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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.
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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
      • 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.
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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
      • 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.
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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.
        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
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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

        “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.
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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.
        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
      • 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.
        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.
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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.
    • Food and Drinks
      • 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.
        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.
    • 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!
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        DD4D Brewing

        In nearly e...

Soaking it Up

pera pera corner onsen

Japan is located along what is known as the Pacific Rim of Fire, an area that stretches from New Zealand up towards Russia, down the west coast of North America and all the way down the west side of South America. It encircles the Pacific Ocean in a horseshoe shape and is basically an unstable area where different tectonic plates violently converge and collide, resulting in devastating earthquakes and volcanoes. Sitting atop this “rim of fire” doesn’t sound too comforting, but there are definitely some perks – such as the abundance of natural hot springs.

In Japan, “Onsen” (温泉) is the term used for natural hot springs, but there are actually many more words to describe the different types of onsen. For example:

- Rotenburo (露天風呂) = Outdoor open air hot spring. You can find rotenburo at a Japanese-style ryokan or inn or you can find these baths in more rustic settings, such as atop a mountain, close to rivers, and near the sea.
- Uchiyu (内湯) =
Onsen and rotenburo are often located within the premises of a hotel or Japanese ryokan (旅館). These baths are called uchiyu (内湯), meaning “inside bath.”
- Higaeri onsen (日帰り温泉)  = Day use hot springs. Onsen at ryokan generally reserved for inn guests but sometimes opened to the general public during limited hours to allow for day use.

There are onsen facilities with no accommodations and are only available for day use as well. These are called tachi yori onsen (立ち寄り温泉) meaning “to stop by” the onsen.
-  Ashiyu (足湯) = A shallow onsen for the “ashi” or feet where you sit on a bench, roll up the bottoms of your pants and dip in only your legs.

Women, Men or Mixed?!
It should be noted that, in Japan, onsen are always entered in the buff. Swimsuits are an absolute no-no. Not to worry, however. Onsen are usually separated between men and women. Signs with 女湯 (onna yu) written on a red curtain at the entrance mean women’s bath. The characters for men’s bath, 男湯 (otoko yu) are usually written on a blue curtain. There are, however, places where mixed bathing or kon yoku (混浴) is offered so, if you are uncomfortable, you might want to check just to be sure.

Therapeutic Hot Springs
While onsen are great for relaxing, the Japanese have also long used these baths for therapeutic purposes. The water that bubbles up from within the earth often contains sei bun (成分) or minerals such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sulfur. The minerals in the hot spring water are reputed to have healing effects and effectively treat symptoms such as nerve pain, muscle pain, joint pain, bruises, poor circulation and skin rash.

Achichichichi!!!
Japanese people like their baths hot, and many onsen are generally kept at a steamy 40 to 43 degrees Celsius. The best way to enjoy the onsen is to sit in for about 10 to 15 minutes, get out and cool off and repeat this process over and over. Be careful not to sit in the hot water for too long though because it may make you noboseru (のぼせる) or feel lightheaded and dizzy.

Recommended Hot Springs
So, now you‘ve got the onsen basics. Yet with literally thousands of onsen to from which to choose, where do you start? That’s the million dollar question. There are areas famous for onsen such as Beppu (in Kyushu), Kusatsu and Izu, but you may uncover some hidden treasures by simply asking a local:
 “Osusume no onsen wa doko desuka?” (Where is your favorite/recommended onsen?)

Although not a born and bred, true local, here are a few I recommend:

-Sawada Kouen in Nishi Izu, Shizuoka (沢田公園、静岡県西伊豆): A tiny onsen located on a huge cliff overlooking the ocean with jaw-dropping sunsets.
-Nyutou Onsen, Akita (乳頭温泉、秋田県): Rotenburo with milky white waters. During the winter, there’s nothing more surreal than sitting in the hot spring surrounded by snow.
-Takaranoyu, Gunma (宝の湯、群馬県): A huge, open hot spring (one of the largest in Japan) located by a gushing river.

Pera-Phrasing

Hot Springs in Japan日本の温泉
温泉 (onsen) hot spring
露天風呂 (rotenburo) outdoor hot spring
内湯 (uchiyu) hot spring bath located inside the premises of a hotel or ryokan inn
日帰り温泉 (higaeri onsen) / 立ち寄り温泉 (tachiyori onsen) day-use hot spring
足湯 (ashiyu) foot bath

Women, Men or Mixed?!女性、男性、混浴?!
女湯 (onnayu) Women’s bath
男湯 (otokoyu) Men’s bath
混浴 (konyoku) Mixed gender bath, mixed bathing
裸 (Hadaka) naked, nude

Therapeutic Hot Springs温泉入浴の効果
成分 (seibun) components, minerals

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この温泉にはxxx が入っています。   
ナトリウム (natoriuumu)  Sodium   
カルシウム (karushiuumu)  Calcium   
マグネシウム (maguneshiuumu) Magnesium   
カリウム (kariuumu) Potassium   
硫黄 (iou) Sulphur   

神経痛 (shinkei tsu) nerve pain

筋肉痛 (kin niku tsu) muscle pain

関節痛 (kan setsu tsu) joint pain

打ち身 (uchimi) bruises

冷え性 (hieshou) coldness due to poor circulation

アトピー(atopee) skin rash

Feelin’ Hot Hot Hot熱い熱い熱い!
あちちち (achichichi) expression for “Ooh, that’s hot!”
のぼせる (noboseru) dizzy, lightheaded

Recommended Hot Springsお勧めの温泉
お勧めの温泉はどこですか?(Osusumeno onsen wa dokodesuka?) Where is your favorite/recommended onsen?

[novo-map id=2 individual=”yes”]

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