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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.
        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.
        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
    • 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
      • Bringing Strength to Otoyo

        Mountainous villages with dwindling populations are dotted throughout Japan as younger people move to urban areas. These countryside communities, which capture the essence of Japan’s rural beauty and traditional heritage, are at risk as elderly villagers are left to carry the burden. Industrious individuals tired of living in the city are giving some struggling communities a second chance, such as Violet Pacilea who moved to Kochi Prefecture with a dream of breathing new life into her mother’s hometown.

        The Knights in White Lycra Ride Again

        The 2024 Charity Ride celebrates five years and another 500 kilometers to help support Mirai no Mori and their mission to help the marginalized youth in Japan.

        WOLFBRÄU

        Thirty-five years ago German businessman Wolfram Opitz was sent to Tokyo for two months to help train a partner company in Japan. “What an interesting city and country,” he thought to himself. Today, he and his wife Yuka are the proud owners of Okinawa’s only German-style microbrewery at the steps of the island prefecture’s most famous landmark, Shuri Castle.

        Okinawa’s Treehouse Oasis

        Tucked away in the lush jungles of Okinawa is an eco-conscious retreat called Treeful Treehouse. This sustainable resort is an immersive experience that invites guests to reconnect with nature.
        video

        The Spirit of the Kuma Valley

        Travelers to Japan undoubtedly view sake as the traditional liquor of Japan. Histori-cally they wouldn’t be wrong, since Sudō Honke, the world’s oldest sake brewery (and one of the oldest companies in the world), was founded in 1141 in Ibaraki Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. However Southern Japan is home to another authentic Japanese spirit—shochu, which was first produced about 500 years ago, its roots firmly planted in Japan’s warmer southern climes.
    • Food and Drinks
      • Bringing Strength to Otoyo

        Mountainous villages with dwindling populations are dotted throughout Japan as younger people move to urban areas. These countryside communities, which capture the essence of Japan’s rural beauty and traditional heritage, are at risk as elderly villagers are left to carry the burden. Industrious individuals tired of living in the city are giving some struggling communities a second chance, such as Violet Pacilea who moved to Kochi Prefecture with a dream of breathing new life into her mother’s hometown.

        The Knights in White Lycra Ride Again

        The 2024 Charity Ride celebrates five years and another 500 kilometers to help support Mirai no Mori and their mission to help the marginalized youth in Japan.

        WOLFBRÄU

        Thirty-five years ago German businessman Wolfram Opitz was sent to Tokyo for two months to help train a partner company in Japan. “What an interesting city and country,” he thought to himself. Today, he and his wife Yuka are the proud owners of Okinawa’s only German-style microbrewery at the steps of the island prefecture’s most famous landmark, Shuri Castle.

        Okinawa’s Treehouse Oasis

        Tucked away in the lush jungles of Okinawa is an eco-conscious retreat called Treeful Treehouse. This sustainable resort is an immersive experience that invites guests to reconnect with nature.
        video

        The Spirit of the Kuma Valley

        Travelers to Japan undoubtedly view sake as the traditional liquor of Japan. Histori-cally they wouldn’t be wrong, since Sudō Honke, the world’s oldest sake brewery (and one of the oldest companies in the world), was founded in 1141 in Ibaraki Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. However Southern Japan is home to another authentic Japanese spirit—shochu, which was first produced about 500 years ago, its roots firmly planted in Japan’s warmer southern climes.
    • 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!
        dd4d brewing

        DD4D Brewing

        In nearly e...

2023 Summer Events and Races

World Aquatics Championships 2023 Fukuoka

The competition will take place at several venues around Fukuoka City, starting with diving at Fukuoka Prefectural Pool and choreographed swimming and water polo at Marine Messe Fukuoka. Athletes will compete in open-water swimming and high diving at Seaside Momochi Beach Park. This event will be followed by the masters championships held across Kyushu. 

  • When: July 14-30 
  • Where: Fukuoka City, Fukuoka 

Salomon 4100D Mountain Trail in Nozawa Onsen

This trail run is in the traditional hot spring village and Olympic ski town of Nozawa Onsen. There are long (65 kilometers), middle (37 kilometers) and short (14 kilometers) courses and participants can run solo, as a pair or in a group. 

  • When: July 16
  • Where: Nozawa Onsen, Nagano

OMM Lite and Bike Otari

the omm japan

This entry-level race is designed to give newbies a feel of an Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) navigational race in the mountainous Hakuba Region. 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 22-23
  • Where: Otari, Nagano

World Aquatics Masters Championships 2023 Kyushu

Following the Fukuoka events, this masters championships will be held across Fukuoka City, Kumamoto City and Kagoshima City. The final races will wrap up on August 11th.

  • When: Aug. 2-11
  • Where: Kyushu

Niseko Hanazono Hill Climb

This 14-kilometer race starts at Kutchan—the Potato Festival will be held here simultaneously—and runs mainly on flat roads until the Kutchan Agricultural High School. From there, climb a wide mountain road. The last two-kilometer stretch becomes a single lane with a steep slope until the goal at the border between Kutchan and Niseko towns. 

  • When: Aug. 6
  • Where: Kutchan, Hokkaido

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 10K race reaches 300 meters and takes about four hours. There is also a family-friendly rogaining challenge held the same day. 

  • When: Aug. 11
  • Where: Kobe Municipal Arboretum, Hyogo

FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023

Okinawa joins Manila and Jakarta as hosts of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. Group plan or the first two rounds will be held at Okinawa Arena where some of the world’s best basketball players will gather and compete for the title. The quarterfinals and finals will be played in Manila. 

