When it comes to the tourism in the beaitiful country Japan, it has attracted more than 24.03 million tourists as estimated in 2016. It should be noted that the country has 21 Wolrd Heritage Sites, so there is no wonder why more and more people decide to spend their vacation there exposing some of the most beautiful cities in the world located in Japan. Japan's most popular and most visited heritage sites include Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, Himeji Castle, and Nara. Other very popular tourist attractions located in Japan include its capital city Tokyo, Mount Fiji and Hiroshima. There are also located some of the most visited ski resorts like Niseko located in Hokkaido. Japan is on a 4rth place out of more than hundred other countries when it comes to its tourism as ranked by major the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness.
The country gained high scores in almost every other aspect as well including security, business travel, cultural resources, hygiene, and health. When it comes to the origins of early Japanese traditions of visitors they are mostly connected to early excursions of Matsuo Basho and his trip to far north places of the country in late 1968. During the Edo era, from 1600 and all the way until the Meiji Restoration in late 1867, travel was well-established mainly through the use of post stations or shukuba that were certain towns where travelers were requested to present valid documentation. It should be noted that at this time, the country was closed to all foreigners, so there was no foreign tourism.
Following the next period the Meiji Restoration, the national railroad network was introduced so tourism finally became more affordable prospect for visitors and domestic residents. At this point, foreigners were welcomed to the country and they were able to enter the country without any restrictions. Later in 1887, the Japanese government finally recognized that need for some organized system when it comes to the attracting more foreign visitors so the Kihinkai was introduced. The Kihinkai mainly aimed towards attracting tourists and coordinating the important players in tourism. At that point first large hotels were built as some of the early leaders including Shibusawa Eiichi, Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi and Ekida Takashi recognized that need for greater devotion to the tourism in Japan.
When it comes to the tourism today, it has become a very important part of the overall Japanese culture and the Japanese economy. Children in middle schools, as well as high school students, commonly visit Tokyo Tower, Okinawa, and Hokkaido and Tokyo Disneyland, so they know the importance of their culture and heritage. The country was ranked at a high 28th place in the world back in 2007 when it comes to its inbound tourism. It should be noted that neighboring country South Korea is the country's most important source of tourists since South Korean arrivals made up more than twenty percent of the foreign tourist visiting Japan.
When it comes to the major tourist destinations locate in Japan, we have to mention Hokkaido's Niseko Ski Resort, Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group, Mout usu Geopark, Hakodate, and Otaru. There are also some major destinations located in Tōhoku region including Mount Osore, Lake Towada, Hirosaki Castle and Shirakami-Sanchi. Foreign tourists also commonly pay a visit to Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura, Matsushima, Tokyo Disney Resort, Hakone and Kusatsu Onsen, Mount Fiji, Japanese Alps, Matsumoto Castle and Takayama including Snamachi Traditional Street and Higashiyama Temple Area.