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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.

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

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        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.
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        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
    • Near Tokyo
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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.
    • Near Kyoto
    • 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
      • 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.
    • 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
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        Mt. Fuji: The Path Less Traveled

        Fuji-san is the most climbed mountain in the world. If you are in good shape, there is a way to avoid the traffic for a more peaceful Mt. Fuji experience during the off-season.
    • Travel
      • 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.
    • Food and Drinks
      • 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.
    • Races and Events
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        2023 Summer Music Festivals

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        2023 Fireworks Festivals in Japan

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

Finding Flow in Korea

When I read “Finding Flow” in the Outdoor Japan Longboard Section for the first time, I mused how cool it sounded; how Zen. “Yes, I’m finding this rhythm,” I thought as I carved and tucked hills in New Brunswick, Canada. It wasn’t until I came to Korea that I fully realized this phenomenon. I hadn’t found flow; rather, I had found the rush of adrenaline. Flow rests in the calm that washes over you smoothly. Adrenaline crashes over you like a concrete tidal wave. Both are desirable.

In Seoul’s car-choked streets, I discovered what it’s like to flow. As I diced a one laner, the feeling snuck up on me. I knew I had found it…perhaps it had found me. It didn’t happen bombing at breath-taking speeds or screeching around a sharp corner. Cruising, I somehow rolled into that blissful zone.
The feeling didn’t rush over me; it was more of a Buddhist calm. When I realized what had happened, I didn’t want to leave. With the wind blowing lightly on my cheeks, the freshness entering my mouth, I forgot about problems, shrugged off stress—and escaped into the now.

Since then I strive for that medium between flow and adrenaline. For most skaters, it’s not enough to forever carve smooth pavement. We need moments of longboard skating exhilaration, moments of “Oh no! I’m going fast—and I like it!” Korea has that to offer, both in amplitude and abundance.

Longboarding in Korea, however, is still a newborn of sorts. Koreans are amazed, eyes wide and jaws dropped, at the sight of a four-wheeled, self-propelled speed machine barreling down their virgin streets. These stares are opposite those in North America. Koreans look on with great curiosity. “Wohhhhhha,” an elongated version of “wow” and an astonished look, preludes a double-barreled thumbs up.

Korea’s skating panorama changes as abruptly as winter to summer. City riding is sick—no run-outs, narrow streets, cars, deep pitches, people everywhere and lots of choices. Strap the board onto your motor bike, drive 10 minutes, and rural drop-ins are there to charge, long run-outs kill off your speed and empty two-laners await the longing heart. Instead of taxi drivers, truck drivers are in fleet, the ubiquitous thumbs up switching to the trucker’s wave.

Skating in Korea isn’t all peachy though. Honking is a national pastime and wildly celebrated. Further the racing, lumbering, bellowing wheeled beasts won’t give you much grace on the road. When you cruise by a cop car though, and nothing happens, you realize how good you have it.

Seoul and the surrounding mountainous provinces are paved as if with skate routes in mind. The country is like a rice field in harvest season for a skater. A longboard and sliding gloves are the tools for harvesting euphoria and satisfaction. Heck, my fingers are sweating at the thought of them dragging across never before skated pavement—and the ensuing combination of flow and adrenaline is what counts.

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