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    • Spring
      • Onbashira Matsuri Japan Nagano Festival

        Onbashira Matsuri

        Watch one of Japan's most dangerous festivals in Nagano in 2022. The Onbashira Matsuri is an ancient festival dating back more than 1,200 years.
        Eating Wild in Japan

        Eating Wild in Japan

        Winifred Bird's latest book is an introduction to the world of sansai (mountain vegetables) and foraging in Japan.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkaido

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Northern Tohoku’s Top 5 Spring Hikes

        Chase the cherry blossoms north and enjoy five of Tohoku’s best hikes this spring.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
    • Summer
      • Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Climbing Mt. Fuji Outdoor Japan

        Peaking in 2021: Climbing Mt. Fuji

        Thinking of climbing Mt. Fuji this summer? We talk to Mt. Fuji guides on best practices for scaling Japan's highest mountain.

        Japan Camping Guide

        Check out our picks all the way from Hokkaido to the Okinawa Islands and then plot your perfect Japan camping adventure.
        Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endangered Wildcats

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
    • Autumn
      • Pow Bar Founder Megumi Scott

        Beyond the Brand: Pow Bar

        An interview with Megumi Scott, the founder of Niseko brand Pow Bar.
        Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
    • Winter
      • Indy Pass Outdoor Japan Tohoku

        The Resistance

        The Indy Pass arrives in Japan to bring avid riders to local resorts that punch above their weight class and offer varied terrain.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
        Outdoor Japan Shimoda

        Blue Waves and Black Ships in Shimoda

        Shimoda may be famous for its white sandy beaches and surfing, but it also played a major role in shaping the Japan we know today.
    • River and Lake
      • sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Sawa Nobori, High Above t...

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawa nobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endanger...

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Iriomote Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote Activity Guide

        A guide to Iriomote's outdoors, hiking, diving, cultural experiences and accommodation.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkai...

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor A...

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • Indy Pass Outdoor Japan Tohoku

        The Resistance

        The Indy Pass arrives in Japan to bring avid riders to local resorts that punch above their weight class and offer varied terrain.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
    • Travel
      • Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
        Onbashira Matsuri Japan Nagano Festival

        Onbashira Matsuri

        Watch one of Japan's most dangerous festivals in Nagano in 2022. The Onbashira Matsuri is an ancient festival dating back more than 1,200 years.
        Market Watch Onomichi Market

        Market Watch: Omicho Market

        Discover Omicho Market in Kanazawa, Ishikawa for the best of seafood and local vegetables in Japan.
        sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Sawa Nobori, High Above the Wakasa Waters

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawa nobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
    • Food and Drinks
      • Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
        Onbashira Matsuri Japan Nagano Festival

        Onbashira Matsuri

        Watch one of Japan's most dangerous festivals in Nagano in 2022. The Onbashira Matsuri is an ancient festival dating back more than 1,200 years.
        Market Watch Onomichi Market

        Market Watch: Omicho Market

        Discover Omicho Market in Kanazawa, Ishikawa for the best of seafood and local vegetables in Japan.
        sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Sawa Nobori, High Above the Wakasa Waters

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawa nobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
    • Races and Events
      • Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
        Onbashira Matsuri Japan Nagano Festival

        Onbashira Matsuri

        Watch one of Japan's most dangerous festivals in Nagano in 2022. The Onbashira Matsuri is an ancient festival dating back more than 1,200 years.
        Yuji Hirayama Urban Base Camp

        Yuji Hirayama’s Urban Base Camp Opens in Shinj...

        One of Japan's top rock climbers Yuji Hirayama has opened Urban Base Camp, a new bouldering gym in the heart of Tokyo.
        Photo by Noriteru Ino

        2021 Summer Music Festivals in Japan

        Camp and listen to great music in the outdoors at these summer music festivals across Japan.

Niseko Trails

When people talk about Niseko the focus is always on the world-class skiing. But if you’ve enjoyed Niseko in winter, you’ll love it in summer. The air is clean, the food fresh and the streets and mountains perfect for cycling. There is something for everyone, from smooth, open roads and scenic cycling paths to rolling cross-country trails and exhilarating downhill tracks. There are many road cycling events as well as a growing MTB scene.

