All About Japan

Wonders of Japan: Activities Amidst Nature

| Cycling , Surfing
Wonders of Japan: Activities Amidst Nature

Set out on a journey to let yourself fully experience nature and feel the energy of the earth, sky and ocean flow through your body.

As a country with a cool and refreshing ambiance, Japan offers visitors abundant opportunities not simply to observe and enjoy the natural surroundings, but also to explore various amazing spots and engage in activities to fully get in touch with nature.

Japan is characterized by four distinct seasons, which offer the appealing chance to enjoy new attractions and make exciting discoveries at any time of the year. Take for instance cycling, an activity that lets you experience the joy of pedaling through the lush beauty of scenery that changes throughout the year.

Or, if you want to choose activities depending on the season, we recommend diving and rafting in the summer. Let the clear blue ocean engulf you and enjoy the liberating sensation of floating and the encounters with the mysteries of the sea, or embark on an exciting journey down a river rapids and let the current and the splashing water stir up your adventurous spirit and curiosity.

In winter, choose skiing. Niseko in Hokkaido is one of the world’s finest winter sports resorts. Located only a couple of hours from the nearest airport, it attracts visitors with the easy access and the abundance of superb powder snow. Enjoy the exhilaration of speeding down the crisp and fluffy powder that will certainly provide you with the ultimate skiing experience.

Boldly venture into Japan’s amazing nature and feel its powerful pulse!

Rafting: Oboke (Yamagata)

Rafting: Oboke (Yamagata)

With its swift and turbulent currents, Yoshino River is known as one of Japan's best spots for whitewater rafting. It offers exciting opportunities to challenge 3-meter-high (10-ft) waves and 2-meter (6.6-ft) rapids. The Oboke rafting tour, which includes four of the river's best whitewater spots, gives adventurers the chance to get really close to the riverbed and fully experience nature in the deep, rocky canyons.

Surfing: Niijima Island (Tokyo)

Surfing: Niijima Island (Tokyo)

Niijima is one of the lzu Islands, and with its excellent location relatively close to Tokyo and brilliantly white sand dunes, it is a prime destination for surfing. Niijima lsland is popular for its superb beaches, where powerful sparkling waves break steadily. Among them are Habushiura Beach, which has staged a world surfing championship in the past, and Awaiura Beach, whose inlet shape creates the perfect geological conditions for high waves.

Skiing: Shiga Highlands (Nagano)

Skiing: Shiga Highlands (Nagano)

As one of the most popular skiing resorts in Nagano Prefecture, Shiga Highlands is a true mecca for winter sports. It boasts the largest-scale facilities in Japan and abundant snow accumulation. There are 19 ski resorts within the area, and common lift passes give access to all of them. In the areas with high elevation, winter sports can be enjoyed until around May.

Climbing: Southern Alps (Nagano, Yamanashi, Shizuoka)

Climbing: Southern Alps (Nagano, Yamanashi, Shizuoka)

The Southern Alps is a mountain range located in the southern part of the Japanese Alps. It spans 120 kilometers (75 miles) from north to south and boasts several 3,000-meter-class (9,842-ft) peaks. The Southern Alps include unique mountains such as Mount Kita-dake, the second-highest mountain in Japan after Mount Fuji, and Mount Senjo, whose relatively gentle slopes boast a rich abundance of alpine plant life. The best season for hiking in the Southern Alps is from July through mid-October.

Sea Kayak: Tsuruga Bay (Fukui)

Sheltered by the Tsuruga Peninsula, which protrudes into the Sea of Japan from the southeastern tip of Fukui Prefecture, Tsuruga Bay boasts numerous swimming beaches and calm, clear waters that make it the perfect choice for lovers of sea kayaking. The deeply indented coastline offers superb spots to enjoy paddling and exploring this beautiful area.

Cycling: Setouchi Shimanami Kaido (Hiroshima & Ehime)

Cycling: Setouchi Shimanami Kaido (Hiroshima & Ehime)

Home to famous natural sites and the seaside, Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, art and other museums, this area features rent-a-cycle terminals at various points on the road, and is easy enough for novice cyclists to enjoy. The Seto Inland Sea Cross Expressway is famous for being the first road in Japan where one can cross over a strait by bicycle.

The Setouchi Shimanami Kaido is a 70-kilometer (43-mile) toll road that connects the city of lmabari in Ehime Prefecture with the city of Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. The series of bridges passes over several small islands in the Seto Inland Sea at a maximum elevation of approximately 78 meters (240 ft), all traversible by bicycle. This makes the road one of the most popular cycling routes in Japan.

Cycling high up in the sky while enjoying the breathtaking vistas of the islands that dot the Seto Inland Sea is a truly exhilarating and liberating experience. Along the road, there are 15 bicycle rental terminals as well as excellent service facilities.

Diving: Ishigaki Island (Okinawa)

Diving: Ishigaki Island (Okinawa)

With its excellent location merely an hour by plane from the main island of Okinawa, Ishigaki Island is one of the Japan's prime diving destinations. The beautiful emerald-green sea surrounding the island offers numerous opportunities to enjoy exciting encounters with manta rays and explore stunning coral reefs. Courses for a wide range of divers, from beginners to advanced, are available throughout the year.