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Festivals, glamping, and craft beer; Fun activities for your next Japan adventure

Ultra Japan festival. Image by Ultra Japan.

Unlike anywhere else in the world, Japan is a country that carefully balances tradition and modernism in many facets of life. But while scores of travellers flock to Japan each year to experience its well-preserved ancient culture, from the shrines and temples to traditional hospitality, Japan offers a smorgasbord of exciting activities that’ll quell your appetite for fun, adventure, and contemporary culture.

Whether you are young or simply young at heart, here’s a guide to experiencing the ‘other side’ of Japan with activities to leave you feeling energised and enlightened.

Music festivals

A variety of music festivals take place in Japan throughout the year offering a vibrant fun-filled environment for music lovers across a variety of genres, from rock and pop to electronic dance. Fuji Rock is one of the largest and most iconic annual music festivals in Japan, taking place in Niigata Prefecture at the Naeba Ski Resort in July and featuring international and Japanese artists across a diverse mix of music including hip-hop, rock, indie, and electronic. Taking place in Tokyo and Osaka, Summer Sonic is another major annual festival attracting international and local artists with diverse talent.

For a more niche music festival, Tokyo’s Ultra Japan festival attracts electronic music enthusiasts from all over who are looking for an opportunity to dance and soak up the energy from a lively crowd. And if you’re interested in experiencing the highlights of Japanese rock and pop music, you might like to attend the Rock in Japan Festival at Hitachi Seaside Park. Meanwhile, festivals in Japan aren’t limited to the bigger cities with regional festivals also taking place each year including Hokkaido’s Rising Sun Rock Festival .

Visit one of the world’s first digital art exhibitions

teamLab is a first-of-its-kind creative group based in Japan that brings together the incredible talent of designers, artists, technology experts, and engineers to create interactive digital art exhibitions. teamLab’s unique installations are designed to make you feel immersed and mesmerised within the art, and its rapidly rising popularity and international recognition for innovation has led to the creation of several digital art exhibitions across Japan with a variety of themes.

With dynamic installations responding to movement and touch, and even a restaurant dining experience , current exhibitions include teamLab’s Borderless in Tokyo, Forest in Fukuoka, Botanical Garden in Osaka, Future Park in Okinawa, and Ruins and Heritage: Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony , Kyushu. You can explore the full range of exhibitions and dates across Japan on teamLab’s website .

teamLab Planets, Tokyo. Image by teamLab.

Experience Japan’s craft beer breweries and festivals

Japan is known for its sake (rice wine) and whisky, but the country has seen a boom in craft beer brewing in recent years giving rise to a thriving craft beer culture made up of a growing number of breweries and bars, festivals, and other annual events. Some of the most noteworthy breweries include Tokyo’s Yoho Brewing , Hachino Nest Beer in Ibaraki, Osaka’s Minoh Beer , Baird Brewing Company in Shizuoka, and Abashiri Beer Brewery in Hokkaido.

Beer festivals also pop up in Japan throughout the year including the Yokohama Fruhlings Fest in Yokohama Bay, the Keyaki Beer Festival in Saitama, and BeerFes which is usually held across several cities from June to September. Each festival offers a great opportunity to try craft beers from breweries around the country or even participate in expert-led tasting tours.

Image by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash.

Enjoy a boutique tropical escape

The tropical paradise of Okinawa feels a million miles from Japan’s big, fast-paced bustling cities, offering an idyllic destination for rest and relaxation, fun leisure activities, and outdoor adventure. Whether you’re keen to explore the coral reefs or soak up the sun on a white sandy beach, there are a variety of luxurious one-of-a-kind resorts spread across the islands offering a romantic beachside atmosphere in some of Okinawa’s most exclusive natural settings.

Villabu Resort Miyako, The Atta Terrace Club Towers near Onna, and Private Villa Atlantida 3 Ishigaki Island are some of the more boutique and private retreats offering a range of activities and incredible sweeping views over the lush landscapes and ocean. Meanwhile, you might choose to stay in one of Okinawa’s larger and more opulent resorts offering multiple room types and a selection of restaurants serving a variety of local and international cuisines. The Ritz Carlton Okinawa and the ANA Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort are two of the bigger luxury resorts to be found in Okinawa.

Image by Villabu Resort.

Rent an overland camping car for the ultimate road trip adventure

Instead of watching Japan’s diverse landscapes whizz past on a train, a journey by road can give you the freedom and flexibility to adventure deep into the Japanese countryside, exploring the many hidden gem sights and experiences along the way. Even from the gateway city of Tokyo, you can take scenic drives around Nikko, the Oku-Nnikko area with its lakes, waterfalls and hiking trails, Hakone and Mt Fuji, and the magnificent Izu Peninsula which boasts beautiful beaches, onsen (hot springs), and fresh seafood. But there are plenty more popular road trip routes to consider around the country depending on how far you’d like to travel.

Renting a camper is a great way to cover longer distances and see more of the country without having to worry about the cost of booking accommodation along the way. Overland Japan offer a fresh and modern take on the typical road trip experience with its fleet of customised 4x4 Overland camping cars available for rent. Almost like your very own mobile glamping experience, you’ll be able to travel across all terrains and explore some of the most unspoilt landscapes before setting up a comfortable rooftop tent to sleep under the stars.

Image by Overland Japan.

Escape the city with a unique glamping stay

Combining the comfort, convenience, and glamour of staying in a luxury hotel room with the sense of adventure that comes with being immersed in nature, glamping is a popular experience in Japan with sites popping up all over the country. From mountain and coastal escapes to forest and lakeside retreats, there’s a glamping experience for every interest and taste – some not too far from major cities if you’re looking for an accessible change of scene from your urban adventure.

Image by Glamprook Hotel, Nagano.




For more information, please contact:
James Cooley | james@thelucidagency.com.au | +61 401 316 701



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