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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.
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        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.
        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
      • 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.
        togari onsen outdoor japan

        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

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2023 Autumn Events & Races

RACES

Sea to Summit

The last two events of the year’s popular outdoor series take place in Miyagi and Nagano. Experience autumn through canoeing, cycling, trekking and other means of human-powered movement organized by Montbell. Participants can compete solo or as a team.

  • When & Where: 
  • Oct. 7-8: Kamimachi, Miyagi 
  • Oct. 14-15: Chikuma River, Nagano 
  • Web: seatosummit.jp  

Shinshiro Spartan Trail Classic

This trail run will be held in historic Shinshiro, remembered for its 16th-century war between the Oda-Tokugawa forces and the Takeda forces at Nagashino Castle. The city boasts attractions like the 695-meter-high Horaijiyama, and sacred sites related to Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa including Horaiji Temple, Toshogu Shrine and Nagashino Castle. It’s also a natural haven with notable landmarks such as the 64-meter-high Atera no Nanataki waterfall and the Chiiwakyo Gorge, with its caves and massive rock formations.

  • When: Oct. 28-29
  • Where: Shinshiro, Aichi

Altra Shinshu Tenku Trail Race

Head to northern Nagano for this 27-kilometer trail and road race. You’ll be running the Hijiriyama Trail with great views of the surrounding mountains, vineyards and koyo (autumn leaves). Celebrate after the race with a long soak in an onsen and delicious local cuisine. 

  • When: Oct. 29
  • Where: Omi, Nagano

Kanazawa Marathon

Combine a trip to the scenic Kanazawa area with a marathon. This race passes Kanazawa’s iconic attractions like Kenrokuen Garden, the Ishikawa Gate of Kanazawa Castle, Higashiyama and temple towns.

  • When: Oct. 29
  • Where: Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Osaka Yodo River Citizens Marathon

This race follows the riverbank and is a great entry into marathon running with its easy access and relatively minimal elevation gain. There is also a half-marathon which starts at 9 a.m.

  • When: Nov. 5
  • Where: Moriguchi, Osaka

OMM Japan

OMM is one of the toughest adventure events out there. The mountain navigation race held in extreme environments in different regions across Japan each year. Although entries are closed for this year, keep an eye out for next year’s race as well as their less intense OMM Lite and Bike Hakuba in summer. 

  • When: Nov. 10-12
  • Where: Kitayatsugatake, Nagano

Spartan Race Super, Sprint and Kids

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

  • When: Dec. 2
  • Where: Blumen Hugel, Shiga

Oise-san Half Marathon

Tour the sacred region of Ise while participating in this half marathon. This unique race takes you past the famous Ise Jingu, one of Japan’s most revered Shinto shrines, and Edo-period landscapes. Before or after the race, enjoy Mie’s famous seafood and religious history. There is also a five-kilometer race held on the same day and a walking and barrier-free race the previous day. 

  • When: Dec. 3
  • Where: Ise, Mie

Nara Marathon

Run through Japan’s ancient capital. This race starts at Konoike Stadium and takes you through historic towns and impressive temples and past Nara’s famous inquisitive deer. There are also ten-kilometer and three-kilometer courses available. 

  • When: Dec. 9-10
  • Where: Nara City, Nara

Mt. Mitake Trail Race

Experience a different side of Tokyo out west at Mt. Mitake. This race starts at the base of Mt. Mitake with a steep paved climb before the trail. Watch out for steep descents! Run through sleepy local neighborhoods, climb Mt. Nabewari, famous for its nabe (hot pot) served at the mountain hut, and traverse Okunoin. The race finishes at Musashi Mitake Shrine.

  • When: Dec. 10
  • Where: Mitake, Tokyo

EVENTS

Sumida Jazz Festival

This free event is a must for jazz enthusiasts. Baird Beer will be serving craft beer.

  • When: Oct. 14-15
  • Where: Sumida, Tokyo

Asagiri Jam

Nicknamed “the real Fuji Rock” for its idyllic location at the foot of Mt Fuji, this music festival is a laid-back two days of camping, rock, Indie and dance music by international and local artists. Workshops, morning yoga and activities for children are held around the two main stages.

