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    • Spring
      • spring outdoor japan shinano discovery

        2022 Spring Tours and Travel

        Check out these green season tours and experiences across Japan!
        video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.

        Solace and Giant Salamanders in Akiota

        Just beyond Hiroshima City is a tranquil outdoor destination home to some of Japan's last remaining oosanshouo, the elusive giant salamander.

        2022 Art Events in Japan

        Two of Japan's biggest art events return this year: the Setouchi Triennale on the Seto Inland Sea Islands and Niigata's Echigo Tsumari Art Field.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Winter
      • Spring Skiing in Japan 2022

        It may be spring in Japan but you can still ski in select ski resorts open all the way to Golden Week.
        Indy Pass Outdoor Japan Tohoku

        The Resistance

        The Indy Pass arrives in Japan to bring avid riders to local resorts that punch above their weight class and offer varied terrain.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
        video

        Hachimantai’s Powder History

        Discover powder and ski culture deep in Tohoku at Hachimantai.
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Solace and Giant Salamanders in Akiota

        Just beyond Hiroshima City is a tranquil outdoor destination home to some of Japan's last remaining oosanshouo, the elusive giant salamander.
        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.
    • River and Lake
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kan...

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.

        Solace and Giant Salamand...

        Just beyond Hiroshima City is a tranquil outdoor destination home to some of Japan's last remaining oosanshouo, the elusive giant salamander.
        sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Shower Climbing High Abov...

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawanobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
        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.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • Spring Skiing in Japan 2022

        It may be spring in Japan but you can still ski in select ski resorts open all the way to Golden Week.
        Indy Pass Outdoor Japan Tohoku

        The Resistance

        The Indy Pass arrives in Japan to bring avid riders to local resorts that punch above their weight class and offer varied terrain.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
        video

        Hachimantai’s Powder History

        Discover powder and ski culture deep in Tohoku at Hachimantai.
    • Travel
      • sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Shower Climbing High Above Wakasa Bay

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawanobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.

        Market Watch: Oiso’s Shishimai Marche

        Check out this farmers' market in the beachside town of Oiso.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
    • Food and Drinks
      • sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Shower Climbing High Above Wakasa Bay

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawanobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.

        Market Watch: Oiso’s Shishimai Marche

        Check out this farmers' market in the beachside town of Oiso.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
    • Races and Events
      • spring outdoor japan shinano discovery

        2022 Spring Tours and Travel

        Check out these green season tours and experiences across Japan!

        2022 Art Events in Japan

        Two of Japan's biggest art events return this year: the Setouchi Triennale on the Seto Inland Sea Islands and Niigata's Echigo Tsumari Art Field.

        2022 Spring Races & Festivals

        The start of the green season is a great time to start trail running, cycling and hiking. Check out these races, outdoor events and traditional festivals held this spring.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!

Beer, Outdoor Sports and Your Body

Like many outdoor sports enthusiasts, I enjoy a cold beer or two after a hike, a long bike ride or a day on the ski slopes. Interestingly, a 2009 study based on a survey of about 230,000 Americans found that people who drink alcohol tend to exercise more than those who don’t, and moderate drinkers exercise more than light drinkers.

This raises a number of interesting questions. Why is there this correlation? And what effect does the combination of exercise and alcohol have on our bodies?

The aforementioned study hypothesized that both drinking and vigorous activity (particularly outdoor sports like skiing, kayaking, diving, and mountaineering) could be considered part of sensation-seeking and risk-taking lifestyles. The authors also thought that maybe drinkers were more motivated to exercise to compensate for those calaries lost. 

Others have pointed to physical activity (like group sports) leading to social situations where there may be drinking or people rewarding themselves for working out with drinks, particularly as drinkers tend to drink more on days when they are physically active than days when they are not.

The effects of post-workout beers on our bodies seem to be similarly complex. They can vary based on personal factors (such as body weight, liver size and genetically determined variants of the enzymes that metabolize alcohol), behavioral factors (how quickly you drink, whether you have food as well) and factors around what type of beer you drink.

Clearly, there are many varieties of beer, from the ubiquitous light lagers to hoppy IPAs to strong malty ales like barleywines, imperial stouts and Trappist beers. The type of beer you choose will have a major impact on how it impacts your body after a workout.

An Australian sports nutritionist published studies in 2013 and 2015 concluding that beer could be a good beverage for rehydration after working out. These received a good deal of media attention, but many of these articles ignored two important factors: the beer they found to be the most rehydrating was only 2.3% alcohol by volume (ABV) and it had salt added to it.

This low-alcohol, salted beer is somewhat evocative of the gose, a straw-colored tart wheat ale from Germany that is flavored coriander seeds and salt, typically 3–5% ABV. Unfortunately, gose doesn’t seem to have really caught on in Japan yet, but keep a lookout for it as a refreshing and tasty “recovery beer.” Until then, you might try adding a pinch of salt to your pint, particularly a tart saison like Yo-Ho Brewing’s Boku Bīru, Kimi Bīru (5%).

Yo-Ho Brewing’s Boku Bīru, Kimi Bīru (5%

The new style of “session IPAs” (that is, light-bodied IPAs with ABVs under 5%) seems well suited to the post-workout setting. Not only are they refreshing and contain lower alcohol, but also the anti-inflammatory properties of hops (rich in polyphenols) theoretically might mean that one of these beers might help your body recover better than a similar beer with lower hop content (although heavy drinking can override this positive effect). Look for one of Shiga Kogen’s lower-alcohol offerings like Kasumi IPA (4.5%) or Coedo’s Mahihana Session IPA (4.5%).

Another option that’s probably the best for your body is to go for a non-alcoholic beer. There’s a reason why Germany’s Olympic athletes at Pyeongchang drank 3,500 liters of non-alcoholic Krombacher and why Erdinger markets its non-alcoholic wheat beer as a “sports and fitness drink.” German studies have shown that regularly drinking non-alcoholic beer significantly reduces inflammation and prevents respiratory infections. I haven’t found a tasty non-alcoholic beer in Japan yet, but here’s hoping our brewers catch onto this trend!

However, if after a day on the slopes you crave a stronger malty beer (which has rich flavors and warming qualities that perfectly complement winter nights), try to sip it slowly, accompany it with salty food and water to moderate the alcohol’s dehydrating effects, and consider a lighter (or non-alcoholic) option if you have a second. The next morning, when the powder is dumping and you’re racing to the lift, you’ll thank yourself.

FESTIVAL ROUNDUP

  • Jan 11–20 Furusato Matsuri, Tokyo
  • Jan 25–27 Japan Brewer’s Cup, Yokohama
  • Feb TBA Sapporo Winter Beer Festival
  • Feb TBA Beer1 Grandprix Festival, Tokyo
  • Mar TBA Snow Monkey Live, Shiga Kōgen (Nagano)
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