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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
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • 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

        Yuji Hirayama’s Urban Base Camp Opens in Shinj...

        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.

2021 Summer Events and Races in Japan

2021 Summer Events and Races in Japan

Tokyo’s Summer Olympics are taking center stage but there are still some great summer events and races to enjoy as Japan slowly crawls toward normalcy. Many events are being held on a smaller scale this year and some are still to be confirmed so always double check event websites for up-to-date information before attending.

Editor’s Note: The situation regarding COVID-19 is changing daily. We encourage readers to follow local guidelines for stopping the spread of COVID-19 and practicing social distancing, mask wearing and other safety measures where required. Participating in races and events is solely each individuals decision. 

summer events omm lite and bike hakuba
OMM Lite and Bike Hakuba

OMM Lite and Bike Hakuba

This entry-level race is designed to give newbies a feel of an Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) navigational race. The OMM Lite is a two-day race with some off-trail areas, but most is on trail with teams of two to five people. Families and friends who are not participating can camp with racers in the overnight camping area. The OMM Bike (the cycling version of OMM Lite) will be held simultaneously.
When: July 17-18
Where: Hakuba, Nagano

Wassamu and Nayoro Piyashiri Ski Hill Climb

Wassamu Ski Resort opens up one of its slopes for a 500-meter sprint to the top. If you’re feeling up to it, Nayoro Piyashiri Ski Hill Climb holds a similar race the next day. The two resorts are an hour drive from each other in Hokkaido.
When: July 22-23
Where: Wassamu Ski Resort, Hokkaido

Kakitsu Trail Run

This trail run follows castle ruins in the mountains of Harima. The race is divided into 30-kilometer and 10.4-kilometer categories.
When: July 23
Where: Tatsuno, Hyogo

Salomon 4100D Mountain Trail in Nozawa Onsen

This trail run is set in the ski resort and hot spring village of Nozawa Onsen. There are long (65 kilometers), middle (23 kilometers) and short (14 kilometers) courses and participants can run solo, as a pair or in a group. 
When: July 23
Where: Nozawa Onsen, Nagano

Mt. Rokko Trail Run and Summer Picnic

This trail run is held on Mountain Day in Japan at Mt. Rokko which overlooks Osaka Bay. The 28-kilometer course goes up to 1,750 meters and takes about six hours, while the 10-kilometer race goes up to 300 meters and takes around four hours. There is also a family-friendly rogaining challenge held the same day. 
When: Aug. 8
Where: Kobe Municipal Arboretum, Hyogo

Offroad Triathlon in Shobudani

Shobudani is a popular cycling and driving route in Hyogo. Racers can sign up for the full triathlon (swim 1,200 meters, cycle 13 kilometers and trail run eight kilometers) or go for the relay or lite options. 
When: Aug. 9
Where: Shobudani Forest Park, Hyogo

Central Alps Nishikoma Bokka

Bokka in Japanese means to carry supplies up a mountain. This climb goes up to Nishikoma, Japan’s central Alps’ northernmost mountain hut built as an evacuation hut in 1913 and the tradition of preserving this hut continues with this trail run. Runners can choose between three or 15-kilogram stacks of firewood and run up to the 2,690-meter-high hut at Mt. Shogikashira.
When: Sept. 5
Where: Kiso Mountains, Nagano

Zao Skyrun

Run from spa to sky in Yamagata. The run starts from Zao Onsen’s hot spring town and heads up to the 1,840-meter-high Mt. Zao. You’ll also pass by the vivid-colored Lake Okama. 
When: Sept. 11-12
Where: Zao Onsen, Yamagata

Shiga Kogen Hill Climb

This hill climb race goes to Shibu Pass, Japan’s highest peak on a national road. Cycle through Shiga Kogen and enjoy the region’s hot springs and nature. Application deadline is July 31. 
When: Sept. 12
Where: Shiga Kogen, Nagano

summer events Gran Fondo Myoko
Gran Fondo Myoko

Gran Fondo Myoko

Challenge yourself to Japan’s toughest one-day cycling event, which follows a 160-kilometer circuit around Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park. The trail has a 4000-meter elevation and 30 kilometers of off-road sections. The race starts and ends at Myoko Ikenotaira Ski Resort, where you can unwind with beer and music. 
When: Sept. 18-19
Where: Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park, Niigata

Sea to Summit

Montbell—Japan’s largest homegrown outdoor brand—is behind the popular Sea to Summit race series. Their goal is to invigorate local areas, holding events to experience nature through canoeing, cycling, trekking and other means of human-powered movement.

When and Where:

  • Aug. 21-22: Asahidake, Hokkaido
  • Aug. 28-29: Mt. Chokai, Yamagata
  • Sept. 25-26: Bizen, Okayama
  • Oct. 16-17: Chikuma River, Nagano
  • Oct. 23-24: Lake Biwa, Saga
  • Nov. 13-14: Kioku, Mie

2021 Summer Events and Races in Japan

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