International Tourism Trade Show Tokyo
25-27 June, 2025
Tokyo Big Sight, Japan

Carefully selected by top experts in each field

Wellness Destination Awards

The nominated regions and facilities selected from across the country have been decided!

We will also detail the top 10 picks highly rated by the judges.

About this Awards

This award recognizes not just travel destinations but those that promote 'health and wellness for the mind and body.'It honors attractive destinations and tourism businesses in the new field of wellness tourism.We set selection criteria with our judges and make selections through a fair evaluation process.Through this award, we aim to contribute to creating a future where 'people around the world can achieve mental and physical health through travel.

What is the wellness destination?

It is a travel spot where you can enrich your life through various experiences that use the region's unique resources, providing hints for lifestyle and purpose in life.

Introduction of the judges

Chairman of a

University of the

Professor of Center for
Wellness and Tourism
Mr. Masashi ARAKAWA

Japan Ethical


Ms. Yoshiko IKOMA


Ms. Kyoko KITADE

Japan Gastronomy


Mr. Kotaro

JTB General Research Institute

Presidential Fellow


All Japan Ryokan Hotel Association

Executive Director


Evaluation Points

We evaluate based on the following six evaluation criteria and elements.


Coming Soon

Here are the top 10 selections highly rated by the judges


Efforts regarding Lake Akan Onsen in Hokkaido within the Tsuruga Group 

Hokkaido | Kushiro City, Akan Town.

The Tsuruga Group originated as the first hot spring inn by Lake Akan in Hokkaido, Japan's inaugural national park. With 15 establishments including inns, hotels, and restaurants, it's a leading enterprise in Hokkaido. Surrounded by the park's pristine nature, they offer activities like fishing and walking, preserve precious forests, provide sauna experiences overlooking Lake Akan, and serve cuisine featuring local ingredients, all contributing to a space promoting both physical and mental wellness.

Judges' Overall Comments:
Every initiative, such as local employment, utilization of local ingredients, and hotel operations based on preserving the natural environment of the national park, contributes significantly to local community engagement. Guided forest walking tours and fishing tours, led by experts well-versed in the nature surrounding Lake Akan, offer participants transformative experiences, shaping their perspectives on life and serving as storytellers of the region.

Of particular note is their commitment to preserving the precious ecosystems and Ainu culture while leveraging hot spring resources for spas, saunas, and nature-based activities, attracting sustainable tourism from around the world. Their unwavering gratitude for nature and respect for ancestors, along with their dedication to passing on the narratives of nature, history, and culture, are truly commendable.

More details >>


Mount Koya 

Wakayama Prefecture | Ito District

Mount Koya, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and revered as the sacred ground of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism, is a place of prayer in Japan known as the "Holy Land in the Sky." The entire area of Mount Koya is designated as the head temple of Kongobuji Temple. Particularly, the "Okunoin" and the "Danjo Garan" gather faith as two major sacred sites. Among the 117 temples, 52 offer lodging for general visitors as shukubo (temple lodgings). Visitors have the opportunity to engage in morning prayers, sutra copying, and Zen meditation, providing a chance to experience Japanese Buddhist culture. The chance to have precious experiences in an extraordinary space, away from the mundane world, is one of the highlights of visiting Mount Koya.

Judges' Overall Comments:
Surrounded by abundant nature, Mount Koya offers a sense of healing as if one's soul is cleansed just by the scenery alone. In particular, the approach to the inner sanctuary, enveloped by cedar groves, exudes a profound serenity and grandeur, providing deep tranquility to visitors.

The experience of staying in temple lodgings provides a time and space for introspection, making it a representative example of wellness stays centered on returning to one's roots. From this experience, one can savor the sensation of being purified both physically and mentally. Through meditation sessions, one can clear the clutter of the mind, enhance concentration, and experience inner peace.

