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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.
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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.
        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
      • video

        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
    • 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
      • video

        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
      • video

        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.
    • Food and Drinks
      • video

        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.
    • 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...

Winter News and Notes

Kids will love searching for treasure hidden in snowballs around the slopes during this unique Winter Scavenger Hunt, just ¥300 per child.

  • When: Jan. 8, Feb. 18, Mar. 3
  • Where: Naeba, Niigata

Evergreen Outdoor Center’s Snow Ninja Experience tour brings visitors staying in Hakuba on a day trip to the ancient Togakushi Village where ninja have trained for centuries. Snowshoe to the famous Togakushi Shrine and Zuishin Gate surrounded by giant cedars, then take a martial arts crash course taught by a real ninja and sample local soba noodles for lunch. 

  • When: Thursdays from Jan. 11 to Mar. 21
  • Where: Togakushi, Nagano

Kids at Naeba can follow a ski patrol on a two-hour course and experience what it’s like to work in a ski resort. It’s included in the the Prince Kids Club membership, and is ¥3,000 per child. 

  • When: Jan. 13, Feb. 10, Mar. 23
  • Where: Naeba, Niigata

Enjoy a magical night of Ainu stories and art at Kamori Wonder Lights, a projection mapping show illuminated against Rusutsu Hotel’s glass windows. 

  • When: Jan. 19-Feb. 25
  • Where: Rusutsu, Hokkaido

Spend a romantic evening or a fun lunch at the Kamakura Igloo Village, a short drive from Nozawa Onsen, Madarao Mountain Resort and Togari Onsen. Every year for a limited time from the end of January to February, 20 igloo huts are open for this unique dining experience while lanterns illuminate the igloos. Warm up inside with noroshi nabe, a local hot pot. There is also a sledding area for kids. On the last Saturday of the pop-up dates, watch a Narazawa Daitengu (mythical big-nosed goblin) fire dance. 

  • When: Jan. 20-Feb. 29
  • Where: Iiyama, Nagano
togari onsen outdoor japan

Freeride World Tour Japan returns this season at Maiko Snow Resort in Niigata Jan. 20-21, Hakuba Valley Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, Yuzawa Nakasato Feb. 3-4 and finally Lotte Arai Resort Feb. 24-26.

  • When: Jan. 20-Feb. 26

The Hakuba Happo-One Fire Festival illuminates the slopes at night with torch skiing, fire dancing, fireworks, taiko drumming and more. There are also firework shows every Saturday from Jan. 20 to Feb. 10. 

  • When: Feb. 16
  • Where: Happo-One Ski Resort, Nagano

Iwatake Snow Field’s annual Thanksgiving Festival will have giveaways for attractive prizes like lift passes, accommodation and ski goods. Try your hand at traditional mochi pounding or warm up with free-flowing sake and tonjiru (miso soup with vegetables and pork). 

  • When: Jan. 27 
  • Where: Hakuba Iwatake, Nagano

The annual Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival returns this winter to transform Lake Shikotsu into a frozen kingdom. The lake’s water is used to create massive ice sculptures which are illuminated at night. There is an ice slide and horseback riding for children and on weekends a fireworks show. There are hot springs nearby for daytrippers. Admission is ¥500. 

  • When: Jan. 27-Feb. 25
  • Where: Lake Shikotsu, Hokkaido
Photo by Niseko Tourism

View snow-covered thatched roofs illuminated by hundreds of lanterns and walk along a yukitouro (snow candles lining a path) at the romantic Kayabuki no Sato Snow Lantern Festival. There will be street food and festival stalls and a fireworks display on the final night.

  • When: Late Jan.-Early Feb.
  • Where: Miyama, Kyoto

Japan’s top skiers will convene at the 4th All Japan Masters Ski Demonstration Championship, with a focus on strengthening the skiing community and setting new records for senior skiers. 

  • When: Feb. 2-4
  • Where: Hakuba Iwatake, Nagano

Zao Onsen’s famous juhyo (snow monsters) are frozen fir trees transformed into hulking snow monsters. This phenomenon is illuminated from December to February and there are lifts and night snowmobile tours to see them. The Zao Snow Monster Festival includes a parade of torch skiers, mascots and fireworks. 

  • When: Feb. 3
  • Where: Zao Onsen, Yamagata

Plan your Hokkaido holiday around the annual Sapporo Snow Festival. This famous winter festival in Sapporo’s Odori Park features an outdoor display of some of the most impressive ice sculptures in the world. 

