1. Hike diverse landscapes
A hiking adventure in Japan is a nature lover’s paradise, thanks to the country’s snow-capped peaks, towering volcanoes, and turquoise lakes. Nearly 75% of the country is mountainous and you’ll find exhilarating treks on every island.
- Best time to hike: March – May (spring) and September – November (fall) are the best seasons to avoid extreme temperatures, view the blooming cherry blossoms of spring or witness the radiant fall foliage.
- Tip: One of the most spiritual trekking adventure tours in Japan is the famous Shikoku Pilgrimage on the island of Shikoku. The hiking trail stretches approximately 1,400 kilometers, passes 88 temples, and meanders through lush forests, rolling hills, and rocky coasts.
2. Cycle across the Japanese countryside
A Japan tour by bike will give you the opportunity to explore the country at your own pace. There are tons of cycling roads traversing the landscapes, and your adventure will make steep climbs, navigate coastal laneways, and stop at sacred shrines.
- Best time to cycle: March – May (spring) and September – November (fall) to avoid the scorching temperatures of summer and snowy conditions during winter.
- Tip: Escape the crowds in the unspoiled landscapes of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island. Hokkaido provides cooler riding temperatures, less traffic, and dramatic vistas of snow-capped volcanoes.
3. Ski powdery slopes
Rugged mountain ranges provide the backdrop for the most exhilarating winter adventure tours in Japan. The island nation is one of the most renowned skiing destinations in the world, with hundreds of resorts featuring deep powder runs.
- Best time to ski: December – March (winter) when the snowfall at ski resorts is at its highest.
- Tip: With over 500 ski fields, it can be tricky deciding the right place for a ski trip in Japan. For seasoned daredevils, Hakuba Valley, set in the Japanese alps, is a suitable option with its backcountry trails and ultra-steep runs.
4. Sea kayak through ocean waves
Sea kayaking is one of the top adventure activities in Japan to see the country’s volcanic landscapes and white-sand beaches from the water. The covered decks of these kayaks let you power through waves on open waters for an unforgettable paddling experience.
- Best time to sea kayak: April – October (spring, summer, and fall).
- Tip: A great spot for sea kayaking beginners is the tranquil waters of the Seto Inland Sea near the town of Nio. Newbies can practice paddling while gazing at the scenery of forested mountains and jagged cliffs.
5. Scuba dive in the Pacific
Japan may not resonate as a premier dive site, but the Japanese archipelago offers close to 30,000 kilometers of coastline and you'd be surprised at the sealife and diving opportunieis here. Divers will be thrilled with the pristine beaches, clear waters, underwater geologic formations, and exotic marine life.
- Best time to scuba dive: July – September (summer) when the water temperatures are at their warmest and for drier weather conditions.
- Tip: Approximately 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, you’ll find the endemic species of the Ogasawara Islands. The UNESCO World Heritage Site earned the nickname “Galapagos of the Orient,” and diving here gives you a glimpse of colorful coral reefs, whales, sea turtles and rays in its crystal-clear waters.