While the U.S. markets have experienced significant gains for 2013, this year, gains of the Nikkei 225 exceed that of the U.S. markets. As of 11/17/2013 year-to-date, the SPX is up 26.08%, the Dow 21.18%, and the NASDAQ 32.01%. All of the U.S. markets have hit all-time highs this year. Compare this with the Nikkei 225, which is up a whopping 48.20%. Factor in December 2012 and within a year's time you'll have seen a 68.06% increase in the Nikkei versus 32.23% in the SPX.
While it may be difficult to trade on the Nikkei, companies have created funds that closely track and correspond to the price and yield of the Japanese markets. One such equity fund is the Wisdom Tree Japan Hedged Equity (DXJ), which can be traded via the U.S. markets. The top ten holdings of this fund are Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Toyota Motor Corp, Canon Inc., Honda Motors, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Japan Tobacco, Mitsubishi Corp, Nissan Motor, Mitsui & Co, and Astellas Pharma.