  • When: Oct. 21-22
  • Where: Asagiri Arena, Shizuoka

Okinawa Sea Turtle Festival

Combine a tropical holiday with this inaugural event supporting sea turtle conservation in Okinawa. A beach clean, food trucks, flea market, live performances and sea turtle olympics organized by NPO Chura Mura will all benefit protecting these beautiful creatures.

  • When: Oct. 21
  • Where: Zanpa Beach, Yomitan, Okinawa

Earth Garden

Live music and organic brands come together for this music festival and eco-friendly market held in the middle of the city. 

  • When: Oct. 21-22
  • Where: Yoyogi Park, Tokyo

Brightness Music & Art Festival

Enjoy dance music at this seaside park not far from Tokyo. This festival is popular for its all-night music performances and lights.  

  • When: Oct. 21-22
  • Where: Chidori Park, Kanagawa

Tourism Expo Japan

One of the world’s largest annual travel trade shows, in one of the world’s largest travel markets. B2B only the first two days, consumers welcome the last two.

  • When: Oct. 26-29
  • Where: Intex Osaka, Osaka

Baird Beer Harvest Fest 

Enjoy the Halloween weekend in Izu at the Baird Brewery and Taproom in Shuzenji. There will be live music, comedy shows, food, costume contests and more. 

  • When: Oct. 28-29
  • Where: Shuzenji, Shizuoka

Yokonori Nippon Film Festival 

Japan’s surf, skate and snow scene is celebrated at this weekend film festival dedicated to yokonori, literally translated as “riding sideways.” Showings are held in the Shonan surf town of Chigasaki. Purchase tickets online.

  • When: Nov. 3-4
  • Where: Aeon Cinema Chigasaki, Kanagawa

TRADITIONAL FESTIVALs

Jidai Matsuri

Step back in time as people parade in traditional Japanese garments through Kyoto, reflecting the region’s 1,200-year history. The procession starts from Kyoto Imperial Palace, traveling along Oike-dori to Heian Jingu Shrine. 

  • When: Oct. 22
  • Where: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kyoto

Arashiyama Momiji Festival

Celebrate the changing autumn leaves at this annual festival in iconic Kyoto. Boats parade in the river around Togetsu Bridge, with elaborately dressed characters on board reflecting the Heian Period nobles. 

  • When: Nov. 12
  • Where: Arashiyama, Kyoto

Rikugien Gardens Autumn Illumination

View koyo under the night sky at Rikugien Gardens. Built during the Edo Period, this daimyo teien belonged to a feudal lord and remains a popular destination to view the autumnal foliage.

  • When: End of Nov. – Beg. of Dec.
  • Where: Rikugien Gardens, Tokyo

CRAFT BEER FESTIVALS

  • Sept. 29-Oct. 15: Yokohama Oktoberfest (Kanagawa)
  • Oct. 4-9: Craft Gyoza Fes (Saitama)
  • Oct. 7-9: Craft Beer Holiday (Osaka)
  • Oct. 14-15: Mikkeller Beer Celebration (Tokyo)
  • Oct. 14-15: Brewer’s Camp (Shizuoka)
  • Oct. 20-22: Inage Kanpai Beer Fes (Kawasaki)
  • Oct. 20-29: Kyushu Oktoberfest (Fukuoka)
  • Nov. 2-5: Deutschlandfest (Tokyo)
  • Dec. 6-10: Belgian Beer Weekend Shinjuku “Christmas Edition” (Tokyo)

OTHER

Earth Hopper

Take advantage of this season pass valid for more than 40 popular ski resorts throughout Japan. The Earth Hopper Snow Lite pass costs ¥27,800 and the Earth Hopper Standard Pass is ¥42,800. 

Participating resorts include Kamui Ski Links, Kiroro Snow World, Zao Rise World, Appi Kogen, Hachimantai Panorama and Shimokura, Geto Kogen, Akakura Kanko, Lotte Arai, Madarao Kogen, Tangram Ski Circus, Kurohime Kogen, Tsugaike Kogen, Hakuba Cortina Ski and more. 

These passes are also year round and can be used for MTB parks, the Forest Adventure obstacle parks around Japan and marine sports.

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Latest posts

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.

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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