Nature & the Outdoors
Sharing the Blessings of the Sakurajima Volcano with the World through the Gastronomy Music Festival—from Expansive Nature to Shochu, Public Baths, and Gourmet Food
Everything that makes Kagoshima special can be found on this tour! An active volcano? Live music? Gourmet dining? Drinking shochu? Take the Sakurajima Ferry to experience them all on the internationally-renowned Sakurajima and around Kinko Bay. Here you will discover new and appealing ways to experience the Kirishima-Kinko Bay National Park Marine Park, Sakurajima-Kinko Bay Geopark, and the port city of Kagoshima. From the Kanze Lighthouse floating in the sea to Okogashima Island and the Taisho Lava Field, these are all sights you won't be able to see through a car window! If you get lucky with the weather, it's possible to see the three big volcanoes of Kagoshima Prefecture—Sakurajima, Kirishima, and Kaimondake—all at the same time. There is also a chance of bumping into some of the dolphins (Southern bottlenose dolphins, long-beaked common dolphins) that live in Kinko Bay. While out on the magnificent ocean, you can also enjoy gourmet dishes and drinks from Kagoshima, including special rice cakes, Kagoshima black beef, udon noodles, and shochu, while listening to classical music, jazz, island songs, and other local music. Kagoshima local Ryutaro Higashikawa also narrates a guide to Sakurajima. During the premium hiking on Sakurajima, you will get to experience the dynamic views of the volcano from areas that are normally off limits and enjoy sampling sushi made from local ingredients. As part of a year-round city walking program, you can also enjoy some public bathhouse hopping! Enjoy hot springs in the city—the majority of the 30-odd public bathhouses in the city draw hot spring water—and the traditional streetscapes in the Tenmonkan and Meizanbori areas while eating and drinking local specialties such as Kagoshima black pork and shochu.
Official hospitality packages for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 are on sale, which is to be held from Friday, August 25 to Monday, September 3, 2023, at the Okinawa Arena. The FIBA Basketball World Cup is an international event held once every 4 years. It provides a rare opportunity to witness the clash of some of the best basketball-playing nations in the world. The cutting-edge Okinawa Arena provides a sports entertainment experience like nothing else in Japan. This package offers the best of both basketball and tourism in Okinawa, a region with deeply rooted ties to the sport. The package includes watching the games from a dedicated space on the 3rd floor (a suite with table seats), as well as use of a separate entrance from general spectators to ensure smooth and comfortable access to every game. A special catering and drinks service exclusive to this package can also be enjoyed before, during, and after the games. The stellar menu will offer a range of traditional Okinawan dishes and regional cuisine. The package is rounded out by special commemorative gifts. Get ready to make some incredible memories!
In this era of such rapid technological advancement, the vision of this tour was always to reaffirm the humanity of us all. The tour provides the value of actually experiencing things for ourselves, and the empathy and joy that come from interacting with others. Taking our existing tour a step further, we have added the extra value of "otaku" into the mix! We define "otaku" as the "masters and professionals of a specific subject," and through working alongside them, we now have a tour of the otaku, by the otaku, for the otaku. The tour is composed of three parts: sightseeing, experience, and interaction. Starting from the standard sightseeing, you will be accompanied by both a guide and a cameraman. The experience part will allow you to enhance your plastic model making under the tutelage of a plastic model otaku—in this case, someone involved in the industry and who creates guidebooks for the hobby! Otaku will also share other aspects of the appeal of Akihabara that are hard to access on other tours, or when visiting alone. During the exchange section at the end of the tour, you will be able to enjoy a meal while chatting with native otaku of Akihabara, providing a chance to meet and interact with otaku themselves. The implementation of this event will make full use of the latest technology in order to remove the language barrier as much as possible. You will also receive a commemorative gift for taking part in the tour.
Through seminars given by experts and people working in the field, participants will learn about environmental protection of endangered rock ptarmigans in Japan's alpine zones and the importance of co-existence between humans and nature. The tours also include a donation toward rock ptarmigan conservation, creating a system where tourism is directly linked to nature conservation. There are 3 types of tours offered, varying by season and price range. Options include observing ptarmigans on Mt. Norikura, at the core of the Ministry of the Environment's rock ptarmigan research (although a tourist destination reachable by Japan's alpine buses, it is also a precious stable habitat for ptarmigans), cross-sectional observation of wild animals and birds on Mt. Norikura, seeking rock ptarmigans in winter plumage with a professional photographer, and more. All of the tours will be unprecedented hands-on tours to see Japanese rock ptarmigans—the kind of adventure tourism experience sure to satisfy educated, wealthy inbound tourists with an interest in climate change, environmental issues, biodiversity, and more.
Among other related sites and treasures of the Hirado Domain, a pilgrimage project will be held at UNESCO Hidden Christian Sites: A festival of light and art, gastronomy, and other special events
(1) In Kasuga Village, a part of the official UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site listed as "Kasuga Village and Sacred Places in Hirado," there is Mt. Maruoyama, where an early Christian church is said to have once stood. The mountain will be illuminated at night, and there will also be an art exhibition related to the pilgrimage and gastronomic events using local ingredients. On a pilgrimage to Kasuga Village, a part of the official UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site listed as "Kasuga Village and Sacred Places in Hirado," there will be a Festival of Lights (includes a light festival, art exhibition, gastronomy.)
(2) The cobbled approach to Mt. Yasumandake is a sacred place which the locals have carefully preserved. There will be special trekking tours along the restored approach. There is a prayer experience at Hidden Christian Culture sites, which are World Cultural Heritage, and a special trekking course to Mt. Yasumandake, which is a sacred place.
