• 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.

        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.
    • Summer
    • 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.

        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
    • 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.
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
    • River and Lake
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
    • Travel
    • Food and Drinks
    • Races and Events

2022 Spring Races & Festivals

Onbashira Festival

One of Japan’s oldest and most dangerous festivals is held once every six years. Sixteen enormous trees are selected, and brought down from the forest as villagers ride down steep, 27-degree slopes, carry them across a frigid river and then raise them up as sacred pillars placed in each corner of Suwa shrines.  

When: Yamadashi: Apr. 2-4, 8-10; Satobiki: May 3-5, 14-16 
Where: Suwa, Shimosuwa and Chino, Nagano

Hiraodai Trail

Challenge yourself on either the long (40-kilometer) or short (17-kilometer) course in Fukuoka’s mountains.

When: Apr. 17
Where: Kita-Kyushu, Fukuoka 

Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji

This 100-mile course along mountain trails, local footpaths and forest roads around the foothills of Mt. Fuji is a great way to experience the natural beauty and culture around Japan’s most famous mountain.

When: Apr. 22-24
Where: Fuji, Shizuoka / Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi

Setouchi Island Trail

Combine a trip to the Setouchi Triennale with this fun island trail run on the pristine Kamikamari Island in the Seto Inland Sea.  

When: Apr. 24
Where: Kamikamari Island, Hiroshima

Minakami Outdoor Festival

Each green season, outdoor enthusiasts descend on Minakami for the Minakami Outdoor Festival, one month of adventure experiences including whitewater rafting, canyoning, bungee jumping, adventure races and trail running. On June 5-6, there will be the GoPro Minakami Water Games attracting Japan’s top whitewater athletes, and the Minakami Trail Race.

When: May to June
Where: Minakami, Gunma

Sendai International Half Marathon

This popular race starts at Sendai Station and passes through Nishi Koen Park and Jozenji Avenue.

When: May 8
Where: Sendai, Miyagi

Hakuba Iwatake Trail Race

Choose between a 30-kilometer and 15-kilometer race in the mountains near Hakuba Iwatake. This area is also popular for mountain biking and camping in the green season. 

When: May 21
Where: Hakuba, Nagano

Alps Azumino Century Ride

The impressive Japan Alps in Nagano are the backdrop to this century ride. There are two routes: the 160-kilometer route to and from Azusaizui-en and the 120-kilometer route to and from the National Alps Azumino Park. Both routes go to Hakuba. This is a relaxed cycling event and participants are encouraged to enjoy the ride at their own pace. Only sports bikes are allowed. 

When: May 21-22
Where: Azumino, Nagano

Spartan Race Super 10K in Chiba

This 25-obstacle race blends speed, endurance and technical skill. A 5K sprint and a kids race are also available. 

When: May 28
Where: Sodegaura, Chiba

15th Skyline Trail Sugadaira

This beginner-friendly trail run is a great way to enjoy the cooling Shinshu area and springtime in the alpine region. 

When: May 29
Where: Sugadaira Kogen, Nagano

Kochi Niyodo River Blue Ride

Cycle along the stunning blue Niyodo River and Japan’s clearest river, the Shimanto River in Kochi. 

When: May 29
Where: Niyodo River, Kochi

Togakushi Mountain Trail

Navigate your way through this ancient forest in the mystical ninja town of Togakushi. There are four challenges: the long course (20 kilometers), short course (10 kilometers), a vertical run and kids run. 

When: June 4
Where: Togakushi, Nagano

Minakami Trail Race

The nature-abundant Minakami Biosphere Reserve is the setting for this race, which is divided into four divisions: the 100k, 80k, 40k and 20k. 

When: June 4-5
Where: Minakami, Gunma

ANA Niseko Classic 2022

When the snow melts, Niseko turns into a cycling destination. Cycle past rolling plains and the impressive Mt. Yotei on a 150-kilometer, 85-kilometer or 15-kilometer ride. There’s also a Mt. Yotei fun ride. 

When: June 10-12
Where: Niseko, Hokkaido

Hokkaido Furano Ride

Escape the heat in cooler Hokkaido on this 110-kilometer ride (47-kilometer course also available). Ride through Hokkaido’s rural summer landscapes and don’t forget to stop for Furano’s delicious produce. 

When: June 21
Where: Furano, Hokkaido

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 two days of canoeing, cycling and trekking. This year they are hosting the series across twelve locations around Japan. 

When and Where:

  • May 21-22: Daisen, Tottori
  • June 11-12: Etajima, Hiroshima
  • June 18-19: Okhotsk, Hokkaido
  • June 25-26: Saijo, Ehime
  • July 16-17: Myoko, Niigata
  • July 23-24: Bizen, Okayama
  • Aug. 20-21: Asahidake, Hokkaido
  • Sept. 10-11: Mt. Chokai, Yamagata
  • Sept. 23-24: Lake Biwa, Shiga
  • Oct. 8-9: Kamimachi, Miyagi
  • Oct. 15-16: Chikuma River, Nagano
  • Nov. 12-13: Kihoku, Mie

[novo-map id=2 individual=”yes”]

Outdoor Japan logo tree


Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest posts