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Leading Sustainable Destinations in Japan


Green Destinations “Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories”

Green Destinations, the world’s leading destinations’ network for responsible tourism, selects regions that meet its core criteria and have advanced sustainability stories through a panel of experts each year. These are published as the “Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories” to be shared as inspiring examples to tourism professionals and travelers.Six regions from Japan were selected in 2020 and 12 regions in 2021, the largest number of regions by country in 2021. 10 regions from Japan were selected in 2022 and 10 regions were selected in 2023.




Kamaishi | Kyoto City | Miura Peninsula | Niseko Town | Okinawa Prefecture | Shirakawa Village

Amami-Oshima Island | Aso City | Kamaishi | Kyoto City | Nagara River Basin | Nanao City and Nakanoto Town | Nasushiobara City | Niseko Town | Sado City | Shodoshima Town | Toyooka City | Yoron Island

Shodoshima Town | Ozu City | Oguni Town | Nasushiobara City | Minamichita Town | Kamaishi | Higashimatsushima City | Hakone Town | Gero-spa Town | Aso City

Kamaishi | Ozu City | Oguni Town | Hakone | Yoron Island | Teshikaga Town | Obuse Town | Miyazu City | Marugame City | Miyoshi City


“Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO”

In 2021, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) launched “Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO,” a global initiative to highlight the villages that are working to make tourism a driver of rural development and wellbeing and to advance the role of tourism in valuing and safeguarding rural villages along with their associated landscapes, knowledge systems, biological and cultural diversity, local values and activities. In 2023, a total of 190 regions participated and villages from 54 regions worldwide were selected as “Best Tourism Villages.” The following 4 villages were selected from Japan.





Miyama Town

Niseko Town


Biei Town

Hakuba Village


Shirakawa Village




Japan Tourism Agency “JSTS-D (Japan Sustainable Tourism Standard for Destinations)”

The "JSTS-D" provides sustainable tourism indicators for municipalities and DMOs so that they understand the current situation from various angles and manage tourism sustainably.

The indicators are based on international standards outlined in the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for Destinations (GSTC-D). Each element of the various JSTS-D tourism indicators is organized in consideration of Japan and its unique characteristics and challenges. The following destinations have committed to working under the JSTS-D.




As of November 29, 2023 

Otaru City

Yatsugatake Area
(Hokuto City, Fujimi Town, Hara Village)

Miura Peninsula
(Kamakura City, Zushi City, Yokosuka City, Miura City, Hayama Town)

Kyoto City


Kamaishi City

 (Ehime Prefecture, Kagawa Prefecture, Kochi Prefecture, Tokushima Prefecture)

Higashimatsushima City

Aso City

Akita Prefecture
(Odate City, Kitaakita City, Kosaka Town, Kamikoani Village)

Hata Area
(Sukumo City, Tosashimizu City, Shimanto City, Otsuki Town,
Mihara Village, Kuroshio Town)

Hatsukaichi City

Amami-Oshima Island

Ozu City

Tonosho Town

Atami City

Imabari City

Furano City

Sumida Ward

Niseko Town

Nasushiobara City

Meiwa Town

Gifu Prefecture

Marugame City

Chichibu City

Abiko City

Ome City


Teshikaga Town


Kitakyushu City, Shimonoseki City

Tono City





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