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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.
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        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...

Niijima Shorebreak

My first trip to Japan hadn’t produced any pictures worth talking about. The weather didn’t cooperate, and the water clarity at the beaches was pretty bad the days I visited.

The day I arrived in Tokyo on my second trip, I was welcomed by a large storm passing through, carrying lightning, thunder and heavy rain. Heading off to attend an event in Aoyama, I got caught without an umbrella. I showed up dripping wet, which actually doesn’t bother me too much because of my line of work, but I think the hosts might have had other thoughts seeing the puddles form under my shoes in their store. It all worked out; but that’s another story.

That night I slept right through the storm but woke up to a dead stillness early in the morning after it had subsided. My friend from Hawaii who helps out with my business was also wakened by the silence. He had lived in Japan and was showing me around. It was pitch black out, and we were wide awake.

With nothing scheduled until that afternoon, we saw an opening for an adventure. After pulling up various Japanese weather Web sites, we thought the predictions for the day had changed and looked great for Kanagawa, Chiba and the Izu beaches—clear skies, light winds and some leftover waves from the storm. The biggest waves looked to be out on the fringe of the weather map, the Izu Islands, which include Niijima.

I really wanted to make it to Niijima Island someday but didn’t think it would happen on this trip. We had no idea how to get there but, since the island offered the biggest waves and seemingly perfect conditions, we were determined to find a way.

We continued our Internet research and found a small plane left for Niijima four times a day from Chofu Airport, west of central Tokyo. The timeline seemed tight and would require covering a lot of ground, but we figured, if we could get on the first flight out and then return on the second flight a few hours later, we could make it to our late afternoon commitment in Yokohama.

We tried calling to see if seats were available, but the airline office didn’t open until 8 a.m. In order to make that first flight, we had to get to the airport early, so we decided to leave it to fate and hope the plane wasn’t full.

Piecing together a route to Chofu Airport using several trains and a taxi, we set out as the sun began rising. Two hours later we were at the airport entrance among a handful of fishermen waiting to check in for the first flight. The fishermen told us they had booked almost one month ago. My eyes kept looking at the size of the planes on the tarmac and counting the bodies of the growing crowd. The planes were small 15-seaters, and nearly 10 people were already milling around. Luckily, nobody else showed up, and we got our two seats.

After a slight delay, the small prop plane took off, buzzing and shaking with a slight smell of gas. We flew directly over Kamakura within minutes and then were over open ocean for the next 20 minutes or so. At about 10:30 a.m. the plane came to a stop on the Niijima runway. It was bizarre being surrounded by mountains and lush greenery. I felt as if I had arrived on one of the remote Hawaiian Islands.

Like a bunch of excited kids, we ran down to the beach, just on the other end of the airport runway. We were in the water 10 minutes later. The set=up was better than I had imagined. Along a six-kilometer stretch of light gray-colored sand, there was only one person in the water. Calm winds were keeping the water surface smooth, with clear skies and sets of waves chest-to-shoulder high. It wasn’t big as I am used to on the North Shore of Hawaii, but the conditions were as good as it gets.

I was in the water for only an hour. Some of the pictures were taken right on the shore in between the cement jacks set up to save the beach. Others were taken farther out where little tubes were forming. And a few unusual ones were taken in front of a construction site where waves would hit a metal barrier and send water straight up into the air.  There was quite an assortment of set-ups keeping me occupied the entire time.

After hitchhiking back to the airport, then jumping on the plane, I was standing back in Tokyo at Chofu Airport within an hour, salt still crusted on my eyebrows. A taxi ride, three trains and a two-mile walk later, I was in Yokohama setting up my artwork for an exhibit at the Greenroom Festival.

As the event crew hustled and bustled around me, I kept stopping to replay the day. Did that really happen?

About Clark Little
Clark Little was born in Napa, California, in 1968. Two years later a move to the North Shore of Oahu dramatically altered his future. In the ’80s and ’90s he made his name as a pioneer of surfing at the Waimea Bay shorebreak. Clark had a talent for taking off on hopeless closeout shorebreak waves and surviving in one piece.

In 2007 his wife asked him for an ocean photo to decorate a bedroom wall. With the confidence of an experienced surfer, he jumped into the ocean and started snapping away, unknowingly discovering his talent and passion to capture the beauty and power of Hawaiian waves and, specifically, the extraordinary beauty of the shorebreak. “Clark’s view” is a unique and often dangerous perspective of waves from the inside out.

In just four years Clark has gained national and international recognition for his North Shore shorebreak wave photography. Clark’s work has been featured in publications worldwide including National Geographic, Nikon World, Geo and The Surfer’s Journal, among others. Achievements in 2011 include receiving the 2010 Oceans Photography Award (Windland Smith Rice International Awards) and the honor of having two of Clark’s award-winning images exhibited from April to September 2011 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. More of his work can be seen at his galleries in Haleiwa, Hawaii, and Laguna Beach, California, or online at www.clarklittle.com

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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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