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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
This free event is a must for jazz enthusiasts. Baird Beer will be serving craft beer.
- When: Oct. 14-15
- Where: Sumida, Tokyo
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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.