Japan's great outdoors
Experience Japan by getting outside and active. There are bikes to ride, mountains to climb, rivers to explore, seas to kayak. The list is endless and there really is no better way to see Japan.
Japan's geography is staggering. Made up of more than 6,000 islands stretching 3,000 km (1,800 mi) from the northern tip of Hokkaido where cold winter winds sweep in from Siberia to the subtropical islands of Okinawa on the same latitude as the Bahamas. The land mass is around the same size as Germany or California, and of this area about 75% is mountainous. This means there's a huge wealth of outdoor adventures to be had.
First there's the water. Japan has more rivers than we'd care to count, and these offer lots of great opportunities for rafting, canoeing and canyoning. That's not to mention kayaking on the sea; a novel way to approach the famous "floating" torii gate by Miyajima Island.
Japan also offers fantastic opportunities for cycling. The Shimanami Kaido is a fantastic feat of engineering that creates 70 km (43 mi) of bikeways linking six tiny islands strewn across the Seto Inland Sea between Honshu and Shikoku. There are also plenty of ways you can explore the countryside by bike, while Tokyo and Kyoto are both relatively flat making cycling tour a fantastic way to sightsee.
Please note in other sections of this website you'll find diving, skiing and hiking information for more fantastic outdoor experiences.
Shin-Etsu Trail hiking
Choose the path less travelled and embark on a hike along the 70km-long Shin-Etsu Trail.
Kyoto cycling city tour
Kyoto City is nice and flat making it an ideal place to explore by bike.
Sightseeing and exercise combine is the form of sea kayaking, a great way to see Miyajima's 'floating' shrine gate up close.
The art of forest bathing
Rafting on the Yoshino River
Some of the most beautiful parts of the Iya Valley can only be seen from the water; a great excuse for a day of rafting!
Kibi Plains cycling
Cycling past farms and rural shrines in the Kibi Plains is a great little day trip from Kurashiki.
Shimanami Kaido cycling
Japan's most intriguing cycle track links 6 tiny islands in stepping stones across the Seto Inland Sea.
Tokyo cycling city tour
Explore Tokyo by bike.
Fancy a day hurtling downhill on a hike through the mountains of Gunma Prefecture?
Biei's lavender fields
Beautiful flower fields roll down the gentle hills around Biei.
Kayaking through the mangroves
Take a kayak through the mangrove swamps of Iriomote Island's jungle interior.
Beginner's scuba dive
Ever fancied learning to scuba dive? Ishigaki Island is a great place to start.
Mount Fuji climb (from Hakone)
Watch the sun rise from the summit of Japan's highest peak, the sacred Mt. Fuji
Kibune to Kurama Onsen hike
Keep your eyes peeled for tengu goblins on a half day mountain hike near Kyoto
Mount Asahidake is the highest point on Hokkaido Island and set in Japan's largest national park, Daisetsuzan.
Chubu-Sangaku National Park
Spectacular walking and hiking in the Kamikochi region of Chubu-Sangaku National Park
Shirakami Sanchi mountain range
A little known but stunning national park in northern Tohoku ideal for hiking and bird watching.
Canyoning in the Nametoko Gorge
Messing about on the river: InsideJapan invite you to jump, slide, splash and swim through the Nametoko Gorge.
White water rafting in Minakami
For Japan's best white water experience, head to the Tone River in Minakami.
The Nakasendo Way
Take the ancient samurai pathway through the Kiso Valley past picturesque farmhouses and tea fields.