Nature & the Outdoors
The main part of this tour is comprised of a one-of-a-kind bird-watching experience in one of the world’s largest migratory bird wintering areas. The tour features bird-watching guidance by a professional birding guide/photographer, as well as hidden photo spots for taking photos that will look great on social media. The guide will also give you advice on how to discover your own favorite bird, from swans and geese to even the more rare species. The birdsong and flapping of the wild birds in Izunuma—listed in the “100 Soundscapes of Japan that Should Be Preserved”—is an experience that should not be missed. The chorus of birdsong is so loud that it's difficult to even have a conversation with the person right next to you! A truly inspiring experience brought about by the power of nature. This extraordinary bird-watching experience is available only at Izunuma, the second site in Japan to be registered in the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation of wetlands.
The tour is designed to allow participants to experience the various charms of the region. The activities, all of which involve interaction with locals, include participation in Izunuma conservation efforts, hands-on fishing/farming experiences, and a hands-on cooking experience making local cuisine from seafood and vegetables caught and harvested by the participants.
This tour will be held at the site of the Setouchi Triennale, an international art festival held every three years, and features private viewings of facilities like the world-renowned Teshima Art Museum and Chichu Art Museum. This is the first luxury tour offered by the Setouchi Triennale. It features a stay at the Benesse House; lunch at SHIMA KITCHEN, with meals prepared by a famous chef and made primarily with Teshima Island ingredients; a workshop by artists participating in the Setouchi Triennale; and a cruise on a salon ship around the beautiful islands of the Seto Inland Sea. The tour also includes commentary by Fram Kitagawa, the general director of the festival and a quality tour guide, making it an exquisite limited-time experience not only for art fans, but also for first-time visitors to the Setouchi Triennale.
Experience life as a castle lord in Odawara, the largest castle town in the Kanto region: A healing gastronomic journey
(1) Castle Lord Plan
A castle lord experience utilizing Odawara Castle and Odawara Castle Park. Samurai retainers will welcome guests as the lords of the castle. There are also plans to offer a ninja experience or ninja demonstration show themed on the Fuma ninja clan associated with Odawara. In addition, for the first time ever, guests will be able to actually stay overnight at Odawara Castle. Guest can either take a leisurely tour of Odawara Castle or enjoy panoramic views of Odawara City from the castle tower. Immerse yourself in the charms of Odawara Castle as its feudal lord.
(2) Retreat Plan
Enoura Observatory has been planned, prepared, and executed over the course of many years by contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, who conceived the idea of a museum that doubles as an observatory amid the tangerine fields of Enoura. Guests are invited to experience Zen meditation and enjoy a performance of ancient Japanese court music in this breathtaking venue, spending some time in this truly special space to relax and inwardly reflect. Naturally, guests can also enjoy Sugimoto's own works and art collection in this privately rented space. Accommodations are also available at the Enoura Rimon Retreat, a retreat resort nestled high in a citrus grove, and the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.
(3) Gastronomic Plan
An abundance of fresh fish is caught each season in the fishing grounds of Sagami Bay. Experience morning fishing in Sagami Bay and enjoy Japanese cuisine prepared with ingredients caught in the bay. The restaurant is located in the Former Residence of Gokichi Matsumoto, built about 100 years ago and designated as a historical landmark by Odawara City. Enjoy the gastronomic delights of Odawara in a space steeped in the history of Japan. Overnight accommodation will be provided at Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.
Japan’s first-ever exclusive early-morning opening of a national park public trail & environmentally-conscious national park tour
Because of Japan’s geography as an island nation surrounded by the sea and steep mountains,
nature has long been an object of worship in Japanese culture, and there is a long history of people harmonizing with and living in close proximity to nature.
The Alps Sangakukyo area in particular has seen people build their lives among the 3,000-meter-high peaks of Japan’s Northern Alps.
This relationship with the environment has also influenced the history of local architecture and folk art in the Matsumoto city area.
This tour is designed to provide visitors with opportunities to learn about and experience the relationship that Japanese people have with nature, as well as their traditional culture.
Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the special way of life people have created within the breathtaking natural landscapes within the national park.
Highlights of the tour include the first-ever early-morning mountain biking experience on a public trail in a Japanese national park, a hands-on trail maintenance session, and woodworking and lacquering using local natural materials.
The tour will conclude with a dinner made from local ingredients, providing participants with one last taste of the region’s strong ties with nature.
From the late 18th to the early 19th century, Unzen Onsen was a popular summer resort destination for Westerners and other foreigners living in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The foreigners who visited the Unzen hot springs, which was rich in natural beauty, created a new way to spend time: the summer resort. Wake in the morning to the soothing sounds of birdsong and hear the hot springs bubbling up like the heartbeat of the earth. For many years, Unzen Onsen has been reviving the zest for life in all who visit. This open-air restaurant offers an elegant way to spend your time by the Unzen seaside.
