Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ – 4 adventure travel stars

The geisha

The geisha

Japan seems to be a contradiction at times. On the one hand you’ll come across so much history-rich culture that you’ll find it easy to step back into yesteryear, and then you’ll see the futuristic side that offers to take you into the next century.

Regardless, Japan is filled with some of the prime adventure travel experiences for both the adrenaline junkie and the person who enjoys intellectual adventures.

Let’s start with the cultural end of the adventure travel spectrum. Japan will amaze you with the fine art, the exotic foods and some very interesting architecture from the ancient to the modernistic.

For those who like to get physical you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many excellent adventures this small island nation offers from white water rafting to trekking across the scenic land and up to the skies with hang gliding and helicopter tours.

Many think of Japan as being densely populated, and if you consider the big cities like Tokyo you would be right, but more than 80 percent of Japan is relatively untouched, so you’ll have plenty of room for new and exciting adventures.

One last thing… Japan is a safe place for tourists, and it’s easy to get around with the excellent transportation system.

The bottom line: Japan, the land of the rising sun, is another incredible adventure travel destination in Asia. It has all the things you look for when it comes to adventure from the sporting activities to the cultural tours. Japan is another one of Asia’s many treasures.

Exotic Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ – 4 adventure travel stars

If you enjoy exploring interesting cultures you’re going to have a field day as you uncover the different layers of the all that is Japanese through the natural beauty of the land and the culture.

Explore the secrets of the Samurai that influenced the country not only with their warrior spirit, but their aristocratic culture. And then you’ll want to enter the world of the Geisha who have charmed many with their music, dance and charm for hundreds of years.

Do you like exotic scenery? Then you’re going to want to experience Mount Fuji for yourself… especially when there’s a plenty of snow. Then there’s the breathtaking beauty of the gorgeous countryside around Nikko, Izu and Kamakura. And don’t forget to visit some of the unique and enchanting Japanese gardens.

For the adventurous eaters, you’ll find no end to the exotic foods you can try while in Japan including sea urchin, eel heart soup and blowfish. And do be careful with the blowfish because if it’s not prepared properly it can kill you. Is that exotic enough for you?

Cultural Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ – 4 adventure travel stars

The culture you’ll find in the midst of your Japan adventures is quite rich, and very deep, but not diverse. Early on the Chinese had a major influence on the Japanese, but you won’t see much from other cultures. And you won’t find thriving communities of different cultures in Japan like you do in many other countries.

The Japanese are a very polite, hospitable people, and they like tourists for the most part. In fact, don’t be surprised if someone walks right up to you and starts chatting you up.

The architecture you’ll see in Japan will both take you back centuries in time and also into the future. When you see the Himeji Castle you’ll be in awe of the regal 17th century Japanese structure. In contrast, the Nanohanakan Senior Center looks like something hundreds of years ahead of its time and the traditional architecture bridges the two with the wooden floors and sliding doors and windows.

The Japanese cuisine is world famous, so you’re probably already familiar with it. If you like sushi, and other Japanese delicacies, you’re going to enjoy Japan because exploring the many foods here is an adventure all its own.

Adventure Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ – 4 adventure travel stars

Japan wouldn’t be complete without a nice mix of experiences that adventure travelers look for in a destination, and this island nation does not disappoint.

For the adrenaline junkies there’s plenty to get you excited from top-notch dog sledding in Hokkaido, to paragliding with Mount Fuji as your backdrop and then there is the white water rafting, windsurfing and ice climbing.

If you’re into the arts and nature you’ll be happy to know that you’ll have a wide range of cultural tours, eco tours, nature trips and all kinds of walking tours to choose from.

From scuba diving the coral reefs of Okinawa to snow skiing at the beautiful resort in Niseko, your adventures in Japan are going to be absolutely amazing.

Following you’ll find a more complete list of adventures to explore when in Japan.


  • Bungee jumping
  • Canoeing
  • Dog sledding
  • Hang gliding
  • Ice climbing
  • Motorcycling
  • Mountain biking
  • Mountain climbing
  • Overlanding
  • Paragliding
  • Rock climbing
  • Rogaining (navigation)
  • Scuba diving
  • Sea kayaking
  • Skydiving
  • Snorkeling
  • Snow shoeing
  • Snow skiing
  • Soaring (gliding)
  • Surfing
  • White water rafting
  • Wilderness training
  • Windsurfing


  • Birdwatching
  • Cultural tours
  • Eco tours
  • Nature trips
  • Walking tours
  • Whale watching

Could be either

  • Backpacking
  • Bicycling
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Flying
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Hot-air ballooning
  • Sailing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Trekking