Moreover, this region maintains a high level of environmental consciousness, striving for sustainable tourism development and the preservation of precious ecosystems through activities such as maintaining and managing nature reserves. Through efforts in preserving religious art, architecture, and cultural heritage, Mount Koya plays a crucial role in passing down Japan's traditional culture to future generations.

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Yatsugatake Tourism Area Entire area covering Hokuto City in Yamanashi Prefecture, and
Fujimi Town and Hara Village in Nagano Prefecture

Located at an altitude of 1,000 meters, the sky resort of Yatsugatake offers stunning views of Mount Yatsugatake, one of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains, from the southwest foothills. Known for its rich natural environment, abundant sunlight, and cool summer climate, the area boasts breathtaking vistas of Mount Yatsugatake, the Southern Alps, and even Mount Fuji in the distance. The terrain, with elevation differences of up to 1,000 meters within a 30-minute drive, allows visitors to enjoy diverse natural landscapes, including various flowers, autumn foliage, and different types of agricultural produce harvested at different times of the year.

Judges' Overall Comments:
"Return to Your Clear Self." This unique experience, found only in Yatsugatake, awaits. Offering sustainable tours such as farm stays in organic farms where one can feel the rich nature of Yatsugatake, yoga experiences in the vast wilderness, and horseback riding in the town known for its traditional horse breeding, this region provides opportunities for meaningful connections with nature. The highlight of these tours is the "self-guided tour," allowing visitors to navigate their own itinerary. Through genuine sustainable experiences that foster a connection with Yatsugatake and become part of the cycle of life, visitors can reflect and rediscover themselves. It's a charming place that encourages the "reset," "refresh," and "rebirth" of those who visit.

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Taketa City, Nagayu Onsen 

Oita Prefecture | Taketa City

Taketa City in Oita Prefecture is a historic hot spring resort area long cherished as a therapeutic retreat. Nestled within a serene valley surrounded by abundant nature, it welcomes visitors with soothing hot springs and beautiful scenery. Centered around Nagayu Onsen, renowned as one of the world's top carbonated spring sources, the city has been promoting health enhancement programs during hot spring stays for many years. Utilizing the rich hot spring resources, including carbonated springs, and diverse natural and cultural assets of Taketa City, they offer bathing and exercise programs tailored for living healthily and authentically.

Judges' Overall Comments:
The "Taketa-style hot spring therapy" proposed by Taketa City integrates hot springs, relaxation, health, and diet as a holistic approach aimed at enhancing the body's natural healing power and boosting cellular and mental immune systems. It has obtained certification as a "Hot Spring-Utilizing Health Promotion Facility" from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and is eligible for medical expense deductions. Additionally, by partnering with the sister city of Bad Krozinger in Germany, evidence of the effects and benefits of rare carbonated springs is accumulated in collaboration with medical institutions, enabling various applications such as bathing, drinking, and product development.

Given these factors, Taketa City can be considered a noteworthy hot spring destination leading Japan in the wellness sector. The unique experiences offered by its natural resources, including distinctive hot springs, combined with its rich cultural heritage nurtured over centuries, will surely relax and invigorate the minds and bodies of visitors.

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Efforts for the revitalization of Yunosato Town in Hiroshima City,
led by the NPO Yunosato Tourism Development Public Corporation

Hiroshima Prefecture | Saeki Ward, Yunosato Town

Known as the "backyard of Hiroshima," Yunosato is a town surrounded by water. Nestled in the historical town with a string of hot spring inns, lies the source of the Ota River, which flows quietly through the beautiful mountains, connecting to Hiroshima City. The Yunosato Tourism Development Public Corporation was established in 2008 with the aim of promoting tourism and regional development by leveraging the resources of the surrounding area, disseminating its charms, and creating employment opportunities. They offer adventure tourism activities such as shower climbing using the beautiful river, tent saunas, and hiking in the mountains and forests. Additionally, they develop and operate programs that foster a sense of unity with the Earth.

