Traveling Vicariously Through Japan’s Tourism Poster Awards

Earlier this year in March, the Japan Travel & Tourism Association announced the recipients of their 2020 Tourism Poster Awards. There were 139 entries from prefectures all around Japan highlighting their natural treasures. And while travelling to Japan, or any of these destinations, during our public health crisis is unthinkable, we’ll be traveling vicariously through this posters, looking forward to sometime in the future when we’ll be able to visit in-person.


A top prize went to the Kyushu Railway Company and their campaign featuring their local train lines running through various scenic parts of the region. Kyushu is known for their designer trains so it only made sense to highlight them in this spot.


Another award went to the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau for this campaign by ad agency Dentsu. Working with a style akin to Japanese animation, the spot featured the locations of Tama, known for its mountainous terrain, as well as islands like Oshima, Toshima and Niijima. Surprisingly, all these locations are actually part of Tokyo and feature lush nature that visitors might not always associate with the metropolis.


A campaign we really liked that received honorable mention was this one from Bizen City in Okayama. Designer Hideto Sato combined the tagline kokode umareru (born here) with photographs of local specialties.


In online voting, first place went to this campaign from Yakushima. The island in Kagoshima, known for its wildlife and cedar forests, is a popular destination and is thought to enrich the lives of everyone who visits.


From Northern Japan, this campaign from the Toyokoro Tourism Bureau received honorable mention. Designed by local firm Procom, it featured “jewelry ice,” a local phenomenon in which part of the region’s coast gets covered with smooth blocks of ice, polished by the sand, and shimmering in the sun like diamonds.


  1. Beautiful. The Kyushu Railway Company ones are good enough to hang up. In fact, are they available for sale anywhere?

  2. I would love to get one of the Kyushu Railway Company’s posters. Have you come across away to purchase them?

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