Japan is a string of four major islands: Honshu (the main island), Hokkaido to the North, and Shikoku and Kyushu to the South. Across Japan adventure travel is never far away. Similar in size to Germany (364,485 sq km) the islands offer plenty of activities. With mountains dominating around three-quarters of the country, there are plenty of outdoor activities in Japan to try your hand at... +Japan is a string of four major islands: Honshu (the main island), Hokkaido to the North, and Shikoku and Kyushu to the South. Across Japan adventure travel is never far away. Similar in size to Germany (364,485 sq km) the islands offer plenty of activities. With mountains dominating around three-quarters of the country, there are plenty of outdoor activities in Japan to try your hand at.
The country is can be found off the east coast of China; sandwiched between the crashing North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan. Japan’s a land of contrasts: as well as its sporting opportunities there are many cultural opportunities and dozens of temples to navigate.
In Japan adventure travel lovers are quickly drawn to its mostly rugged and mountainous interior. Despite what you might think only 18 per cent of Japan is suitable for settlement, so its 128 million citizens are commonly housed in densely populated cities;
Tokyo, with more than 36 million inhabitants, is the world’s most populated area. This means the remaining 82 per cent of the country is relatively untouched and perfect for finding adventures.
In Japan fire and water meet. There’s a history of tsunamis crashing in from the surrounding oceans and long-standing seismic activity has been changing the face of the country since it rose from the sea. With snow-capped slopes and steaming volcanic peaks, Japan’s tallest mountain Mount Fuji, stands at a towering 3776 metres.
In Japan adventure travel opens up spectacular scenery: Daisetsuzan national park on Hokkaido Island has two huge volcanoes underneath it, fuelling the area with life and creating dramatic contrasts between the seasons. Covered in extremely thick vegetation, most of Daisetsuzan (meaning big snow mountain) is impenetrable, and so stays perfectly preserved from human influence.
The weather varies widely and the country fully experiences all four seasons. Honshu and Hokkaido (the more northern islands) have relatively cold winters, and these are favoured regions for outdoor activities in Japan especially winter sports.
The southern islands enjoy a pleasantly mild winter. They have hot and humid summers, with a rainy season throughout June, and a very hot period during July and August. Japan blossoms in springtime and autumn is cool and crisp. There is a stunning cherry blossom towards the end of spring, covering mountains and fields with a spectacular sea of pink, just in time for summer.
From its temperamental seas and serene lakes to bustling cosmopolitan cities, Japan adventure travel holidays are filled with contrasts. Comprising four main islands, Japan is easy to travel around, especially when using the world famous Shinkansen or bullet trains.
Starting your Japan adventure travel holiday with a cultural experience on the main island Honshu, go to Osaka, where you can a look around Osaka Castle, an incredible experience due to its architecture and golden history. From here, head north to Kyoto, where you can get your fix of traditional Japanese culture in the country’s ancient capital: from temples, shrines and geishas to cartoons!
Next on the list is Tokyo, only a two-hour bullet train ride away - you should spend a few days there as a break from the list of outdoor activities in Japan you are ticking off - it’s a super futuristic capital city, bustling with life. Head a little further north to Nikko, a world heritage site, which can boast the mausoleum of Tokugawa Leyasu Toshogu, Japan’s most decorated shrine.
The Nikko national park also offers plenty of scenery with mountainous landscapes, lakes, waterfalls, and hiking trails serving up the outdoor activities in Japan you’ve still yet to read about. Here’s where you can see wild monkeys and find hot springs. Get on another bullet train to the northern island, Hokkaido for more Japan adventure travel opportunities. Here visit the famous Mount Fuji, a must-do on an itinerary of any traveller of Japan.
Walk around the surrounding gardens and lakes, then ascend the mountain, and take in its stunning views, before you take on the descent for your adrenaline fix. Also on Hokkaido, you can find Daisetsuzan National Park, which Japanese backpackers silently navigate due to its abundance of wildlife, such as deer, birds, hares and bears.
Try scuba diving - not one of the outdoor activities in Japan you hear much about - yet, there is so much to experience, with new coral reefs still being found today off the country’s thousands of islands. There is a lot to explore! Another water-based activity to try is sea kayaking, which can again be done by people of all abilities. Alternatively, try island-hopping between Japan’s islands on a chartered yacht.
Throughout Japan adventure travel junkies have so many mountain sports to try, such as rock climbing, or alternatively have a go at ice-climbing in the northern Japanese Alps. With the sport of rock climbing so popular in indoor gyms, many outdoor routes remain untried. As well as mountains, Japan is home to fast-flowing rivers, so there's always white-water rafting opportunities.
If you fancy something totally different, then look to Japan’s martial arts. It’s perhaps the best country to learn about the ways of the Samurai, the technicalities of judo, or the power of sumo wrestling. -