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    • Spring
      • 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.
        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
      • the nomad pasche family

        The World is Our Playground

        The Pasche family has been cycling and living out of a tent in remote corners of the planet for the past 13 years on four continents spanning 50 countries.
        adventure travel world summit in hokkaido

        Adventure Travel World Summit in Hokkaido

        The ATTA will host their first Adventure Travel World Summit in Asia in Hokkaido, Japan. We caught up with ATTA Director Shannon Stowell to find out more about the adventure travel industry and how it continues to grow and evolve.
        mead brewing in japan

        The Sweet Secrets of Brewing Mead

        Wander into the world of mead brewing and find yourself immersed in a fascinating journey spanning centuries and continents.
        the knights in white lycra

        The Knights in White Lycra

        Each year a group of cyclists head to the deep north towards Tohoku’s vast rice fields and coastal trails to help transform the lives of neglected children.
        sea to table yamagata

        Sea to Table in Yamagata

        An unforgettable way to intimately explore the Shonai Region in Yamagata is a culinary experience bringing bounty of the sea straight to your table.
    • Autumn
    • Winter
      • camp3 clubhouse madarao keith stubbs outdoor japanvideo

        CAMP3 Clubhouse in Madarao

        Keith Stubbs, a veteran in the snowboard industry, transitioned from rider to coach and instructor trainer for Snowboard Instruction New Zealand. After coaching in various Japanese resorts, he has established a permanent base in Madarao, outlining his plans for the area and future snowboard endeavors.
        shiretoko hokkaido outdoor japan

        New Horizons in Shiretoko

        During another epic powder season, two seasoned winter sports enthusiasts traded their snowboard bags for camera bags and traveled to Eastern Hokkaido to explore the frozen landscape and broaden their winter horizons.
        sayuri matsuhashi double role curling athlete japan outdoor

        Silent Resilience

        Curling athlete Sayuri Matsuhashi’s journey to the top of her sport is an inspiration to deaf athletes and women juggling their roles as mothers while also pursuing their professional dreams.
        ainu tour daniel moore outdoor japan hokkaido

        Heritage Hunting in Hokkaido

        Travelers venturing beyond Hokkaido's popular winter resorts will discover a land with a rich cultural and natural history, a proud indigenous people and a community striving to preserve their heritage.
        shizukuishi skiing snowboarding outdoor japan

        Shizukuishi

        Northern Honshu’s Iwate Prefecture, known for heavy snowfall, features Shizukuishi—a powder-rich resort area with views of Mt. Iwate. Snow enthusiasts seeking lesser-known gems can enjoy exceptional snow quality and uncrowded resorts, including Shizukuishi Ski Resort, Amihari Onsen Ski Resort, and Iwate Kogen Snow Park, offering affordability and traditional hospitality.
    • Near Tokyo
      • getting dirty in japan

        Getting Dirty in Japan

        “Getting Dirty in Japan” is about getting out of your comfort zone and into some exciting outdoor adventures and destinations in Japan.
    • Near Kyoto
      • Kumano’s Path Less Traveled

        A forgotten pilgrimage trail, ancient power spots and authentic rural communities are waiting to be explored this hiking season on the Iseji Trail. Stretch your legs and tickle your spirit to welcome the green season on one of the Kumano Kodo’s finest routes, minus the crowds.

        Protecting the Sacred Trees of Koya-san

        Within the misty mountains of Japan's Kii Peninsula, Koya-san (Mt. Koya), stands as a sacred realm of tranquility, history, and spiritual significance. This awe-inspiring mountain has been revered for centuries and is home to a unique collection of trees known as the rokuboku, or The Six Trees of Koya-san.
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • getting dirty in japan

        Getting Dirty in Japan

        “Getting Dirty in Japan” is about getting out of your comfort zone and into some exciting outdoor adventures and destinations in Japan.
    • River and Lake
      • ainu tour daniel moore outdoor japan hokkaido

        Heritage Hunting in Hokka...

