JAPAN TRAVEL INFORMATION
"There is probably no other country that exhibits such an endless variety of natural beauty in the shapes of the mountains and in the rich luxuriance of the trees and flowers."
Useful online resources for planning your trip to Japan
Joining a tour with us helps eliminate a lot of the guesswork and logistics, but knowing more about a destination before you visit is always a good idea.
With the explosion of international tourism here over the last several years, a simple web search on Japan will return more information than you could sort through in a lifetime. We have tried to do some of the legwork for you, by selecting a few sites that standout for not only the quality of information they present, but also for their ability to relay it in an easy, understandable, and practical manner. We have no affiliation of any kind to any of these sites, unless otherwise stated. This list is very much a work in progress, so check back regularly to see the latest updates. If you still cannot find what you are looking for, do not hesitate to contact us and ask! We are here to make things easier for you.
JNTO Travel Japan
There is probably no better, more comprehensive site for travel in Japan anywhere on the web than this one, created and operated by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) . Definitely start here.
There is a lot of great content here, but finding it can be a little less straight forward than the JNTO site. It is still worth your time, and is an excellent primer on varied topics for every aspect of a trip to Japan.
This is the official tourism site of Nagano prefecture, and it goes into greater depth on what there is to do, see, eat and experience in this wonderful area of the country. Explore by activity or area.
The Japanese Alps
Good site for an overall introduction to the Japanese Alps, their locations, what sort of scenery to expect for each, recommended equipment, best climbing seasons, mountain hut information and more.
Hikes in Japan
More great information on not only the Alps, but additional areas as well, including sample routes complete with duration, elevation, difficulty, elevation charts and other practical particulars.
Hiking in Japan
This excellent blog is run by our good friend Wes Lang, one of the premier expat experts on Japan's mountains and author of the only Japan Alps English guidebook currently in print. It's packed full of useful guidance.
This is an avid hiker and long term resident's blog of hiking information, gear reviews, personal musing and much more than can provide some experience-based insight to you planning.
Cycle Travel Overload
This cycling blog's lengthy article "Ultimate Guide to Bikepacking and Cycle Touring Japan" contains a good overview of what to expect, tips, advice and even some fun videos.
Japan Alps Cycling
This site is dedicated to sharing the charm and beauty of Nagano by bike to as many people as possible. By far the most useful aspect of the site are the GPS maps of recommended routes.
Otari Hill Climb
This site features information on the eight hill climb courses set up here in our small village of Otari. These off-the-beaten-path routes offer great views of village life, forest and mountain scenery.
Trail Running Resources
Japan Trail Running
This facebook group is the number one network of expat trail runners in all of Japan, and is a goldmine for routes, gear recommendations, group events and anything and everything related to the trails.
This company acts as an intermediary, providing race sign-up support in English for Japan's many races, both on and off the trail. A look at the site provides an idea of what types of trail races take place.
Ninja Trail Run
This is an incredibly fun and challenging race held each year in early November, in the city of Iga located in Mie Prefecture, the birthplace of ninjitsu. Combine cosplay, culture and running in one.