This book offers a comprehensive understanding of cultural heritage in Japan and its relationship with both domestic and international tourism.

Japan has witnessed an increase in tourism, with rising visitor numbers to both established destinations and lesser known sites. This has generated greater attention towards various aspects of Japanese culture, heritage and society. This book explores these diverse aspects of everyday life in Japan and their interconnections with tourism. It begins with a conceptual framework of key theories related to heritage and tourism, serving as a useful apparatus for further discussions in the following chapters. Each chapter studies a specific aspect of Japan’s cultural heritage, from the history of Japan, the development of war sites, such as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to tourist destinations, indigenous communities and their places of residence, festivals such as matsuri, to popular culture and media. Each chapter discusses a certain type of cultural heritage first in a global context and then examines it in a Japanese context, aiming to demonstrate the relation between these two different contexts. In each chapter, furthermore, how a particular kind of Japan’s cultural heritage is utilised as tourism resources and how it is perceived and consumed by international and domestic tourists are discussed. Finally, the book revisits the conceptual framework to suggest future directions for cultural heritage and tourism in Japan.

Written in an informative and accessible style, this book will be of interest to scholars, students and practitioners in the fields of tourism, cultural studies and heritage studies.

chapter 1|22 pages


chapter 2|24 pages

Religious landscape of Japan

Religions, spiritual philosophies, and contemporary pilgrimage

chapter 3|21 pages

Festivals in Japan

Matsuri, local community, and wider audience

chapter 4|19 pages

Food and drink heritage

Japanese cuisine and international cuisines in Japan

chapter 5|21 pages

Onsen and Japanese-style inns

Treatment, relaxation, recreation, and ‘Japaneseness’

chapter 6|21 pages

Living cultures of Japan

Indigenous peoples and their identities – The Ainu and the Uchinanchu

chapter 7|22 pages

Industrial heritage in Japan

Witnesses of Japan's modernisation

chapter 8|20 pages

War and its heritage

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

chapter 9|22 pages

Urban heritage

Coexistence of historic and contemporary cultural heritage – Kyoto, Yokohama and Kobe

chapter 10|19 pages

Shoppers' paradises

Capitals of consumption – Tokyo and Osaka

chapter 11|19 pages

Popular culture and media

Films and television dramas, manga and anime, music, and computer games

chapter 12|19 pages

Theme parks in Japan

Tokyo Disney Resort, Universal Studios Japan, Parque España, and Huis Ten Bosch

chapter 13|16 pages


Reflections and futures