fbpx
    • Spring
      • 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.

        Haga Farm Spring Glamping in Tochigi

        Haga Farm and Glamping in Tochigi opened in August 2020, and it has quickly become a popular escape for Tokyoites.
    • Summer
      • 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.
        Outdoor Japan Organic Market Online

        Market Watch: Summer Organics Delivered

        Go online shopping for organic vegetables and support local farmers throughout Japan.
    • Autumn
      • video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi by Camper Van

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • Winter
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • 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.
        Iriomote Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote Activity Guide

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

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.

        Pacific Solo

        Preacher-tu...
    • River and Lake
      • 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.
        video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi ...

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • hiroshima skiing osorakan snow parkvideo

        Hiroshima Skiing at Osorakan Snow Park

        Enjoy skiing and snowboarding just an hour from Hiroshima at Osorakan Snow Park. Every winter, people from Kansai and Kyushu flock to one of the region’s most popular ski resorts for winter fun.
    • Travel
      • 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.
        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.
        Outdoor Japan Organic Market Online

        Market Watch: Summer Organics Delivered

        Go online shopping for organic vegetables and support local farmers throughout Japan.
        Outdoor Japan Kodo Bee Farm

        Honey Business in Tokushima

        Honeybees at Kodo Bee Farm thrive in Tokushima's rich nature and contribute to the local ecosystem while producing delicious honey.
    • Food and Drinks
      • 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.
        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.
        Outdoor Japan Organic Market Online

        Market Watch: Summer Organics Delivered

        Go online shopping for organic vegetables and support local farmers throughout Japan.
        Outdoor Japan Kodo Bee Farm

        Honey Business in Tokushima

        Honeybees at Kodo Bee Farm thrive in Tokushima's rich nature and contribute to the local ecosystem while producing delicious honey.
    • Races and Events
      • 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.
        Summer Events Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        2021 Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these fireworks festivals held throughout Japan this summer and autumn.
        Summer Festivals in Japan

        2021 Summer Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these traditional matsuri festivals throughout Japan this summer.
        summer events omm lite and bike hakuba

        2021 Summer Events and Races in Japan

        Check out upcoming events and races held throughout Japan this summer and early fall.

Cornhole for the People

Cornhole for the People Nozawa Onsen

The past year or so dished out its fair share of stress and people have dealt with it in various ways. Most Netflixed or Primed themselves through the dark days of COVID; some turned to exercise, others booze, many began new hobbies such as knitting and gardening—and it seemed like everyone and their grandmother baked sourdough bread. For us it was cornhole.

In the summer of 2019 I managed to get some cornhole bags into my suitcase and barely stay under the weight limit for my flight back to Japan. We spend time in Oregon each summer to see family and friends. It is a beautiful time in the Pacific Northwest for barbecues, concerts in the park, outdoor activities and enjoying some time in the backyard with a craft beer and a game of cornhole.

For the uninitiated, cornhole is kind of a mix of horseshoes and shuffle board. You score points by getting your bag on the board or even better, in the hole. Traditionally the bags were filled with—you guessed it—corn, but nowadays the most durable bags use resin pellets that don’t break down as quickly with use. 

I brought the bags back intending to make cornhole boards that autumn, but didn’t get to it before winter. Then COVID-19 arrived and changed everything. Suddenly we all had more time on our hands than we knew what to do with, less money and nowhere to go. It was a great time for DIY projects. I finally built a fence in my backyard and then worked with a local carpenter to make the cornhole boards. 

My friend Jack stopped by to help test them out and we spent the next week playing nearly every evening after work. We soon realized the boards were too thin, light and springy; the bags were jumping instead of sliding. We set out to create boards that would perform like those we use back in Oregon and Jack, a carpenter by trade, built the the first set of cornhole boards, then a second for our local taproom.

More friends came by to play and we soon had a small cornhole community in Nozawa Onsen. We’d play in the backyard, in the park and even get together some evenings and play at our local pizza joint. We started getting more inquiries for boards and bags and realized we needed to give the people what they want—cornhole! 

Cornhole Japan was born as a pandemic pastime with a simple goal to spread the love by getting more people playing cornhole with friends, family or strangers. The boards are made from hardwood birch with poplar framing and there is info on the Cornhole Japan Facebook page for upcoming events this green season. 

For better or worse, cornhole was made for COVID times. Social—definitely, and there is plenty of distancing—the boards are laid out on flat ground 24 feet (just over seven meters) for casual play and 27 feet (just over eight meters) for tournament play. It’s simply a great reason to get outside, enjoy an adult beverage and have fun with friends. 

On Halloween, we organized the first annual Nozawa Cornhole Invitational. About thirty people gathered under cloudless Nagano skies for a friendly singles and doubles tournament sponsored by the Winterland Taproom. It was a blast and there are plans for a spring tournament in late April. Just be warned it’s highly addictive and may produce involuntary smack talking, profanity and laughter if played correctly.  

Cornhole for the People Nozawa Onsen

Outdoor Japan logo tree

Related

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest posts

Categories