Tourism in Japan
Tourism in Japan attracted 8.3 million foreign visitors in 2008, slightly more than Singapore and Ireland. Japan has 16 World Heritage Sites, including Himeji Castle and Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. Kyoto receives over 30 million tourists annually. Foreigners also visit Tokyo and Nara, Mount Fuji, ski resorts such as Niseko in Hokkaido, Okinawa, ride the shinkansen and take advantage of Japan's hotel and hotspring network.
History of Tourism 
The origins of early traditions of visits to picturesque sites are unclear, but early sight-seeing excursions was Matsuo Basho's 1689 trip to the then "far north" of Japan, which occurred not long after Hayashi Razan categorized the Three Views of Japan in 1643. During the feudal era of Japan, from around 1600 to the Meiji Restoration in 1867, travel was regulated within the country through the use of shukuba or post stations, towns in which travelers had to present appropriate documentation. Despite these restrictions, porter stations and horse stables, as well as places for lodging and food were available on well-traveled routes. During this time, Japan was a closed country to foreigners, so no foreign tourism existed in Japan. Following the Meiji Restoration and the building of a national railroad network across Japan, tourism became more of an affordable prospect for domestic citizens and visitors from foreign countries could enter Japan legally. As early as 1887, government officials recognized the need for an organized system of attracting foreign tourists; the Kihinkai (貴賓会), which aimed to coordinate the various players in tourism, was established that year with Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi's blessing. Its early leaders included Shibusawa Eiichi and Ekida Takashi. Another major milestone in the development of the tourism industry in Japan was the 1907 passage of the Hotel Development Law, as a result of which the Railways Ministry began to construct publicly owned hotels all throughout Japan.
In 2012 8,367,872 tourists visited Japan.。
|2||Republic of China||1,466,688||17.5%|
Tourism Today 
Domestic tourism remains a vital part of the Japanese economy and Japanese culture. School children in many middle schools see the highlight of their years as a visit to Tokyo Disneyland or perhaps Tokyo Tower. High school students visit Okinawa or Hokkaido. The extensive rail network together with domestic flights sometimes in planes with modifications to favor the relatively short distances involved in intra-Japan travel allows efficient and speedy transport. In inbound tourism, Japan was ranked 28th in the world in 2007. In 2009, the Yomiuri Shimbun published a modern list of famous sights under the name Heisei Hyakkei (the Hundred Views of the Heisei period).
Neighbouring South Korea is Japan's most important source of foreign tourists. In 2010, the 2.4 million arrivals made up 27% of the tourists visiting Japan.
Chinese travellers are the highest spenders in Japan by country, spending an estimated 196.4 billion yen (US$2.4 billion) in 2011, or almost a quarter of total expenditure by foreign visitors, according to data from the Japan Tourism Agency.
Major tourist destinations 
- Niseko Ski Resort
- Shiretoko Peninsula (WHL)
- Teshikaga - Lake Mashū, Lake Kussharo
- Tōya Caldera and Mount Usu Geopark
- Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group
- Shirakami-Sanchi (WHL)
- Mount Osore
- Lake Towada
- Hirosaki - Hirosaki Castle, Nakacho Samurai District
- Hiraizumi - Chūson-ji, Mōtsū-ji, Kanjizaiō-in, Takkoku-no-Iwaya
- Semboku - Kakunodate Samurai District, Lake Tazawa, Nyuto Onsen
- Yamagata - Yama-dera Temple, Zaō Onsen
- Nikkō - Shrines and Temples of Nikkō (WHL), Kegon Falls
- Tokyo - Imperial Palace, Asakusa, Akihabara, Ginza, Harajuku/Omotesando, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Tsukiji Fish Market
- Tokyo Disney Resort
- Kamakura - Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, Kōtoku-in, Kenchō-ji, Engaku-ji, Meigetsu-in, Hase-dera
- Kusatsu Onsen
- Hakone Onsen
- Mount Fuji
- Japanese Alps -Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route(Mount Tate), Hida Mountains, Kiso Mountains, Akaishi Mountains
- Shiga Kōgen
- Matsumoto - Matsumoto Castle, Mount Hotaka, Kamikōchi
- Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama (WHL)
- Takayama - Sanmachi Traditional Street, Ōshinmachi Traditional Street, Higashiyama Temple Area
- Kanazawa - Kenroku-en Garden, Kanazawa Castle, Higashi Geisha District, Nagamachi Samurai District
- Sakai - Tōjinbō, Maruoka Castle
- Nagoya - Nagoya Castle, Atsuta Shrine, Sakae, Nagoya Station (Meieki), Ōsu Kannon temple
- Kyoto - Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, Ryōan-ji, Sanjūsangen-dō, etc., they are parts of Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (WHL)
- Uji - Byōdō-in and Ujigami Shrine (WHL), Relation of The Tale of Genji
- Ōtsu - Lake Biwa, Hiyoshi Taisha, Sakamoto Temple District, Mount Hiei, Enryaku-ji (WHL)
- Ōmihachiman - Traditional Riverside District
- Nara - Tōdai-ji, Tōshōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, Yakushi-ji, Heijō Palace, Kasuga-taisha and Nara Park, etc., they are parts of Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara (WHL)
- Ikaruga - Hōryū-ji and Hōki-ji are Buddhist Monuments in the Hōryū-ji Area (WHL).