        Travelers venturing beyond Hokkaido's popular winter resorts will discover a land with a rich cultural and natural history, a proud indigenous people and a community striving to preserve their heritage.
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        Getting Dirty in Japan

        “Getting Dirty in Japan” is about getting out of your comfort zone and into some exciting outdoor adventures and destinations in Japan.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
      • getting dirty in japan

        Getting Dirty in Japan

        “Getting Dirty in Japan” is about getting out of your comfort zone and into some exciting outdoor adventures and destinations in Japan.
    • Snow and Ice
      • camp3 clubhouse madarao keith stubbs outdoor japanvideo

        CAMP3 Clubhouse in Madarao

        Keith Stubbs, a veteran in the snowboard industry, transitioned from rider to coach and instructor trainer for Snowboard Instruction New Zealand. After coaching in various Japanese resorts, he has established a permanent base in Madarao, outlining his plans for the area and future snowboard endeavors.
        shiretoko hokkaido outdoor japan

        New Horizons in Shiretoko

        During another epic powder season, two seasoned winter sports enthusiasts traded their snowboard bags for camera bags and traveled to Eastern Hokkaido to explore the frozen landscape and broaden their winter horizons.
        sayuri matsuhashi double role curling athlete japan outdoor

        Silent Resilience

        Curling athlete Sayuri Matsuhashi’s journey to the top of her sport is an inspiration to deaf athletes and women juggling their roles as mothers while also pursuing their professional dreams.
        shizukuishi skiing snowboarding outdoor japan

        Shizukuishi

        Northern Honshu’s Iwate Prefecture, known for heavy snowfall, features Shizukuishi—a powder-rich resort area with views of Mt. Iwate. Snow enthusiasts seeking lesser-known gems can enjoy exceptional snow quality and uncrowded resorts, including Shizukuishi Ski Resort, Amihari Onsen Ski Resort, and Iwate Kogen Snow Park, offering affordability and traditional hospitality.
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        Northern Shinshu’s Secret Stash

        A weak yen, revenge travel, and excellent ski conditions have led to high demand, booking out popular resorts like Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen this year. Fortunately, lesser-known gems like Togari Onsen, near Nozawa Onsen and Madarao, offer charming alternatives for powder seekers.
    • Travel
      • Okinawa’s Blue Zone —A Lifestyle for Longevity...

        Dan Buettner’s bestseller, “Blue Zones,” which was also adapted into a hit series on Netflix, identifies five regions with a high number of centenarians. One of these zones is Yambaru, in the north of Okinawa Island. A rich cultural and natural heritage remain in this region, holding the secret to the longevity of the communities living there.

        Kumano’s Path Less Traveled

        A forgotten pilgrimage trail, ancient power spots and authentic rural communities are waiting to be explored this hiking season on the Iseji Trail. Stretch your legs and tickle your spirit to welcome the green season on one of the Kumano Kodo’s finest routes, minus the crowds.

        Okinawa Forest Adventure

        Holiday-goers lounging on Onna’s white sand beaches are no doubt unaware of what’s going on high in the jungle as creatures climb above the forest canopy and zip or swing from tower to tower. Curious travelers will discover a new side of Okinawa’s tropical paradise if they take the leap into a Forest Adventure.

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        Okinawa attracts hordes of travelers to its sandy beaches and warm, clear water with divers and snorkelers often posting images of the majestic local sea turtles. The interior forest and rivers, however, are home to another Okinawa turtle also in need of protection—the small, reclusive, but equally beautiful, yamagame.

        Protecting the Sacred Trees of Koya-san

        Within the misty mountains of Japan's Kii Peninsula, Koya-san (Mt. Koya), stands as a sacred realm of tranquility, history, and spiritual significance. This awe-inspiring mountain has been revered for centuries and is home to a unique collection of trees known as the rokuboku, or The Six Trees of Koya-san.
    • Food and Drinks
      • Okinawa’s Blue Zone —A Lifestyle for Longevity...

        Dan Buettner’s bestseller, “Blue Zones,” which was also adapted into a hit series on Netflix, identifies five regions with a high number of centenarians. One of these zones is Yambaru, in the north of Okinawa Island. A rich cultural and natural heritage remain in this region, holding the secret to the longevity of the communities living there.

