As a new effort by the Japanese government to welcome in more tourists from around the globe, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has started distributing royalty free pictures focusing on many of the most picturesque sceneries in the country. Titled the Photo Meti Project, the stunning photographs are meant as an "open tourism platform" that showcases "images rich in nature and sceneries of high cultural context".

There are currently 51 photographs on the site, and though they're all free and approved for commercial use, they bring sheer uniqueness and beauty to the realm of the typically generic stock pictures. Some photographs capture a familiar image of Mt. Fuji standing tall in the backdrop of a clear lake, while another might bring focus to a line of dried fish hanging in front on an old house. It's an attempt at sharing the myriad facets of Japan's complex culture through beautiful photography, in hopes that they will nudge more prospective visitors to jump in and buy that ticket.

But the photographs don't just offer "pretty." In fact, each photo is linked to a database of Japanese sightseeing information, making them as informative as they are visually pleasing. By hovering to the right side of a picture, realtime information is shown including congestion levels, which country the majority of visitors are from, and if the location is most popular with families, couples, or individual travelers.

There are plans to welcome photo submissions from the general public in the future to make the Photo Meti Project a co-creation sightseeing platform. But in the meantime, current and prospective travelers can revel in these gorgeous photographs offered by the ministry.

Miyagi Prefecture/Inner Bay, Kesennuma Port

Gunma Prefecture/Carp Streamers, Akaya Lake

Kanagawa Prefecture/Yugawara Plum Grove

Niigata Prefecture/Wakabayashi-tei House

Toyama Prefecture/Amaharashi Beach

Nagano Prefecture/Three-storied Pagoda, Shinkaisansha-jinja Shrine

Shizuoka Prefecture/Suruga Bay

Kyoto Prefecture/Tateiwa Rock

Yamaguchi Prefecture/Farmer in Higashi-ushirobata Rice Terrace

Okinawa Prefecture/Nagura Bay

By - grape Japan editorial staff.