fbpx
    • 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.

        Spring Skiing in Japan 2022

        It may be spring in Japan but you can still ski in select ski resorts open all the way to Golden Week.
    • Summer
    • 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
      • Spring Skiing in Japan 2022

        It may be spring in Japan but you can still ski in select ski resorts open all the way to Golden Week.
        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!
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
      • 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.
        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.
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
    • River and Lake
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kan...

        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.
        sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Shower Climbing High Abov...

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawanobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.

        Solace and Giant Salamand...

        Just beyond Hiroshima City is a tranquil outdoor destination home to some of Japan's last remaining oosanshouo, the elusive giant salamander.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • Spring Skiing in Japan 2022

        It may be spring in Japan but you can still ski in select ski resorts open all the way to Golden Week.
        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!
    • Travel
    • Food and Drinks
    • Races and Events

We’ve Got a Jumper!

Generalists might say there are two kinds of people, those who would consider throwing themselves off a bridge, and good-sensed people who prefer their feet firmly on the ground. I unwittingly fell into that first group years ago.

I suppose it started in an open field outside of Dundee, Oregon, when my dad gave me a tandem parachute jump for my 18th birthday. After reluctantly getting on the plane, I survived butterflies the size of condors to discover the joy of the freefall.

In college, I heeded a gravitational pull down to New Zealand, the Mecca of bungy jumping, where I spent two seasons plunging off bridges in places such as Mangaweka, Kawarau, Skippers and Pipeline.

I even remember water skiing across the lake in Queenstown, looking up and seeing my buddy Justin bouncing up and down on a bungy from a helicopter. I vaguely recall being strapped into a vertical bungy in a pub but that’s another story.

Well, a lot of water has flowed beneath the proverbial bridge since those days, yet I recently found myself staring down from a massive suspension bridge at The Last Resort (www.tlrnepal.com), just outside of Katmandu, at the bequest of Pat O’Keefe, owner of Hokkaido Outdoor Adventures, and a partner in the jungle resort.

This 160-meter high bridge spans a narrow, tropical gorge with the Bhote Kosi River raging past boulders the size of buses. The familiar butterflies were back, then they fluttered away – three, two, one, BUNGY!

BUNGY JAPAN

Fortunately, you don’t have to go as far as New Zealand or Nepal to experience a proper bridge bungy. Minakami, Gunma, Japan’s answer to Queenstown, is now home to Japan’s only bridge bungy, a 42-meter (137 feet) leap over the Tone River.

Bungy Japan’s Kiwi owner Charles Odlin has 13 years of bungy jump experience and is a qualified New Zealand Safety Standards-approved Bungy Jumpmaster.

Charles earned his chords working on six bungy sites in N.Z. and three in Japan. He and his bilingual team have been running bungy events in Minakami for five years, but 2008 is the first full season at the bridge.

With Bungy Japan joining the mix of companies in the area offering white water rafting, canyoning, canoeing, paragliding and mountain biking, Minakami has cemented its status as the adventure capital of Honshu. And it’s just 70 minutes from Tokyo.

CALCULATED RISK TAKERS

Still, the obvious question dangling in front of many readers is, why would I want to throw myself off a bridge? Perhaps for the same reason people watch horror movies. We like to scare ourselves, especially when there is no real danger. The difference between perceived risk and real risk is that with one you can actually hurt yourself, and with the other you are just tricking your body into thinking you can.

Yet, the most profound answer lies in that wonderful moment – not when you have faced your fear – but when you realize you have survived and overcome it in dramatic fashion. It is then the huge smile appears on people’s faces lasting all the way back up the long walk to the bridge – often lingering the rest of the day.

Of course, your jump makes for great conversation with friends, and you’ll find yourself reliving those moments for years to come. And if you just can’t muster up the courage to step out onto the ledge yourself, well, it’s almost as much fun watching your friends take the leap.

BUNGY JAPAN

Hours: Weekends: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Weekdays: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Through Oct. 13. See Website for more details.
Price: 7,500 (first jump), 4,000 (second jump the same day). See Web site for adventure packages. Bookings recommended.
Tel: (0278) 72-8133       
Web: www.bungyjapan.com

[novo-map id=2 individual=”yes”]

Outdoor Japan logo tree

Related

Latest posts

Categories