Ground zero for cycling in Niseko is Rhythm Japan. Now in its third year, the company began as a collaboration between Rhythm Snowsports and Groove Cycles. The shop has been instrumental in promoting MTB riding in the area, with staff putting in countless hours building and maintaining trails and galvanizing support from local businesses supporting cycling in Niseko.

Rhythm Japan offers rentals, sales tours and workshops. Stop by the shop for the latest info on what’s happening or their website to check out the full cycling calendar.

Grand Hirafu MTB Park

This largest mountain bike park in Hokkaido offers a lift-accessed three-kilometer downhill track, which drops about 500 meters in altitude. The trail has been given a major overhaul this year, making it longer, more enjoyable and easier to ride.

The dual slalom course is located at the base of the mountain and doesn’t require a lift ticket. It’s a great place to hone your skills or simply prove who is fastest. The skills park is next to the dual slalom track and gives riders the chance to try various terrain they might find on a downhill course in a safe environment. There are jumps, rollers, bridges and training lines.

The pump track, located across the road from the skills park, is where you can learn how to use your body weight to your advantage as you pump around the circuit, and it’s a great workout. You’ll also find an excellent cross-country track that leads to Niseko Village and back. Lift tickets for the park are available through Rhythm Cycles for ¥1,000 a run, ¥2,500 for three hours and ¥3,500 for six hours. A season pass is also available for ¥20,000.

Niseko Village Pure Park

Access to Niseko Village is possible via the cross county trail at the base of the Hirafu MTB Park as well as by car. Among other activities, they have a great cross-country trail and a skills area. This is an awesome place to experience MTB for the first time. Rental bikes are available.

Hanazono MTB Park

Hanazono has a large cross-country loop within the resort as well as a small skills area. Rental bikes are available.

Rusutsu Resort MTB Park

Established in 2013, Rusutsu Mountain Bike Park has a growing network of trails suitable for all levels of riders. Follow a winding trail through the forest, it is filled with flowing banked turns and great scenery. A selection of the latest premium mountain bikes is also available to rent. The park is open until Oct. 19.

Kamui Ski Links MTB Park

Kamui Ski Links is opening a new MTB Park for 2014 including three short tracks and lots of variety with one intermediate bike park-style trail, one intermediate single trail through the woods and one for the beginners. Developments are planed to open a longer trail from the top of the gondola for 2015. No rental bikes are available, but you can pre-book a bike through Rhythm Cycles. Opens July 5.

Niseko Cycling Calendar

  • July 13: Niseko Nature Ride, Niseko Classic and Sun Sports
    Niseko Nature Ride is a road race with multiple length races; Niseko Classic is a road race with 70-km. and 140-km. races; Sun Sports is a family event hosted by Cezar from Niseko Pizza featuring cycling activities, bouncy castle golf, music and delicious food.
  • July 19: Grand Hirafu MTB Park Opening Day
    The MTB Park is in its third year of operation and will see new trails and skills areas for 2014.
  • Aug. 2-3: Hanazono Hill Climb
    One of the biggest cycling events of the summer, the “Race to the Top” differs from other road races in that it is focused on climbing rather than endurance.
  • Aug. 24: Iron Man Japan
    Japan’s Iron Man is based at nearby Lake Toya. Spectators can watch the world’s top triathletes battle on the gruelling Iron Man course as they roll through Niseko. Local Iron Man competitor Jess Ripper runs Niseko Multisport (www.nisekomultisport.com), which provides training and camps for triathletes in Niseko.
  • Aug. 31-Sept. 6 & Sept. 7-13: Tour du Nord
    Experience riding the best roads in Asia followed by a soothing onsen and fresh Hokkaido seafood. Tours average 80-100 kms. a day.
  • Sept. 13-15: Tour de Hokkaido
    Part of the UCI Asia Tour, this event is a great way to see some awesome road racing form either in the saddle or as a spectator in Niseko.
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