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    • Spring
      • Eating Wild in Japan

        Eating Wild in Japan

        Winifred Bird's latest book is an introduction to the world of sansai (mountain vegetables) and foraging in Japan.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkaido

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Northern Tohoku’s Top 5 Spring Hikes

        Chase the cherry blossoms north and enjoy five of Tohoku’s best hikes this spring.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.

        Haga Farm Spring Glamping in Tochigi

        Haga Farm and Glamping in Tochigi opened in August 2020, and it has quickly become a popular escape for Tokyoites.
    • Summer
      • Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Climbing Mt. Fuji Outdoor Japan

        Peaking in 2021: Climbing Mt. Fuji

        Thinking of climbing Mt. Fuji this summer? We talk to Mt. Fuji guides on best practices for scaling Japan's highest mountain.

        Japan Camping Guide

        Check out our picks all the way from Hokkaido to the Okinawa Islands and then plot your perfect Japan camping adventure.
        Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endangered Wildcats

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
    • Autumn
      • Pow Bar Founder Megumi Scott

        Beyond the Brand: Pow Bar

        An interview with Megumi Scott, the founder of Niseko brand Pow Bar.
        Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Mountain Biking in Japan

        Guide Lines: Autumn Mountain Biking in Japan

        Check out these mountain biking parks throughout Japan.
    • Winter
      • Early Bird 2021-22 Japan Ski

        Early Bird Ski Deals for 2021-2022

        Don't miss out on these early bird season pass and lift package deals for Japan's ski resorts.

        Pacific Solo

        Preacher-tu...
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
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    • Ocean and Beach
      • Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
        Outdoor Japan Shimoda

        Blue Waves and Black Ships in Shimoda

        Shimoda may be famous for its white sandy beaches and surfing, but it also played a major role in shaping the Japan we know today.
    • River and Lake
      • Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endanger...

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Iriomote Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote Activity Guide

        A guide to Iriomote's outdoors, hiking, diving, cultural experiences and accommodation.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkai...

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor A...

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
        video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi ...

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • Matagi Akita Tohoku Sustainable Living

        Tracking Akita’s Matagi Hunters

        Akita in the northern Tohoku region is home to the Matagi, hunters who follow an ancient and sustainable way of hunting, foraging and life.
        Early Bird 2021-22 Japan Ski

        Early Bird Ski Deals for 2021-2022

        Don't miss out on these early bird season pass and lift package deals for Japan's ski resorts.
    • Travel
      • Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Matagi Akita Tohoku Sustainable Living

        Tracking Akita’s Matagi Hunters

        Akita in the northern Tohoku region is home to the Matagi, hunters who follow an ancient and sustainable way of hunting, foraging and life.
        Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
    • Food and Drinks
      • Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Matagi Akita Tohoku Sustainable Living

        Tracking Akita’s Matagi Hunters

        Akita in the northern Tohoku region is home to the Matagi, hunters who follow an ancient and sustainable way of hunting, foraging and life.
        Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
    • Races and Events
      • Yuji Hirayama Urban Base Camp

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        One of Japan's top rock climbers Yuji Hirayama has opened Urban Base Camp, a new bouldering gym in the heart of Tokyo.
        Photo by Noriteru Ino

        2021 Summer Music Festivals in Japan

        Camp and listen to great music in the outdoors at these summer music festivals across Japan.
        Summer Events Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        2021 Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these fireworks festivals held throughout Japan this summer and autumn.
        Summer Festivals in Japan

        2021 Summer Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these traditional matsuri festivals throughout Japan this summer.

Antenna America Expands its Range

Nagano Trading, the craft beer wholesaler and importer, opened Antenna America taproom back in 2013 as a showroom for their extensive American craft beer line up.

AA’s location near Kannai Station is above Nagano Trading’s headquarters, tucked away in a small side street. AA’s name symbolizes their mission to transmit, transport and connect great craft brewers with craft beer lovers as well as offering American food culture in Japan. (The brand’s acronym “AA” is also a nod to the owners’ names, Andrew and Akemi Balmuth.) Eventually this showroom started serving American food including Andrew’s famous chicken wings. 

Started in 2004, Nagano Trading has always gone against the beer industry’s status quo. Although many advised them that “the consumer would never notice” if their beer wasn’t shipped over in refrigerated containers, the Balmuths decided to implement a strict 100% cold-chain importation system for maximum freshness. This means the beer they import stays cold from the point of origin to their destination in Japan. Nagano Trading’s loyalty to high quality control paid off when they started winning exclusive importing rights for some of the best niche breweries in the United States, building credibility with the core craft beer crowd.

The percentage of craft beer drinkers in Japan wasn’t increasing as much and demand was still very low, so to attract a wider audience, Nagano Trading went after bigger craft beer names including Sierra Nevada, which was a five- year negotiation. 

“Sierra Nevada changed our life,” Akemi Balmuth believes. “Introducing a major brand like them in Japan opened up possibilities for Antenna America to have bigger retail chains and reach a whole group of beer lovers who don’t drink craft beer yet.” 

When you think of attracting big crowds in Japan, you think of Tokyo. So why Yokohama? Yokohama is home to Kirin Beer, one of Japan’s biggest breweries, and thereby has a history and culture of beer plus an openness to craft beers. The city also has a sister-city relationship with San Diego, which is home to some of the craft beers Nagano Trading imports. But what really struck a chord in the Balmuth’s hearts was Yokohama’s trademark harbor and portside culture. Akemi had graduated from a university in Kobe, another port town in the Kansai Region, and missed being near the seaside hearing the sounds of container boats docking. 

“We first ran Nagano Trading from Ginza, Tokyo,” says Akemi. “But when we came to Yokohama looking for a new location, we immediately felt comfortable.” 

As Antenna America’s name spread among the food and beverages industry, it caught the attention of high-end grocery chain store Queens Isetan. The two companies collaborated to open their second location in Shinagawa Station’s Atre building. Because of the limited space, this location serves as a bar for thirsty passersby. Beers are mainly served on tap with 20 to 25 varieties of canned or bottled beers available. 

Akemi hopes that Antenna America’s third location at the bustling Yokohama Station will attract non-craft beer drinkers open to trying something new. This spacious location is similar to the Kannai showroom in that it boasts a wide variety of beers from 12 oz. niche brands to barrel-aged vintage bottles that look like wine. During the day, patrons can sample beers with hot dogs and mixed nuts. After 5 p.m., they will serve their famous chicken wings, waffle fries and jalapeno poppers. Depending on the week, you’ll find tap takeovers of new brands only available at Antenna America, tastings and game and education events. Bilingual staff members are available at all locations.

Antenna America Yokohama 
Food & Times Isetan Yokohama Joinus, Shin Sotetsu Building, 1-5-1 Nanko, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa-ken 220-0005
Tel: (045) 548-8733 

Antenna America Kannai 
5F Yoshida Kosan Building #6, 5-4 Yoshida-machi, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa-ken 231-0041
Tel: (045) 315-5228 

Antenna America Shinagawa 
2-18-1 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0075
Tel: (03) 6717-6262 

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