Transport to and within Japan
There are two main airlines in Japan for international travel, they are Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA), both these two airlines allow travel to various destinations around the world as well as granting access to Japan.
The most well-known airports in Japan are Tokyo's Narita Airport, Osaka's Kansai Airport, Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Nagoya's Central Japan Airport (Japan Guide, 2016)
Shinkansen Trains are also known as 'bullet trains', they link all the major cities together making the country more accessible and giving the tourism industry an advantage as it makes destinations and events more accessible to individuals visiting the country. It’s roughly 15,400 yen for a one way ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto, and 20,400 yen for a return ticket (Japan Guide, 2015)
Japan Rail Passes have been introduced in recent years to make access around Japan easier. These passes can be used on most Shinkansen trains and is used to pay for all fees during the journey. There are also various other passes available like the regional passes which are grant access to a limited area depending on what the visitor requires.
In terms of domestic travel, the use of the rail network is most prominent in Tokyo with the system being used over 800 times per person on an annual basis. (Statistics Japan, 2016)
The rail network in Japan is extensive as it is so widely used (add statistic here), however since 2004 Japan has seen this networking shrinking due to the competition from other modes of transport such as night buses and low cost airlines. Now, in 2016, the last remaining night train is the Sunrise Seto/ Izumo which is the only regular one. (Japan Guide, 2016)
Ferries are another vital mode of transport within Japan as the country is made up of multiple islands, some being connected through tunnels however some require a ferry to make the journey.
Tourists flock to Japan for copious reasons, the cultural and natural resources the country contains boost visitor figures and bring in money which in turn boosts the economy.
Sanchi Mountain Range is located in northern Honshu, which is the home of over 80 species of various birds and the black bear. This is a large tourist attraction as it is situated parallel to the sea of Japan and is 1,243 meters above sea level. Despite it not being the largest mountain in Japan as a whole, it remains one of the most popular destinations for tourists due to its formation and history. Steps are taken and procedures are put in place to protect this natural resource for future generations and to enable sustainability. These consist of sectioning off areas in order to manage the tourist flows to the mountain. UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shirakami – Sanchi (2016)
Mount Fuji is an extremely popular tourist destination due to the sightseeing opportunities and climbing routes. The attraction itself attracts over 300,000 tourists solely for climbing purposes on an annual basis due to it being the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 meters above sea level. (JNTO, Sightseeing of Mt. Fuji, 2015)
Yakushima Island (UNESCO World Heritage Site, 1995) – Home to the Yakushima forest containing ‘Yakusugi’ trees which are known to be over 1,000 years old. In addition to the high temperatures and rainfall, the Yakushima forest is also home to over 1,900 species of flora, 16 species of mammals and 150 species of birds. In order to protect this natural resource as much as they can, visitors are restricted on the island to certain areas meaning any damage caused is limited and sectioned off as to leave the forest in the best condition possible while still allowing tourists access. (UNESCO World Heritage Site, Yakushima, 2015)
The Itsukushima - Shinto Shrine is located in the Seto inland sea and is a popular tourist destination as it displays the culture of the people and dates back to the sixth century. Since then, many other shrines have been built around the original one which is a holy place of Shintoism. Shintoism is a way of being in which allows individuals to communicate with spirits whose sole purpose is to care for human beings.
Yamaga Toro Matsuri is an annual festival that keeps fire at the central point. Over the year, there are three separate fire festivals which rival Yamaga Toro Matsuri. This festival is a huge tourist event as well as being attended by many locals, due to its history which tells the tale of an Emperor being guided home by the villages using torchlight. During the festival, separate events and processions are carried out, some involving placing lanterns on dancers heads throughout the event. (Japan National Tourism Organisation, Yamaga Toro Matsuri 2016)
The Nebuta Matsuri is a Japan based festival which takes part on an annual basis in the summer months in the surrounding villages of Aomori Prefecture (Japan guide, Nebuta Matsuri, 2016). The festival offers a variety of activities for both international tourists and domestic tourists alike with opportunities to watch traditional dance, the floats and the musicians. This is a cultural tourism event as it the festival portrays historical stories including myths, legends and gods.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is such a popular destination for both international tourists and domestic tourists as it acts as a reminder and a way to pay respect to those who lost their lives in the explosion and those who have been affected since. The dome of the memorial is so iconic as it was the last remaining structure to the area after the first atomic bomb was dropped over the city in 1945. (UNESCO, Hiroshima Peace Memorial – Genbaku Dome 2016)
Hamamatsu Festival – Kite flying Japan National Tourism Organisation, Hamamatsu Festival (2016). This festival differs from the previous two as it takes place predominantly during the night, whereas this one takes place during the day. The festival is made up with over 100 kites being flown over the sand dunes which are situated in Nakajima.
Upcoming events include; the 2020 Summer Olympic Games which will take place in Tokyo. This event will be taking place in Japan from 24th July to 9th August for the second time since the games were introduced.