecture twice including a magnitude 7.0 on 14th and 16th April 2016. People's lives and sightseeing spots, as well as the scenery of the regions were hugely damaged and changed. We are working on exchange programs business as a travel agency. We have considered the way of attracting tourists to visit us many times after the disaster, cooperating with the local government. The Kumamoto prefectural governor set up the recovery policy with the words of 'creative recovery'. We set up this program with the aim of making this creative recovery possible in concrete ways, in order to invite tourists from all over the nation to Kumamoto.
Organization name Club Tourism International Inc.
Initiative The Club Tourism's travel supporter system
Aim of the Project Travel supporters are supportive staff members who support and accompany the disabled or old people depending on their demands. The most important features in this project are that travel supporters also pay some part of the travel cost and enjoy tours and events while supporting or helping other people. In other words, they become friends to travel together. Through the project, we aim to work on the following matters: 1. We do not want people to give up traveling because of being disabled or aging. 2. We expand demands for the revision of the Law to Eliminate Discrimination against People with Disabilities after 2019. 3. We expect that supporter demands will increase in 2020, so we prepare the human resources of the supporters.
Organization name Universal Tourism Desk, H.I.S. Co., Ltd.
Initiative [Trip to go with wheel chairs and sticks] Challenge yourself together! Barrier-free Honolulu Marathon & 10 km run & walk for 6 days
Aim of the Project We started this project to support disabled people who are using wheel chairs, who are having mobility difficulties in their daily life due to the after effects of disease. In this project, we provide them with motivation or rehabilitation objectives, as well as a sense of achievement they often do not feel in their lives. We promote that, although they are wheel chair users, they can challenge themselves for the full marathon. This is a new proposal for them to have new motivation with objectives. Hawaii is an ideal traveling destination for wheel chair users and it is easy to travel with wheel chairs. This creates more opportunities for disabled people to travel abroad.
Organization name Picchio
Initiative Eco Tourism for Environmental Preservation in Karuizawa <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
Aim of the Project Picchio is an expert group of eco-tourism situated in Karuizawa. Our activities are researching and preserving wild animals and plants, as well as having eco-tours to reveal mysterious nature and environmental educations. We have a thought 'If we can evaluate how the forest is valuable to the economy, we can maintain our forest for the future' and this is the fundamental thought for our business. To convey the forest's attractions, mystery and fragility to people, we increase the economic value of the forest and keep the forest as it is for the future.

Field of Domestic and Inbound Travel Business Category

Companies and Organizations Initiative
HUIS TEN BOSCH Co., Ltd. Project of the Smart Hotel by using ICT and IoT <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
Seabird Inc. CYCLOG is the IT and cycling event for the regional developments
Itadakimasu Company Picnic in the Farm with a Field Guide
Fuji Tozan School GORIKI / GORIKI Co., Ltd. The high-value added Eco-tour with small groups in Mt. Fuji <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
Art Mix Japan Executive Committee Art Mix Japan 2019
WAK JAPAN Co. Making a program of Origami (folding paper) as Japanese culture, and producing Origami products to support patients with incurable diseases
Kumano tour plan Eco-tourism to connect and expand the Kumano Kodo Iseji Route <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
Hyokichiya, Ama Hut Hachimankamado A project to develop sustainable regions, 'Calling tourists from the inside and outside of Japan by experience of the Ama diver hut'
Akita Nairiku Jukan Tetsudo Conveying attractions of regions with trains of surprising Tamatebako lunch boxes
YUKKUREISM HOKKAIDO Eco-tour to link the regions by tasting, enjoying and feeling <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
Hato Bus Co., Ltd. Multifaceted tourism approach with the service of the double-deck open bus 'O Sola Mio
ICHINOYU Co., Ltd Providing tourists with the touristic experience service combined with the Hakone Onsen and cultural properties and agriculture etc.
Nippon Travel Agency Co., Ltd. Red balloon - Take a ride on the Sightseeing train, 'Nagamare Strait Train'
Travelience Inc. TripleLights
East Japan Railway Company Train Suite Shiki-shima, a course of 'Season of the East Japan' to enjoy the season <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
Umemori Honten Co., Ltd. Inviting foreign tourists with a special Sushi-making experience and conveying universal designed way of welcoming guests to the world