        Kumano’s Path Less Traveled

        A forgotten pilgrimage trail, ancient power spots and authentic rural communities are waiting to be explored this hiking season on the Iseji Trail. Stretch your legs and tickle your spirit to welcome the green season on one of the Kumano Kodo’s finest routes, minus the crowds.

        Okinawa Forest Adventure

        Holiday-goers lounging on Onna’s white sand beaches are no doubt unaware of what’s going on high in the jungle as creatures climb above the forest canopy and zip or swing from tower to tower. Curious travelers will discover a new side of Okinawa’s tropical paradise if they take the leap into a Forest Adventure.

        Ryukyu’s Mountain Turtles – Interview wi...

        Okinawa attracts hordes of travelers to its sandy beaches and warm, clear water with divers and snorkelers often posting images of the majestic local sea turtles. The interior forest and rivers, however, are home to another Okinawa turtle also in need of protection—the small, reclusive, but equally beautiful, yamagame.

        Protecting the Sacred Trees of Koya-san

        Within the misty mountains of Japan's Kii Peninsula, Koya-san (Mt. Koya), stands as a sacred realm of tranquility, history, and spiritual significance. This awe-inspiring mountain has been revered for centuries and is home to a unique collection of trees known as the rokuboku, or The Six Trees of Koya-san.
    • Races and Events
      • sayuri matsuhashi double role curling athlete japan outdoor

        Silent Resilience

        Curling athlete Sayuri Matsuhashi’s journey to the top of her sport is an inspiration to deaf athletes and women juggling their roles as mothers while also pursuing their professional dreams.

        Winter News and Notes

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2024!
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        DD4D Brewing

        In nearly e...

Stand-up Adventures in Tahoe Country

Lake Tahoe is home to a tight-knit community of people who love to push the limits of the outdoor sports they love. Over the past several years, stand-up paddle boarding has burst on the scene as a refreshing way to get some exercise on the majestic lake and explore backwaters, nearby alpine lakes and even local rivers.

Photo by Ryan Salm

The Sierra Nevada forms a 640-kilometer spine from north to south, mostly in California with a slight dip into Nevada. The mountains are home to Yosemite Valley’s famous granite monuments, such as Half Dome and El Capitan, and the highest mountain in the contiguous United States (Mt. Whitney, 4,421m). These mountains provided incredible wealth during the California Gold Rush and gave us craft beer perfections in Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.  

Yet the real jewel of the Sierras is the deep, ever-clear waters of Lake Tahoe. Like the mountain range, the lake straddles California and Nevada. The surface is nearly 2,000 meters above sea level, making it the largest alpine lake in North America. 

Tahoe is home to a number of ski resorts, such as Squaw Valley and Heavenly, and has a reputation for producing some of the world’s best big mountain skiers and snowboarders. It’s a year-round natural playground with each season offering a stunning backdrop for outdoor fun, and indoor diversions can be had at the big casinos on the Nevada side of the lake. 

Photo by Chris Bartkowski

Over the past six years, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has been embraced by Lake Tahoe’s active community like a bear hug from a best friend. Enthusiasm for the relatively new water sport has caught on for good reason. It’s a fun, active sport that provides exercise and adventure as well as serene moments exploring the region’s stunning lakes and waterways. 

Now firmly rooted as a favorite Tahoe pastime, SUP is following a similar path to skiing; gung-ho enthusiasts are pushing the boundaries of the sport and seeking excitement beyond the quiet coves of Lake Tahoe’s Sand Harbor or Emerald Bay. They are taking their skills into competition and the backcountry.

The Truckee-Tahoe area hosts major SUP races in the summer months from May to September, drawing participants from all over the world. Race days are fun and competitive for all ages. 

The competitive vibe isn’t for everyone though; some just prefer a quiet paddle on Lake Tahoe’s incredibly clear waters, yet an increasingly popular local SUP pursuit is the exploration of backcountry lakes and rivers using inflatable paddleboards.

Inflatables are constructed with ultra-tough rubber similar to whitewater river rafts and are significantly more durable and easier to transport than a fiberglass SUP. After hiking in to explore your favorite lake in the Tahoe Region, it’s easy to blow up the boards with a portable hand pump. When deflated, the inflatable SUP can be rolled into a backpack that weighs less than 30 pounds. 

