Nature & the Outdoors
◆ Welcome events at airports and shopping events at commercial facilities across Japan!
Events will be held at international airports to welcome back foreign tourists in addition to shopping sales and events at famous stores, department stores, and shopping centers throughout Japan all year.
◆ Enjoy some showrooming and duty-free shopping at department stores in Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. Shop for famous products and traditional crafts from all over Japan!
Special events offer visitors the chance to view and purchase famous products and traditional crafts from all over Japan at department stores in major cities. Visitors will also be able to communicate directly with the artists and craftspeople.
◆ VIP private tours consisting of special exhibitions and reservations, covering everything from hands-on experience to transportation.
Tours include a sake-pairing experience at the brewery of the world-famous Japanese sake "Dassai" with a special menu prepared by the chef of two-star Michelin French restaurant "La Cime" to VIP shopping at department store VIP rooms and hotels. Enjoy these VIP private tours on a private jet developed by Honda.
This event marks the first collaboration between Shinjuku Gyoen, one of the most stunning spots in Tokyo for cherry blossoms, and the creative company NAKED, Inc. Shinjuku Gyoen boasts more than 900 cherry trees across 70 varieties, creating an incredible blooming spectacle. Across the length of the event, the main venue will be physically moved to match the varieties of cherry blossoms currently in full bloom, allowing visitors to have a wonderful experience no matter when they come. The biggest draw will be artist Ryotaro Muramatsu’s collaboration with Shinjuku Gyoen for his Dandelion Project, in which he uses flowers as symbols of peace. This new, exclusive installment, called Sakura Dandelion, will blend real cherry blossom trees with stunning digital art and feature a cherry blossom-inspired version of Muramatsu’s signature dandelion sculpture. The projection mapping onto the rare Fukurokujyu species of cherry, illuminated at night during early to mid-April, also provides an awe-inspiring sight. Shinjuku Gyoen is a national garden under the authority of the Ministry of the Environment, maintained as a precious oasis in the heart of the urban sprawl. Considering the most desirable format for event in such a location, we have aimed to provide sustainable blossom viewing that gives the greatest consideration to nature and the environment. To keep the event environmentally friendly, part of the illuminations and projection mapping during the event will, for a limited time, make use of power supplied by fuel cell vehicles running on hydrogen, provided with the cooperation of the Toyota Motor Corporation. The lighting will not rely on generators, instead enveloping the cherry blossoms in a more gentle, natural light.
Tucked away in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture in central Japan lie a cluster of 100 or so historic farmhouses in an alpine valley. Each sits cozy under its gigantic thatched roof; sheltered from winter’s deep snows and summer’s heat.
This fairytale-like setting is Shirakawa-go, an authentic rural landscape from a bygone era and those who call it home still keep the old customs alive. Indeed, its beauty and wellpreserved traditions earned Shirakawa-go UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1995.
Book a stay at one of these farmhouses, whether a home or guesthouse and get a true feel for Japan’s rustic roots.
The remote and unspoiled setting simply add to the charm, well worth the journey from Tokyo by bus and train – just 3.5 hours via Toyama station.
One of the most unique natural features of Bandai-Asahi National Park in Fukushima are the Goshikinuma Ponds, or five-coloured marshes, located on a highland plain just north of the volcanic Mount Bandai. The lakes themselves are a relatively new feature on the landscape, having been formed after the mountain erupted in 1888, shifting the landscape and blocking a local river. The ponds’ striking colours derive from the combination of volcanic sediment, minerals and iron oxide that has leaked into the lake beds over the years. A visit to the lakes presents an ever-shifting palette worthy of an artist; the colour of one pond can change subtly throughout the day, and none are identical to another.
An hour and a half walking trail leads around the five main ponds as well as several other photogenic bodies of water. The wheelchair-accessible Urabandai Visitor Centre is a good place to start any walk, with numerous exhibits on the park’s geography and local wildlife.
Wild Japanese macaques saunter out of the snowy forest and slip into a steamy hot spring.
This truly unique wildlife scene is sure to warm your heart on even the coldest winter’s day. At Jigokudani (meaning “Hell Valley”) —located within the borders of Joshin'etsukogen National Park—the monkeys roam free in their natural habitat, and you’ll see that they appreciate a relaxing soak just as much as you do!
Takachiho in southern Kyushu is steeped in Japanese mythology, being the spot where the gods descended from heaven and created the Japanese archipelago.
Nestled in the heart of its deep forests is Takachiho Gorge, an awe-inspiring ravine encompassing the cobalt blue Gokase River that was born of a massive lava flow from Mount Aso about 90 to 120 millennia ago.
Trek down one of the many forest paths to view the chasm from above, or better still, rent a rowboat and admire it from below. If you’re lucky, the 17-meter high Manai Falls may even spray you, considered an auspicious sign. Finally, round off your trip with a look at Takachiho Shrine, stay for a kagura dance, or feast on local delicacies like Takachiho beef and Miyazaki-brewed shochu.
Takachiho is accessible by bus (reservation required) from Hakata (3.5 hours) or Kumamoto (2 hours). Those looking to stay the night will find a host of ryokan options, with many offering hot springs and beautiful mountain views.
Come to Kitayama, a historic village tucked away in the mountains of the Kii peninsula, and hop aboard a log raft for a whitewater ride rooted in history.
Part of Yoshino-Kumano National Park, Dorokyo Gorge is the ancestral home of the river runners—loggers who learned to navigate the rapids long before roads were paved.
Your guides will lead you downstream using the same techniques employed by their ancestors. You’ll laugh and scream with joy as you splash your way around every twist and turn of the rushing river, taking in breathtaking scenery along the way.
Memories of this off-the-beaten- track adventure will stay with you long after your return home.
Kitayama is located about four hours from Nagoya (five from Osaka) by train and bus. Travelers are encouraged to arrive the night before and spend the night before at the rustic Okutoro Onsen hot spring resort.
Long-prized for its healthful properties that help boost our immune system, green tea is one of Japan’s greatest gifts to the world. Now, take this chance to explore the beautiful countryside of Shizuoka Prefecture, the largest tea-producing area in Japan and enjoy staying over at a traditional inn, which was once a farmhouse.
You’ll learn about how green tea is made — including traditional growing techniques recognized by the United Nations as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System — and can even help tea farmers in their work. Depending on the time of year, you may harvest leaves, look inside a tea factory, or cut grass to prepare for the next planting season.
Just over 90 minutes or so from Tokyo, a transcendental tea experience awaits you.
he sport of drifting originated in Japan, before taking the auto-racing world by storm - and visitors to Ebisu Circuit in Fukushima will quickly see why.
Strap yourself into the bucket seat of a Toyota drift taxi (up to three passengers per car) and actual D1 drivers from the renowned Team Orange — true pioneers of the sport — will take you on a thrilling spin around the circuit, showcasing their incredible technique to the max.
With a range of courses on offer, you’ll be able to experience Ebisu Circuit from all angles. This petrolheads’ paradise is just over 2 hours from Tokyo. Online English booking makes reserving your tickets a breeze.