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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.

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        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
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        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.
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        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.
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        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.
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        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.
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        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
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        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.
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        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.
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        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.
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        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
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        Getting Dirty in Japan

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    • Near Kyoto
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
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        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
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        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.
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        “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
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        “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
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        Shizukuishi

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    • Travel
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        CAMP3 Clubhouse in Madarao

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        Shizukuishi

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        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.
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        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.
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Marianas Cup Beach Volleyball Festival

It’s not every day you get a chance to play your favorite sport with—or against—some of the world’s top athletes. Yet for more than two decades, the Marianas Cup Beach Volleyball Festival has been inviting some of the top international and Japanese beach volleyball pros to the island of Saipan to play alongside amateur players in a friendly pro-am competition. A raffle is held the night before the tournament, and a few lucky players get to go into battle with a pro at their side.

This year, the organizers moved the beach volleyball festival to neighboring Guam. The Beach Bar at beautiful Gun Beach hosted the weekend tournament, which included round-robin pool play on Saturday and a double elimination winner’s bracket on Sunday. The atmosphere at the event is fun and festive, but it gets more serious the more you advance into the tournament; winning teams take home US$3,000 cash and a free trip to next year’s event.

The Marianas Cup, however, is more than just a pro-am tournament. The organizers have worked hard to include a number of grass roots events to help grow the sport. This year a Junior Cup was held in Saipan, and kids events on both Saipan and Guam. This year’s pros, from Japan, USA and Canada, visited local schools and held clinics to promote the sport to the next generation of volleyball athletes.

There was also an exciting exhibition match with the men and women pros from North America taking on the Japanese teams. The American men and the Japanese women each won decisively.

The setting could not have been better for the pro-am tournament – there was plenty of sun, sand, spikes and saves, while the crowd sipped on cold drinks and enjoyed the action.

On the women’s side, former teammates, and cup champions, Miki Oyama and Miyuki Matsumura squared off in the final, with their new partners. It was a tight, hard-fought final but, in the end, Miki and partner Angela Ishida proved too strong, winning 21-18 and preserving their undefeated run in the tournament.

Guam local Manny Guarin paired up with American pro Tri Bourne and carried one loss into the men’s final against the undefeated Japanese team of Yoshinori Nakatani and Yuto Watanabe. Bourne and Guarin needed to beat the Japanese twice to take home the trophy.

As a beautiful Micronesian sunset faded into the evening, so did the hopes of the Japanese team. Bourne seemed to get stronger as the matches wore on and, with Guarin finding his groove, the pair walked off the beach with the win and the cash.

“The Marianas Cup was really cool. I love that there are so many people who care enough about the sport here and keep it alive, for themselves and the younger generations. I feel fortunate to have been invited and I hope I can help to promote the sport in the same way once I’m done playing,” said USC graduate Bourne.

While the crowd enjoyed the high-level of competition of the final day’s matches, what makes the Marianas Cup special is the fun, friendly atmosphere of the event. The tournament attracts a wide range of players, from weekend warriors, high school and college kids, to more seasoned veterans.

Spectators and participants equally enjoyed the weekend, with parents cheering on kids, teams cheering on one another and lots high-fives and smiles all the way around.

The Marianas Cup is the longest running beach volleyball tournament in the region, and it is put on with the support of United Airlines, the Guam Visitor’s Bureau, the Marianas Visitor’s Authority, Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, The Beach Bar & Grill, Docomo Pacific, Miller Lite and many local sponsors.

The organizers would love to see more teams come from Japan to enjoy a fun, active weekend in the sand. Next year’s event will head back to Saipan, so grab a partner and practice those sets and spikes this summer, so you’ll be ready to go.

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