Both of these have their roots in China, but toward the end of the Edo period, these cultures fused together to become leading forms of traditional culture in Japan. For the first time in Japan, the Japanese cultural experience of "Japanese Bonsai and Sencha Tea Experience: Pastime of the Literati" has been realized as a tourism revival program with novel high-value-added content. The cultural figures (bunjin) of the late Edo period lived in style, enjoying poetry, literature, calligraphy, painting, and bonsai.
On the first day, at Jogenji Temple of the Soto sect of Buddhism, the temple gate of which was constructed in 1777, participants can become bunjin themselves and drink sencha tea prepared by the successor of the Baisaryu Sencha tea school. In the afternoon, they will attend a lecture on the appeal of bonsai and ways to enjoy the hobby from a bonsai master with extensive experience, and try their hand at caring for bonsai themselves. Participants will experience the chic, elegant world of the literati of the time, while deepening their understanding of Japanese culture. On the second day, participants will visit one of Japan's leading bonsai gardens in Nagoya City to see the best of Japanese bonsai, including introductions and explanations of famous bonsai trees and high-end bonsai pots. This will be followed by a garden visit to chat with a private bonsai enthusiast. Finally, participants will visit a progressive bonsai garden to further appreciate bonsai and try their hand planting in bonsai pots. On the third day, visitors will depart for various destinations. (Optional) Visit a workshop making Tokoname-ware ceramics, one of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan. Meet the potters and shop for high-end bonsai pots.
Three packages will allow visitors to experience all the charms of Saga Prefecture, centered on a premium experience watching an official soccer match of the Sagan Tosu club, based in the city of Tosu in Saga Prefecture.
(1) Saga Prefecture Tour x Sagan Tosu Official Game Viewing Ticket
In addition to the unique Sagan Tosu game-watching experience, enjoy the best of Saga with a combination of content unique to Saga, such as Tosu Premium Outlets, activities in Yobuko, the Saga International Balloon Fiesta, and a special glamping experience.
(2) Sagan Tosu hospitality seats
A hospitality experience package for official Sagan Tosu games. Enjoy a premium game-watching experience not available anywhere else, including an exclusive lounge where visitors can enjoy food and beverages made with local produce from Saga Prefecture, activities such as an on-pitch walk after the game, and original merchandise souvenirs.
(3) Ticket sales with souvenirs
Certain tickets will be accompanied by specialty products from Saga Prefecture. Tickets not including souvenirs are also available.
During the Lunar New Year period, when demand for inbound tourism increases, as our first initiative we will add value to highly special experience-based content at Lake Toya in Shikotsu-Toya National Park, which is almost like a living volcano museum.
Built around the idea of Japanese fireworks, which are known to be delicate and highly artistic, local efforts to spur tourism will include: (1) A "making replica fireworks" workshop taught by fireworks experts; (2) "Fireworks production facility tour & launch site tour" led by fireworks expert guides; (3) "Special fireworks viewing space & fireworks lighting ceremony experience" in an area generally off-limits to the public; (4) setting-up of a dedicated food section; (5) a "town-walking rally"; and more. Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy precious experiences that are rarely available.
From December 2023, Hoshino Resorts Alts Bandai and Nekoma Ski Resort in Fukushima Prefecture will come together as one of the biggest slopes in Japan, Hoshino Resort Nekoma Mountain, and will transform into a single huge area through connecting lifts. Not only is this ski resort one of Japan’s largest, but a major snowboarding event will be held there this winter. The Burton Mystery Series in January 2024 will feature events and social gatherings where you can enjoy the slopes with Burton's famous Japanese and international athletes. The FIS Continental Cup BIG AIR in February 2024 will be one of the largest snowboard big air competitions in Japan, with top professionals taking part. In both events, spectators will be able to see world-class techniques up close, and there will also be events and social gatherings where they can ski or snowboard with the athletes. Visit Fukushima to experience this rare opportunity to not only witness the skills of world-class athletes, but also join them on the mountain.
Rather than a superficial outdoor event aimed at sales only, Japanese and international manufacturers of fantastic gear can exhibit their products and convey their passion for craftsmanship at this event. The event will also feature speakers and talk sessions by leading manufacturers in the outdoor industry, fostering communication among manufacturers as well as between manufacturers and customers, who rarely have any opportunity to meet, thereby stimulating B2B and B2C business in the outdoor industry. By holding this world-class event in Matsumoto, in close proximity to amazing camping and mountaineering opportunities, the organizers are working to encourage both Japanese and international manufacturers to visit Matsumoto every year and create their own branch offices. The goal is to increase the number of outdoor tourists and inbound visitors to Matsumoto and the Northern Japanese Alps.