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GaijinPot Releases Nominees for Japan’s Top Travel Destinations in 2020

Tokyo-based website publishes annual short list of best places to visit in Japan and asks readers to help with the final decision.


TOKYO — GaijinPot Travel has released its list of nominees of best travel destinations in Japan for 2020. This year, GPlusMedia’s English-language site is asking readers to vote on its choices and help determine the final 10 locations to be ranked in order and published at the beginning of December.

Since 2016, GaijinPot Travel’s editorial team has compiled an annual list of the best places to visit in Japan. By researching current Japan travel trends and compiling data on innovative initiatives that local governments, business owners and communities are using to attract international visitors, they aim to highlight some hidden gems of Japanese tourism. These are destinations first-time — and recurring — visitors to Japan might miss scanning the majority of English-language publications rehashing the same mainstream travel itineraries.

This year, GaijinPot Travel will place the final ranking of its destinations in the hands of its user base. The website is asking readers to help narrow down its current list by voting for the nominations online. This final top 10 list will be published on GaijinPot Travel at the start of December.

“With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics coming up and even more visitors to Japan expected next year, we wanted to give travelers a wider variety of options — from traditional Japanese destinations to those more off the beaten path,” says Randiah Green, editor at GaijinPot Travel. “This is also the first year we’re putting the final list out for our readers to vote on. Since they’re the ones doing the traveling, we felt they should be the ones to decide the top destinations.”

Last year’s list included everything from remote mountain hamlets home to self-mummified monks to a long-distance hike along the tsunami-hit Tohoku coastline. Ultimately, Tottori took the No. 1 spot as the top tourist spot for 2019.

This year, the GaijinPot Travel short list features unique itineraries for everyone, including:

  • Intense heritage hikes following UNESCO-listed pilgrimages.
  • An art island perfect for a creative reset.
  • Muscle-melting outdoor onsen (natural hot spring) soaks.
  • A visit to secret historic enclaves used by persecuted Christian missionaries.
  • Anime-inspired day and weekend trips.
  • Eco-friendly mountain canyoning adventures.
  • Inclusive tourism spots welcoming to Muslim visitors.
  • Historic, bygone-era luxury train travel on Japan’s famous high-tech rail system.

Each destination selected receives a GaijinPot Travel Top Destination for 2020 Award and — more importantly for lesser-known locations — a boost in awareness among GaijinPot’s audience of close to 650,000 readers, 65% of whom are based overseas.

Readers can vote now on the top Japan travel destination for 2020. The winning selection will receive GaijinPot’s Top Travel Destination Award in December and further media coverage.

“All of the nominees were chosen based on international and domestic travel trends as well as local government initiatives to make these destinations more accessible to English-speaking tourists,” says Green. “We hope we can expose travelers to the authentic side of Japan and the rich variety of experiences the country has to offer.”

For more information or to request images and other media, contact the GaijinPot Travel editorial team at


About GPlusMedia:
Now in its 20th year, GPlusMedia operates six of Japan’s leading English-language online brands including Japan Today, GaijinPot, Savvy Tokyo, Career Engine and Real Estate Japan. Part of the Fujisankei Communications group, GPlusMedia sites are popular with foreigners for making Japanese news, trends and lifestyle information accessible in English. With a unique database of lifestyle information gleaned from roughly 9.3 million page views and 2.2 million unique users each month, GPlusMedia provides tightly focused, effective marketing solutions for companies seeking to reach the foreign community in Japan, visitors to Japan, people around the world interested in Japan and English-speaking Japanese people with global points of view. For additional information, visit


Contact: GaijinPot Editorial Team
Phone: +81-3-5561-7750


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