  • When: Aug. 25 – Sept. 3
  • Where: Okinawa Arena, Okinawa

NAC Trail Run

nac trail run

Hokkaido’s first trail run returns for its 21st race. Choose between a hardcore 30-kilometer mountain course, a shorter 10K run and a 5K serene forest trail course.  

  • When: Sept. 3
  • Where: Niseko, Hokkaido

Central Alps Nishikoma Bokka

Bokka in Japanese means to carry luggage or supplies up a mountain. This unusual hill climb goes up to Nishikoma, Japan’s central Alps’ northernmost mountain hut. Nishikoma was built as an evacuation hut in 1913 by local residents and the tradition of preserving this hut continues with this trail run. Choose between three or 15-kilogram stacks of firewood and run up to the 2,690-meter-high hut at Mt. Shogikashira.  

  • When: Sept. 3
  • 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 Mt. Zao. You’ll also pass by the vivid-colored Lake Okama. 

  • When: Sept. 9-10
  • Where: Zao Onsen, Yamagata

Adventure Travel World Summit

adventure travel world summit in hokkaido

Travel professionals from around the world will come together this fall at Asia’s first Adventure Travel World Summit. There will be cycling and walking tours in between intriguing panel discussions by speakers including Shannon Stowell, CEO of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, and best-selling author Pico Iyer.  

  • When: Sept. 11-14
  • Where: Sapporo, Hokkaido

Spartan Race Beast/Sprint

spartan race

This course takes advantage of the hilly terrain at Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort and promises great views at the top. For a tasty reward, our friends at Baird Beer will be serving fresh craft beer at their booth.  

  • When: Sept. 23
  • Where: Gala Yuzawa, Niigata

Niseko Gravel

This autumn race is a mixed-surface ride taking adventure cyclists through forest roads, gravel climbs and iconic Hokkaido farm trails.  

  • When: Sept. 23-24
  • Where: Niseko, Hokkaido

Spartan Race Trail/Kids

Enjoy grand views of Mt. Fuji at this 10K race in Susono City, near Hakone and the Ashitaka mountains. There will also be the first-ever standalone Spartan Kids race.  

  • When: Sept. 30-Oct. 1
  • Where: Susono, Shizuoka

Hakone Hill Climb

This road bike competition climbs to the top of Mount Hakone covering approximately 20 kilometers.

  • When: Oct. 1
  • Where: Hakone, Kanagawa

Alps Outdoor Summit

This three-day event connects local and international outdoor brands and makers while exploring Matsumoto, the gateway to the Kamikochi mountains. Discover manufacturers changing the adventure travel scene, then go hiking or cycling during peak autumn foliage season.

  • When: Oct. 6-8
  • Where: Matsumoto, Nagano

Tour de Kyushu

Eighteen teams from Japan and abroad will be cycling on an epic route through Kyushu’s historic, oceanic and volcanic landscapes. The race begins at Kitakyushu’s Kokura Castle then continues over the following days through Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, passing through the five Aso mountains and ending with a high-speed sprint in Hita’s city center in Oita. 

  • When: Oct. 6-9
  • Where: Kyushu

Grinduro

This adventure cycling race combines the best elements of a mountain bike enduro with a gravel grinder-style road race. Plus racers can enjoy delicious food, an art and bike festival, live music and camping in the Japan alpine village of Hakuba. The 80K course follows flowing singletrack to flat rice fields. 

  • When: Oct. 7-9
  • Where: Hakuba, Nagano

BikesBeachBergs

This 125-km. ride is for roadies as it’s a mostly paved course. Explore the southernmost point of the subtropical Izu peninsula with its ocean lookouts and beaches; the ride starts with a smooth yet hilly route in Shimoda. Head to Shirahama Beach before heading for the hills and traversing the center of Minami Izu. The checkpoint is in Matsuzaki, an up-and-coming MTB town. Enjoy quintessentially Japanese scenes at Ishibu rice terrace. Cycle to Cape Irozaki before returning to Shimoda. 

  • When: Oct. 29-30
  • Where: Izu, Shizuoka

Sea to Summit

Montbell’s popular Sea to Summit race series aims to help invigorate local areas, holding events where participants can experience nature through canoeing, cycling, trekking and other means of human-powered movement.

  • When and Where:
    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

Montbell Photo Contest

Montbell, Japan’s largest homegrown outdoor brand, is hosting their fifth annual photo contest. Photo submissions include mountaineering, trekking, camping, kayaking, cycling, fishing, climbing, hiking and enjoying outdoor activities. Landscape and nature photography may also be submitted. Enter for your chance to win a ¥50,000 Montbell gift card and other exciting prizes. Anyone is eligible.

  • When: Until Aug. 31

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Latest posts

Bringing Strength to Otoy...

Mountainous villages with dwindling populations are dotted throughout Japan as younger people move to urban areas. These countryside communities, which capture the essence of Japan’s rural beauty and traditional heritage, are at risk as elderly villagers are left to carry the burden. Industrious individuals tired of living in the city are giving some struggling communities a second chance, such as Violet Pacilea who moved to Kochi Prefecture with a dream of breathing new life into her mother’s hometown.

WOLFBRÄU

Thirty-five years ago German businessman Wolfram Opitz was sent to Tokyo for two months to help train a partner company in Japan. “What an interesting city and country,” he thought to himself. Today, he and his wife Yuka are the proud owners of Okinawa’s only German-style microbrewery at the steps of the island prefecture’s most famous landmark, Shuri Castle.

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