· 4 months ago

Meet The Winners of the Japan Travel Awards 2024 Championing diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and creativity in travel

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The Japan Travel Awards, an annual Japan-based competition that highlights outstanding travel destinations around the country, recently announced this yearโ€™s winners. Selected from over 160 applications and 18 finalists, the winners this year are champions of diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and creativity in travel.

Read about the winners below, or visit the official awards page to learn more about each award.

Top Prize (Grand Prix)

Zerogravity (Kagoshima) โ€” A marine activity provider and accommodation focusing on universal marine sports and wheelchair diving.

Gallery image 1 Zerogravity sets groundbreaking standards creating an accessible marine sports facility that everyone, regardless of physical abilities, can enjoy. The Grand Prize recognizes their achievement of establishing a one-of-a-kind destination in Japan that is not only open to all, but also sets groundbreaking accessibility standards.

Best Accessible Travel

Naniwa Issui (Shimane): A long-standing traditional inn with multiple universal rooms and unique accessible travel policies and stay plans.

Gallery image 2 Naniwa Issui, founded in 1918, first introduced an accessible room in 2006 and did not expect to receive the positive feedback it did from both guests and staff. From then on, they continued improving room after room, service after service, essentially changing their corporate policy to make their services more accessible for all.

Best LGBTQ+ Travel

Hotel Palm Royal NAHA Kokusai Street (Okinawa) โ€” A family-run hotel that openly celebrates diversity.

Gallery image 3 This hotel is dedicated to establishing a safer, welcoming, and engaging place for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community.

Best Sustainable Travel

Okinawa Diving Service Lagoon (Okinawa) โ€” An educational diving experience contributing to environmental protection through coral conservation activities.

Gallery image 4 From making coral seedlings to planting the coral while snorkeling and diving, tourists can explore the Okinawan seas while simultaneously contributing to environmental protection.

Best Inbound Travel

Temple Stay Kakurinbo (Yamanashi) โ€” A Buddhist temple stay facility that offers unique, foreigner-friendly stays and cultural programs.

Gallery image 5 This long-standing shukubo (temple inn) has succesfully transformed a truly authentic Japanese experience into a foreign-friendly destination, without sacrificing the needs of the local communities.

Best Cultural Travel

Ama Hut Satoumian (Mie) โ€” A restaurant where visitors can dine with traditional โ€œamaโ€ divers, female freedivers who are an integral part of Japanโ€™s seaside communities.

Gallery image 6 Ama Hut Satoumian is a restaurant and a cultural experience where tourists can dine with โ€œamaโ€ divers, traditional freedivers who played a crucial part in the development of Japanese coastal communities.

Best Family Travel

Mori no Kuni Valley (Ehime) โ€” An eco-village with various educational stay options and outdoor experiences for children and families.

Gallery image 7 This initiative aims to create an eco-system that teaches children, our future, of the importance of co-existing, understanding and valuing nature and our surroundings.

Best Transformative Travel (two winners):

INOW (Tokushima) โ€” An educational program providing guests with sustainable stay experiences in Kamikatsu, Japanโ€™s first zero-waste town.

Gallery image 8 This program equips travelers with a deep understanding of the logic and cultural aspect behind Japanโ€™s first โ€˜zero-waste townโ€™ local policies and how we can all learn from it to address the climate change emergency.

Tautasya (Kyoto) โ€” An eco-village offering accommodations, a restaurant, and farming experiences, all centered around sustainable efforts.

Gallery image 9 Tautasya is a fully self-sustainable eco-village that offers guests multiple lodgings, a restaurant, and outdoor and farming experiences that present the essence of self-sustainable living.

Best Destination Development

Togakushi Universal Tourism Desk (Nagano) โ€” A regional bureau that promotes accessible tourism in a popular ancient pilgrim town.

Gallery image 10 Since its establishment, the Togakushi Universal Tourism Desk has supported dozens of travelers with mobility disabilities in visiting and exploring the wonders of Togakushi.

Best Accommodation

Naniwa Issui (Shimane) โ€” A long-standing elegant traditional inn breaking physical, social, and dietary barriers to provide remarkable hospitality and comfort to all travelers.

Gallery image 11 This ryokan has demonstrated unparalleled attention to detail and hospitality, from creating gorgeous guestrooms to accessible communal baths and diverse, accessible services.

Congratulations to all winners for the work they do to promote memorable travel to travelers from all walks of life.

๐Ÿ† Visit the winners page to learn more about each award, and information about applying for next yearโ€™s competition.

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2 Reviews 5/5


Writer & Editor based in Tokyo. Founder of Japan Travel Awards., Shiitake Creative

Hi, I'm Ally, the co-founder of the Japan Travel Awards. We are overjoyed to share the news of this year's winners! They are all inspiring travel operators doing amazing work to promote accessible, sustainable, and inclusive travel in Japan, and we are so grateful to have discovered them. They are also genuinely wonderful places to travel to, so we hope you'll put some of those on your itinerary the next time you visit Japan. :)

A huge thank you also goes to Ian from Travel Massive, who was one of the Awards' honorary judges this year. Thank you, Ian, for all the hard work in helping us award these amazing places! :)

4 months ago
Founder, Travel Massive

Hi Ally, congrats on announcing the awards!

I'm so glad to see a few of my personal favourites made the list, incuding Zerogravity (accesible diving) and INOW (Japanโ€™s first zero-waste town).

Also thanks for inviting me to be a judge in this year's awards. For everyone else reading โ€” the level of detail and research that Ally and her team go to, to make these awards happen is incredible. They conduct site visits and share detailed notes of their experiences with the judges. These awards are authentic and I'm extremely proud to have contributed to the process, and learn more about these amazing tourism initiatives in Japan. Bravo!

4 months ago (edited)
Writer & Editor based in Tokyo. Founder of Japan Travel Awards., Shiitake Creative

Thank you for your kind words, Ian. This means so much to us! ๐Ÿคฉ

4 months ago
Founder, TabiFolk

Congratulations to all of the winners!

4 months ago
Writer & Editor based in Tokyo. Founder of Japan Travel Awards., Shiitake Creative

Thank you, Josh, for being the Awards' rock since year 1!

4 months ago
Travel Content Creator, Learners and Makers

Outdoors + accessibility, so brilliant to see Zerogravity on this list!

4 months ago
Content & Community Manager, RaizUp

Great to see these amazing examples of tourism in Japan championing diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and creativity!

4 months ago
Writer & Editor based in Tokyo. Founder of Japan Travel Awards., Shiitake Creative

Here's a glimpse of the Japan Travel Awards 2024 Award Ceremony in Tokyo! Over 100 participants from across Japan, including winners, finalists, and members of the media, attended the ceremony, and it was a great success! We look forward to discovering amazing destinations in Japan that are setting high standards in inclusion, diversity, and sustainable travel in 2025 again!

2 months ago
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Meet The Winners of the Japan Travel Awards 2024

2 reviews

Meet The Winners of the Japan Travel Awards 2024 was posted by Ally Hongo in News , Japan , Diversity , Accessible Travel , Sustainability , Responsible Travel . Updated on Apr 10, 2024 (3 months ago). Meet The Winners of the Japan Travel Awards 2024 is rated 5/5 โ˜… by 2 members.