Field of Domestic and Inbound Travel Regional Category

Companies and Organizations Initiative
Hamamatsu Film Commission Location Shooting The number of supporting films increased to approximately double in 3 years, the successive days of filming were more than 200 days per year in 3 years. The track of the Film Commission Promoting Bureau of the Hamamatsu City Hall
Gobo Hidaka Expo (Onpaku), Executive Committee Gobo Hidaka Expo <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
Nagomi Visit Home visit to enjoy meals with travelers from the world
OTA OPEN FACTORY, executive committee OTA OPEN FACTORY <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
Kosei Yume Furusato Waiwai Club Taking care of nature in the Biwa Lake mountains, environmental preservation and holding an eco-tour by using the Lake as a sightseeing spot for regional development
Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization Phoenix school
ONSEN & Gastronomy Tourism Association To expand ONSEN & Gastronomy throughout Japan <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
OZ-group Kaito-yumin club Linking regions by eco-tourism and a project of sustainable tourism in the isolated islands and fishing villages
Fukushima Tourism & Product Exchange Association 'Fukushima Hope Tourism' to learn in Fukushima
Okinawa Prefecture / General incorporated foundation, Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB) System enhances business to receive foreign visitors 'Promotion to become a Welcome-nchu to receive foreigners'
Maimai Kyoto Executive Committee Kyoto residents guide a Kyoto mini-tour 'Maimai Kyoto'
Minami Sanriku-cho Regional Tourism Recovery Association To recover and create a regional economy by using 'Minami Sanriku Tenten Map'
Star Village ACHI Tourism Promoting Association Star Village ACHI, the best starry village in Japan <<awarded for the fourth consecutive year>>
Lake Biwa Canal Promotion Council Business to resume boat operation after 67 years in the Lake Biwa canal, as well as business in association with promoting tourism along the canal.
Kafuu Resort Fuchaku CONDO, HOTEL Creating the community where LGBTs can have a good life and work well
Osatsu Ama Cultural Management Association Creating the sustainable community mainly with the Ama diver culture.
JTB Tourism Research & Consulting Co. University Students Tourism Regional Development Competition

Field of Domestic and Inbound Travel Media Category

Companies and Organizations Initiative
LIVE JAPAN LIVE JAPAN PERFECT GUIDE <<awarded for the second consecutive year>>
JTB Publishing, Inc. The solution business by using the brand 'Rurubu' Editing the 'Rurubu special edit ver.'
The Yomiuri Shimbun The Yomiuri Shimbun Sunday 'Meigen Junrei - Words of wisdom journey'
TBS VISION, Inc. TBS VISION, Inc. Japanese heritage project \/ Movie creation business to enhance the brand power of Japanese heritages

Field of Outbound Travel Business Category

Companies and Organizations Initiative
Tour Wave Co., Ltd. Project for International charter flights from regional airports
JTB Corp. Leisure Business Dept. Overseas Purchasing & Products Management Business Div. USA/Oceania Sec. '- A 9-year-old project with customers' voice - The series of 'Cultural interaction!', 'Good morning', 'Welcome' and 'Good evening.' Walking around the city with local advisers on your trip
H.I.S. Co., Ltd. Challenge for the absolutely new market of the Hajj (pilgrimage) & the Umrah (the non-mandatory lesser pilgrimage)
Miki Tourist Co., Ltd. FIT Planning and Promoting Department The Myu Petit Tour: a short trip starting from 1 night 2 days, flight to/from the Europe, to meet demands of individual tourists 'I want such a trip'

Field of Outbound Travel Regional Category

Companies and Organizations Initiative
Brand USA Projects to create various tour products to the USA
Embassy of Sweden Tourism Project of Sweden Travel and Culture Center
Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia Creation support for the Japanese-Indonesian movie 'The Man from the Sea' and a successive promotion by holding 'Jakarta Marathon'

Field of Outbound Travel Media Category

Companies and Organizations Initiative
NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) The 2nd trip series - Traveling abroad a little deeper -
Japan Tourism Awards Application Office
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