(3) Hirado Kagura, a form of ceremonial dance passed down since the Edo period, will be performed at night on the sacred dance stage at Kameoka Shrine, and a festival of lights and gastronomic dining will be held at Kameoka Shrine, as well as at the Dutch Trading Post in Hirado, which was Japan's first trading port. Hirado Dutch Trading Post gastronomy event tours, Kameoka Shrine, Hirado Castle Shrine Festival (Festival of Light, Hirado Night Kagura ceremonial dance, and gastronomic events)
(4) A special accommodation plan will be available for a castle stay at Hirado Castle, including travel to Hirado Island via helicopter from Nagasaki Airport and a brief tour of the Hirado Island skies. (5) Car sharing and e-bike rental services that can be reserved and paid for by scanning a QR code.
A brand-new guided tour to the sacred birthplace of the Ryukyu islands—discover places of worship and sacred waters in Yanbaru National Park that are usually inaccessible to the public! Designed for inbound tourists who are not religious but still have a deep appreciation for important spiritual cultures and natural World Heritage sites
Yanbaru National Park is abundant in nature and its surrounding mountains were registered as a World Natural Heritage site in 2021. The lesser-known "Ashimui," a sacred place from ancient myth can also be found here. It is believed to be where the goddess Amamikiyo descended and created the Ryukyu Islands. During the Ryukyu Kingdom period, people prayed on this mountain for the prosperity of the royal family, a bountiful harvest, and safe voyages at sea. Even today, it is a site to worship nature with more than sixty different prayer stations. The tour’s route will take you to these hidden places of prayer, where you can meditate on the magnificence of nature far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and prepare your mind for the next stage of your journey.
After arriving at the village of Hedo at the foot of the mountain, visitors will interact with local residents and try their hand at making “nibu” ladles from fountain palm leaves. In the past, the spring waters of Ashimui were offered to the royal family as a sacred offering to pray for the prosperity of the country. Participants will take the ladles that they make and use them to draw sacred water from the river where these spring waters still flow. This is a simple but unique chance to experience a culture that was born amidst nature.
Tea time at an old Japanese-style house will treat guests to snacks that are prepared using generous amounts of local seasonal wild plants. This guided tour puts the power of nature into your body as phytochemicals, enabling you to truly feel the natural beauty of this region with all five senses.
Self-guided courses tailored to your level of physical fitness are also available in multiple languages, making this a full-package product that allows visitors to appreciate and understand more about the history and spiritual culture of this land.
The Tokyo National Museum in Ueno, Tokyo, currently houses approximately 120,000 items passed down over the past 150 years. Of these, 89 are National Treasures and 649 are Important Cultural Properties (as of April 2023), making it one of Japan's leading collections in terms of both quality and quantity. Within its grounds stands the Okyokan, a Japanese house of great value that is not usually open to the public. For a limited time only, the Okyokan will be open as a teahouse. Visitors can enjoy a number of Japanese cultural activities while viewing fusuma screen paintings (currently reproductions) by Maruyama Okyo, a painter of the Edo period. Visitors can try on kimono garments crafted in Kyoto, or try Zen breathing exercises. There will also be a variety of food and beverages made with ingredients produced in Japan. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit during this limited season.
Setonaikai National Park, Japan's first national park, will celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2024. Mt. Ojigatake, a mountain in the park with many curiously shaped rocks, is where foreign visitors can get a taste of climbing, or try out the international climbing event that will be help here for the first time to take advantage of this magnificent natural setting. Special tours in conjunction with sightseeing, lodging, and dining will be offered in the city of Tamano, Okayama Prefecture, providing an experience unique to Tamano, which is truly sacred ground for climbers. In addition, a climbing community space will be set up for a limited time around the port of Uno. Visitors can attain information on climbing Mt. Ojigatake, as well as enjoy food, drink, and souvenirs made with local Tamano products.
This may be the first golf event in Japan in which visitors from overseas can take part and engage in golf as a form of intercultural exchange. Each golf course will present a variety of friendly golf events, including closest-to-the-pin and long drive competitions, both for local golf course members and for golfers visiting Japan. Come to Hyogo and interact not only with Japanese golfers, but also with many other golfers from all over the world. Aside from golfing, local market events will also be held at the golf courses. There will be introductions of local products and opportunities to interact with the local Japanese community! At WGW in Hyogo, you’ll enjoy experiences you’ll simply never have on a normal golfing trip. Meet golfing friends from all over the world here in Hyogo, enjoy great golfing in Japan, and enjoy Japanese food and drinks in Kobe after playing. World Golf Week in Hyogo is an international exchange golfing event that delivers experiences you’ll never have on a regular golf trip.
Global content on remote islands: the Earth Celebration Festival, and the Gold and Silver Mines of Sado Island, for which World Heritage registration is sought
This year marks the 36th annual Earth Celebration. Alongside this headline event, various other projects will be held this year! During Earth Celebration from August 18 to 20, a camp site and outdoor field will be set up at Shiroyama Park, which is considered a sacred site. Workshops on Japanese taiko drumming, traditional Sado Ondeko drumming, South African Zulu dance, and more will be held all around the Ogi area. The week following the Earth Celebration will see an e-bike cycling tour as well as a jazz festival. There will also be art tours on the themes of food, folklore, crafts, Japanese sake, and nature. Visitors can use an app to follow along the "Gold Road," a former highway that carried gold and silver from Sado Island to Edo, or join a training camp for Japanese drumming and Sado performing arts. Discover something different each time you come to Sado. The island is packed with experiences you’ll never tire of.