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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.




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


“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. For the 2021 pilot initiative, 44 villages from 32 countries were recognized as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO from among the 174 villages in 75 UNWTO Member States that applied, and the following 2 villages were selected from Japan.





Miyama Town

Niseko Town




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 February 16, 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







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