- Yoshino (Mount Yoshino) - Kimpusen-ji, Yoshimizu Shrine, Yoshino Mikumari Shrine, etc., they are parts of Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range (WHL)
- Shingū - Kumano Hayatama Taisha and Kumano River (WHL)
- Nachikatsuura - Nachi Falls, Kumano Kodō, etc., they are parts of Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range (WHL)
- Mount Kōya - Kongōbu-ji (WHL)
- Osaka - Osaka Castle, Umeda, Namba, Dōtonbori, Shinsekai, Shitennō-ji, Universal Studios Japan
- Himeji - Engyō-ji, Koko-en Garden, and Himeji Castle (WHL)
- Kobe - Port of Kobe, Rokkō Mountains, Kitano-chō, Arima Onsen, Kobe Luminarie
- Toyooka - Sanin Kaigan National Park (San'in Coast Geopark), Izushi, Kinosaki Onsen
- Hiroshima Prefecture - Atomic Bomb Dome (WHL), Itsukushima Shrine (WHL), Onomichi, Tomonoura
- Okayama Prefecture - Kurashiki, Kōrakuen Garden, Okayama Castle
- Tottori Prefecture - Tottori Sand Dunes, Mount Daisen, Mount Hyōno
- Shimane Prefecture - Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine (WHL), Izumo-taisha, Matsue Castle, Oki Islands, Tsuwano
- Yamaguchi Prefecture - Hagi
- Shikoku Pilgrimage ( Zentsū-ji, Motoyama-ji, etc.)
- Ehime Prefecture - Dōgo Onsen, Matsuyama Castle
- Kagawa Prefecture - Kotohira-gū Shrine, Ritsurin Garden, Shōdo Island, Naoshima Island
- Tokushima Prefecture - Naruto whirlpools, Awa Dance Festival in Tokushima
- Kōchi Prefecture - Kochi Castle, Cape Muroto (Muroto Geopark), Cape Ashizuri
- Fukuoka Prefecture - Mojiko Retro Town, Kokura Castle, Dazaifu_Tenman-gū, Remains of Dazaifu_(government)
- Ōita Prefecture - Many different types of Hot Springs in Beppu,_Ōita or Yufuin,_Ōita, Usa_jingū, Stone Bridges, Small Stone Henge on the top of Komekamiyama mountain , Hello Kitty Harmonyland
- Nagasaki Prefecture - Ōura Church, Higashi-Yamate, Minami-Yamate]], Huis_Ten_Bosch_(theme_park)
- Kagoshima Prefecture - Yakushima (WHL), Sakurajima, Amami Ōshima
- Miyazaki Prefecture - Kirishima-Yaku_National_Park, Takachiho, Old Exculibur on the top of Takachiho-kyo mountain, Nichinan,_Miyazaki, Chambered barrows of Saitobaru_kofungun, Heiwadai Park
- Kumamoto Prefecture - Kumamoto_Castle, Mount_Aso
- Saga Prefecture - Before 400 BC Yayoi archaeological site in Yoshinogari_site
- Okinawa Prefecture - Shuri Castle, Nakagusuku Castle, Nakijin Castle etc., they are parts of Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu (WHL), Ishigaki Island, Miyako Island, Iriomote Island, Traditional Ryukyuan Houses in Taketomi Island
Tourism after the Fukushima disaster 
After the triple melt-down of the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, the number of foreign visitors declined for months in a row. To boost tourism the Japanese Tourism Agency announced in October 2011 a plan to give 10,000 round-trip air tickets to Japan away in order to encourage visitors to come to Japan. In 2012 free tickets would be offered on condition that the winners would write online about their experiences in Japan. They also would need to answer some questions, about how they felt while visiting Japan after the earthquake, and how the interest in tourism in Japan could be renewed. In September 2011 some 539,000 foreign people visited Japan, this was 25 percent down compared with the same month in 2010. This decline was largely attributed to the Fukushima nuclear accident, but also the stronger yen made a visit to Japan more expensive. About 15 million dollars would be spent on this program.  On December 26, 2011, The Japan Tourism Agency reported on their site that the "Fly to Japan! Project", which would have given out 10,000 round-trip tickets to Japan, was not approved by the government for fiscal year 2012. 
See also 
- World Heritage Sites in Japan
- National Treasures of Japan
- List of museums in Japan
- List of National Geoparks in Japan
- List of Special Places of Scenic Beauty, Special Historic Sites and Special Natural Monuments
- Groups of Traditional Buildings
- Japanese museums
- Ryokan (Japanese inn)
- "UNTWO World Tourism Barometer, Vol.5 No.2" (PDF). United Nations World Tourism Organization. June 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
- Scott, David (1996). Exploring Japan. Fodor's Travel Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-679-03011-5.
- Leheny, David Richard. The Rules of Play: National Identity and the Shaping of Japanese Leisure. Cornell University Press. p. 59. ISBN 0-8014-4091-2.
- 2012年推計値 - Japan National Tourism Organization
- UNTWO (June 2008). "UNTWO World Tourism Barometer, Vol.5 No.2" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- Dickie, Mure (26 January 2011). "Tourists flock to Japan despite China spat". The Financial Times. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
- "Tokyu Group in steadfast pursuit of Chinese tourists". TTGmice. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- NHK-world (21 October 2011) Japan to give away air tickets to 10,000 visitors
- JAIF (22 October 2011)Earthquake report 242: Japan to give away air tickets to 10,000 visitors
- Japan Tourism Agency (2011-12-26). "”Fly to Japan! Project”(10,000 FREE FLIGHTS TO FOREIGNERS) | 2011 | Topics | Press Releases | Japan Tourism Agency". Mlit.go.jp. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
|Wikivoyage has travel information related to: Japan|
- Japan National Tourist Organization
- Japan: Travel and Tourism at the Open Directory Project
- Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau
- Japan Travel and Living Guide
- Japan Travel and Hotel Guide
- (English) JapanTourist Travel Articles Database