Reptiles are the most morphologically and physiologically diverse tetrapods, and have undergone 300 million years of adaptive evolution. Within the reptilian tetrapods, geckos possess several interesting features, including the ability to regenerate autotomized tails and to climb on smooth surfaces. Here we sequence the genome of Gekko japonicus (Schlegel's Japanese Gecko) and investigate genetic elements related to its physiology. We obtain a draft G. japonicus genome sequence of 2.55 Gb and annotated 22,487 genes. Comparative genomic analysis reveals specific gene family expansions or reductions that are associated with the formation of adhesive setae, nocturnal vision and tail regeneration, as well as the diversification of olfactory sensation. The obtained genomic data provide robust genetic evidence of adaptive evolution in reptiles.