Revitalizing Japan’s Mountainous Areas through Green Tourism: A Human Geographical Perspective

Abhik Chakraborty, Munehiko Asamizu


This paper explores Nature-Based Tourism, particularly ‘green tourism’ and rural tourism in mountainous areas of Japan. Japan witnessed an exceptional growth of ‘green tourism’ activities since the 1990s, which took place in the general backdrop of hyper-aging and demographic decline in the rural areas. Since the 1990s, nature based tourism activities have raised the hope that increased awareness about nature and traditional lifestyle will help offset economic decline, promote rural-urban interaction and eventually bring new residents to depopulated hinterlands. This paper is based on field research in two of the most extremely depopulated areas in Japan, located in Yamaguchi and Shimane Prefectures. The research identified several encouraging new trends, such as the emergence of beautiful river basin landscapes as tourism destinations, a growing interest in experiencing traditional rural lifestyle, and involvement of citizen volunteers, schoolchildren and non-profit organizations (NPOs) in tourism promotion and landscape management. However, rural destinations are often packaged as a form of nostalgia for urban visitors. The research also found that the nature conservation agenda has lagged behind the economic revitalization agenda, general awareness level about rural landscapes remains low, and it is difficult to sustain volunteer interest over time. Thus while there are several limitations, ‘green’ tourism in depopulated rural mountainous regions of Japan potentially offers a new pathway to sustainable tourism.


Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Issues in Social Science  ISSN 2329-521X


Copyright © Macrothink Institute 


To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.