The durability of these inflatable SUPs also opens the potential to run rivers. You’ll need solid river skills to navigate whitewater safely on an SUP, but you’ll only have to worry about damaging your body, not your board, when you fall off.

“Inflatable SUP boards bring a whole new challenge to running rivers. Even mellow whitewater is a thrill on an SUP,” said Jared Licht, a local former pro kayaker. “But it’s important to understand the dangers of a river before getting in. There are many more ways to get in trouble on a river than on a lake.”

For some, being a “waterman” doesn’t mean you put your board away when the weather gets chilly. Professional stand-up paddler Jay Wild has competed in warm exotic waters the world over, but his favorite place to paddle demands wearing more than just board shorts.

“I get asked daily where is my favorite place to paddle,“ says Wild. “Every time my answer is the same; mid-winter on Lake Tahoe.”

SUP may seem like a strictly warm weather pursuit in the high elevation waters of Lake Tahoe but, as Wild notes, mild winter days can often offer fantastic paddling conditions.

“Winter paddling on Lake Tahoe is magical,” he adds. “More times than not, I am all alone on the water without any other boats for as far as the eye can see. The serenity you can enjoy on the lake mid-winter is a complete contrast to the summer months. It’s just you and the snow-capped peaks.” 

Wild’s love affair with paddling on Lake Tahoe inspired him and a couple partners to open Waterman’s Landing, a lakefront café and paddleboard shop. The shop is open year-round and offers food, equipment, rentals and sage advice about when and where to paddle. Unlike summer months, when paddling on Lake Tahoe is fairly benign, the cold water (hovering around 3 ºC) and tumultuous winter weather require careful consideration before you head out. 

Ten years ago, flatwater stand-up paddling was an enigma to the surf-riding crowd. Today SUP has found a home in the Sierra Nevada amid the majestic beauty of Lake Tahoe. With close to 124 kilometers of shoreline and 35 kilometers from end to end, the possibilities for exploration are endless. 

The clarity of the water makes for a unique experience on a stand-up board; you never know what you will see under your feet while gliding around the lake. Whether you are after peaceful cruising with friends, exploring high alpine lakes, competing against other enthusiasts or even running rivers, Tahoe has something for every paddler.

By the Numbers

Lake Tahoe
Largest alpine lake in North America
Second deepest lake in the U.S. (Oregon’s Crater Lake is the deepest at 593 meters)
Sixth largest lake by volume (behind the five Great Lakes)
Surface elevation: 1,897 meters
Area: 496.2 km²
Volume: 150.7 km³ 
Length: 35 kms.
Width: 19 kms.
Depth: 501 meters 

Tahoe Stand-up Tours

Cloudline Tours made a name for themselves specializing in tours to Japan’s best powder playgrounds, often featuring winter sports pioneers on their trips. In addition to their winter tours to Japan, they have recently added stand-up paddleboard adventures on Lake Tahoe to their schedule. Based in the Truckee area, but with roots in Japan, Co-Founders J.P. and Ako Martin have a keen insight in both places. They organize trips that allow guests to enjoy the culture and the surroundings in style. 

As with the powder tours, the stand-up trips in Lake Tahoe feature local professional guides familiar with the area and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Their tours feature SUP coaching, private yoga sessions and plenty of time to explore the area and relax.

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Okinawa’s Blue Zone —A Li...

Dan Buettner’s bestseller, “Blue Zones,” which was also adapted into a hit series on Netflix, identifies five regions with a high number of centenarians. One of these zones is Yambaru, in the north of Okinawa Island. A rich cultural and natural heritage remain in this region, holding the secret to the longevity of the communities living there.

Kumano’s Path Less ...

A forgotten pilgrimage trail, ancient power spots and authentic rural communities are waiting to be explored this hiking season on the Iseji Trail. Stretch your legs and tickle your spirit to welcome the green season on one of the Kumano Kodo’s finest routes, minus the crowds.

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Holiday-goers lounging on Onna’s white sand beaches are no doubt unaware of what’s going on high in the jungle as creatures climb above the forest canopy and zip or swing from tower to tower. Curious travelers will discover a new side of Okinawa’s tropical paradise if they take the leap into a Forest Adventure.

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