Judges' Overall Comments:
Though located in a mountainous area, Yunosato has seen an increase in young people relocating in recent years. Mr. Sato, the representative of the NPO, is originally from outside the prefecture and has taken on a leadership role in the community, spearheading new initiatives.

Utilizing the abundant natural environment of Yunosato, including mountains, forests, rivers, and hot springs, they offer a diverse range of programs. This has attracted visitors not only from Hiroshima City but also from outside the prefecture, seeking a place where they can retreat to nature away from urban areas. Adventure tourism activities such as shower climbing have particularly captivated participants not only domestically but also from overseas.

Furthermore, they are working on revitalizing the once declining hot spring town in response to changing times. Through crowdfunding, they have restored public hot springs, providing spaces for relaxation.

Their efforts not only address issues faced by rural areas but also create a tourist destination that offers healing and relaxation to visitors. This aspect of their work is highly commendable and worthy of recognition.

More details >>


World Heritage Resort, Kumano Club 

Mie Prefecture | Kumano City

Kumano City is well-known for the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kumano Kodo, and is gaining renewed attention as a region of prayer and healing. Nestled amidst mountains, sea, and countryside, it is a secluded adult hideaway resort that connects the Kumano Kodo with Ise Grand Shrine. Designed to immerse guests in the abundant nature through all five senses, the resort offers exclusively suite rooms and a gourmet all-inclusive stay for freedom and comfort. Set in a tranquil space scented with Kumano cedar, guests can fully experience the warmth of nature and find moments of healing where they can forget their every day worries.

Judges' Overall Comments:
Gazing at the drifting clouds, listening to the faint sound of the wind, and simply soaking in the hot spring without a care in the world. Such moments, spent looking up at the sky, are bound to rejuvenate both the mind and body.

Indulging in the bounties of the sea and mountains through exquisite cuisine brings gentle yet powerful energy to both the eyes and the palate. It's undoubtedly relaxing.

Activities such as the Nachisan Eco Tour, Kumano River boat trip, and Kumano Hongu Eco Tour offer prayers, healing, and awakening, providing delightful experiences.

Embarking on a journey connecting the Kumano Kodo and Ise Grand Shrine, Japan's renowned power spots and spiritual sites, promises to be a wonderful voyage immersed in history and tales, offering a chance to learn more about Japan. Accommodations that engage all five senses and leave a deep impression on the heart truly embody the essence of a wellness destination.

More details >>



Okinawa Prefecture | Nakagami District, Kitanakagusuku Village

A sustainable hotel with a focus on "fermentation," promoting harmony with both people and the planet. Set in an expansive location overlooking the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, guests can feel the gentle breezes of Okinawa. Offering a comprehensive wellness program including healthy dining, exercise programs, and spa treatments, it refreshes visitors' minds and bodies through activities in nature. Its most unique feature lies in harnessing the power of "fermentation" in all aspects of life—food, clothing, and shelter. The hotel's distinctive feature includes chemical-free rooms ensuring guests enjoy quality sleep.

Judges' Overall Comments:
A hotel that presents and offers the accommodation experience as a "story." While providing a wellness-focused stay, it aims to offer a journey where guests can return home feeling energized and ready to tackle their daily lives, rather than feeling exhausted from their travels. It proposes a new form of travel, where the concept of "healing journey continues into everyday life." Under the concept of "Healing journey continues into everyday life," the hotel aims to provide visitors with a place where they can practice a healthy lifestyle through fermentation, ensuring a comfortable living experience even after returning home from their hotel stay.

Moreover, many hotels serve as exemplary models of utilizing local community resources. They provide spaces such as fermentation lifestyle stores and workshops where travelers can interact with local residents, engaging in activities rooted in the community. These initiatives are key points of selection for such hotels.