  • When: Feb. 4-11
  • Where: Odori-koen, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Photo by Niseko Tourism

Iwate Prefecture has cultural and culinary heritage attractions, including the Tohoku Luxury Tour where you can learn about matagi (traditional and sustainable hunting), watch a traditional religious dance at Utori Shrine, enjoy sake tasting, discover the origins of lacquerware and visit a sea urchin farm. The tour concludes with a special dinner by Chef Ryan Ratino, the youngest chef to receive two Michelin stars in North America. He will be combining local Tohoku ingredients and fermented seasonings with his French cuisine touch.

  • When: Feb. 5-8
  • Where: Hachimantai, Iwate

The Asahikawa Winter Festival is Hokkaido’s second largest winter festival—after Sapporo’s Snow Festival—and takes place around the same time so you have a chance to enjoy both festivals during your visit (the two towns are an 80-minute train ride apart). You’ll be impressed by the massive ice sculptures, including the main performance stage. 

  • When: Feb. 7-12
  • Where: Asahikawa, Hokkaido

The Otaru Light Path Festival is held every February in the charming port town of Otaru. Enjoy a night stroll as the Unga Kaijo and Temiyasen Kaijo areas are lit up by lanterns. 

  • When: Feb. 10-17, 17:00-21:00
  • Where: Otaru, Hokkaido

The Japan Brewers’ Cup is both a craft beer festival and a competition attracting brewers, with more than 30 Japanese brewers and craft beer importers pouring 300 beers. There are also food stalls and live entertainment. 

  • When: Feb. 11-12
  • Where: Yokohama, Kanagawa

Enjoy cycling in winter on this fat bike tour at Onuma Quasi-National Park. This three-hour tour takes place on the frozen surface of Lake Onuma while gazing at panoramic views of Mt. Komagatake and the surrounding mountain range. 

  • When: Feb. 13-18
  • Where: Onuma Quasi-National Park, Hokkaido

There’s something for everyone at the Yukitopia Festival, from snow tubing and snowman-making contests for children to food booths, snow sculptures, a pond skim and a tube race down a big hill at Asahigaoka Ski Area. 

  • When: Feb. 17-18
  • Where: Kutchan, Hokkaido
Photo by Niseko Tourism

Relax with some live jazz after a day on the slopes at Rusutsu Resort. The resort is collaborating with Sapporo City Jazz for the 12th year in a row featuring their 100 Days Music Live.

  • When: Until Mar. 23
  • Where: Rusutsu, Hokkaido

Sign yourself and your child up for an undoukai (sports day) on the snow at NASPA New Otani’s Winter Snow Sports Day. Entry is ¥1,000 per team.

  • When: Mar. 24
  • Where: NASPA New Otani, Niigata
  • Web: naspa.co.jp/ski 

Alts Bandai and Nekoma Snow Park & Resort have rebranded as Hoshino Resorts Nekoma Mountain as the two resorts are now joined by a new connecting lift. The resort includes the north and south portions of Mt. Nekoma-dake and is one of the largest ski resorts in Japan with 13 lifts and 33 courses. There are two areas where guests can freely ski: the Bandai area with views of Mt. Bandai and Lake Inawashiro, and the Urabandai area, characterized by its high altitude and extremely light snow that can be enjoyed until spring. 

  • Where: Mt. Nekoma, Fukushima

Take advantage of the Earth Hopper Pass valid at 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 are year-round that can be used for MTB parks, Forest Adventure obstacle parks around Japan, marine sports and more.

For some après ski in Myoko, head to Grape & Grain for live music and DJ nights throughout the week. There will also be a Year End Swing and Jazz Live Event on Dec. 29-31. 

  • Where: Myoko, Niigata

Join the Niseko Shootout and Film Festival, a season-long photo and video contest to win exciting snow season prizes. Tag #NisekoShootout for your chance to win. Photos and video will be featured at the short film festival at the end of the season. 

  • Where: Niseko, Hokkaido

Japan’s top outdoor gear maker Montbell has opened a new store on the road connecting Iiyama Station to Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort. The Montbell Hana-no-eki Chikumagawa is a michi-no-eki (roadside station) where you can find winter gear and wear, mountaineering equipment, bicycles, kayaks and more.

  • Where: Iiyama, Nagano

Enjoy a personalized snow experience in snowy Myoko with Canyons Myoko. Their team of international instructors cater to all skill levels and offer one-on-one guidance and flexible morning, afternoon and full-day lessons at four prominent local resorts. Pricing is inclusive for up to six guests with a focus on grouping participants of similar abilities.

  • Where: Myoko, Niigata

Elementary school kids ski for free at the following resorts: Appi Kogen in Iwate, Yakebitaiyama in Shiga Kogen, Naeba, Kagura-Mitsumata-Tashiro resorts in in the Yuzawa area and Myoko Suginohara in Niigata as well as Okutone Snow Park and Manza Onsen in Gunma. ϖ

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CAMP3 Clubhouse in Madara...

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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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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