Japan National Tourism Organization Invites Canadian Travellers To Venture Beyond ‘Golden Route’

Japan images

Japan National Tourism Organization

Release Date

Monday, May 29, 2023


The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is encouraging Canadian visitors to look beyond the destination’s most familiar cities and sights with a new, must-visit list of lesser-known locales. The list - initially published in Japanese by the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) - captures and reflects the broad beauty of the Japanese landscape and its diverse tourism offering with a selection of eleven ‘model tourism’ destinations.

“For many travellers, the ‘Golden Route’ has become a familiar and iconic way to experience Japan, but it is far from the only way,” said Mr. Ken Toyoda , Executive Director of JNTO Toronto.  “So many of Japan’s most incredible destinations are not yet on the average traveller’s radar, and so we saw an opportunity to introduce Canadians to the parts of Japan that are quieter, but no less compelling.”

The ‘Golden Route’ refers to the popular itinerary selected by many first-time visitors to Japan. Traditionally beginning in the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, most variants of the tour follow a path west through Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima before looping back to the capital. The JNTO’s release of this new list reflects the increasing importance the organization is placing on encouraging greater traffic to non-metropolitan and lesser-visited areas in service of effecting economic revitalization.

Views of Mountain in Japan

The list of eleven destinations, as published in the JTA’s original release and recently featured on outlets such as CNBC, includes:

  • Eastern HokkaidoJapan’s northernmost island boasting a rugged, wintery landscape;
  • NasuThe temperate highlands of Tochigi Prefecture, dotted with Jizo statues;
  • Hokuriku: A seaside region home to Kanazawa, where traditional Japanese culture thrives;
  • Mount Hachimantai: A mountainous expanse bordering Akita beloved for its autumn colours;
  • Tottori and Shimane: Two western prefectures home to sword-making, art museums, and UNESCO-recognized silver mines;
  • Okinawa and AmamiWhere dense jungles and mangroves give way to picturesque beaches;
  • KagoshimaUnzen, and AsoKyushu’s wonders, encompassing grassy plateaus, Samurai-style lodgings, and a volcanic caldera;
  • Southern Nara and WakayamaWhere one can walk ancient pilgrimage routes and stay in a deep-forest temple;
  • Ise-ShimaHome to the country’s most sacred shrine, luxurious hotels and the famous female free-divers known as Ama;
  • Matsumoto and Takayama: A duo of alpine towns boasting Edo-period architecture and feudal castles;
  • Setouchi: A coastal region covered in bridges, offering historic port cities and magnificent views of an inland sea.

“We see the release of this list as just the latest step in what will continue to be a top priority for the JNTO in 2023 and beyond,” said Mr. Ken Toyoda, of JNTO. “We truly believe in the richness and depth of Japan as a destination and look forward to sharing even more of its dynamic character with Canadians in the months to come.”

You can find the original list in Japanese on the JTA’s website.

To learn more about travelling to Japan and the JNTO, please visit https://www.japan.travel/en/ca/.

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