More details >>


Satoyama Villa Honjin 

Nagano Prefecture | Matsumoto City

A renovated traditional farmhouse accommodation, Satoyama Villa Honjin offers lodging in a historic "Honjin" where the feudal lord of Matsumoto Domain once rested during the Edo period's Sankin-kōtai system. The imposing wooden structure exudes an air of dignity, resembling a large time capsule that encapsulates over a century's worth of history, now revitalized in the present day. This space, where stories from the past resonate across time, offers a glimpse into Japan's essence. Alongside tranquil moments in nature, it provides a valuable opportunity to deeply understand Japan's traditions and culture.

Judges' Overall Comments:
Nagano Prefecture ranks among the top regions in Japan for longevity. Here, authentic wellness stay plans are developed with the aim of enhancing the power of nature in the Northern Alps and Shinshu region, based on the local wisdom of life deeply rooted in the land and culture.

Under the supervision of medical professionals, guests embark on a three-day journey to rejuvenate their minds and bodies. Starting with individual counseling, the plan includes macrobiotic meals made from fresh Shinshu ingredients and fermented foods like koji and miso, as well as e-bike tours through the refreshing countryside where gentle breezes blow, and meditation experiences at temples.

In an environment that retains the charm of the Edo period, this special time spent receiving advice from esteemed physicians promises to bring about new insights.

More details >>


Kyotango City 

Kyoto Prefecture | Kyotango City

Kyotango City, known as the "Kyoto by the Sea," represents another facet of Kyoto. It is situated at the northernmost tip of Kyoto. The coastline of the San'in Kaigan Geopark, designated by UNESCO, offers breathtaking views, making it popular for driving and cycling along the Tango Peninsula. Blessed with a favorable climate and terrain, this region yields abundant seafood, vegetables, and fruits throughout the year. Many accommodations boast cuisine that highlights the richness of local ingredients. Moreover, the traditional local dishes, deeply rooted in the land, are simple yet full of flavor.

Judges' Overall Comments:
While Tokyo and Kansai may seem distant, the inconvenience in transportation means that the natural beauty of the sea and mountains remains preserved. Walking through the hills, along the coast, visiting historical sites, and exploring the rural landscape allow one to feel a sense of harmony with nature.

In recent years, it has been noted that many young people are returning to their hometowns after realizing the richness of their upbringing. The local ingredients such as rice and fish are delicious, and the days of self-sufficiency with food freshly caught in front of them offer a wonderful experience not found in the busy city life.

Furthermore, there are communities striving to promote Kyotango through food and art, fostering a movement to create new culture by leveraging the region's characteristics. The efforts of those who have awakened to the charm of Kyotango City and seek to preserve cultural elements that cannot be maintained in urban areas are truly commendable.

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Yanbaru Hotel NanmeiShinshitsu

Okinawa Prefecture | Kunigami District, Ogimi Village

Between the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea lies a serene sea surrounded by coral reefs and subtropical forests, where an ancient village with over 400 years of history resides. It's a place where the time of nature intersects with that of humans. Here, there's an inn proposing a new style of travel: "staying in the village." In this inn, there are guides called "Sherpas" who assist visitors with local knowledge and networks. They walk a step ahead of travelers, unveiling the charm of the land that might otherwise be overlooked and facilitating encounters with the custodians of local culture. It's a place where you can experience the enduring harmony between nature and the community's way of life.

Judges' Overall Comments:
Staying in traditional Okinawan houses within the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site "Yanbaru," one can experience a unique connection between abundant nature and human coexistence. Exploring Okinawan traditional culture, communal shops, and engaging with local life offer experiences that are hard to find elsewhere. Moreover, being guided by local Sherpas who reside there provides an exceptional opportunity.

What's remarkable about this accommodation is its collaboration with local businesses to showcase the essence of the region, contributing to the revitalization of the local economy and an increase in community engagement. Additionally, efforts are made to leverage the historical and cultural resources of the land, ensuring their continuity for future generations.

A stay here offers not only an appreciation of the majestic nature of a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Area but also an immersion into the essence of the world's five "Blue Zones," where longevity is celebrated.

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