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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Action & Adventure

Canyoning in Hakuba 白馬 キャニオニング体験

Slip, zip, and slide a day away in the Northern Alps

A one-time host of the Winter Olympics, Nagano is famous for its winter sports. Yet summer is no less busy. Escape to upland Nagano when it turns steaming hot and cool down via canyoning, a one-of-a-kind adventure.

How to Get There

Canyoning sites are in Hakuba, which is easy to reach via Nagano City or Matsumoto.

From Tokyo the fastest option is the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Nagano (1 hour 45 minutes), and transferring to a bus at Nagano Station (65 minutes).

The smoothest option is the daily Super Azusa train leaving from Shinjuku at 7:30 a.m. (about 4 hours). Otherwise you can get an express train to Matsumoto and change for the local Oita Line for Hakuba (4.5 hours).

Quick Facts

Canyoning is a sport also known as canyoneering (U.S.), kloofing (South-Africa), torrentismo (Italian), and barranquismo (Spanish)

The canyons in Hakuba are basalt, rock formed from rapidly cooled lava from volcanic activity

All-you-need-to-know about canyoning

Canyoning involves making your way down a rugged ravine and its river in a dramatic fashion: plunging down waterslide-like cascades, leaping from the canyon walls, ziplining into crystal clear pools. You may need to hike from time-to-time, but you spend most of the day on the rocks and in the water. All this takes place in a beautiful woodland setting in the Northern Alps.

An all-inclusive activity

Along with instruction in canyoning techniques, the organizers provide wetsuits, helmets, and other gear. For lots of whitewater and adrenaline, try to go in May and June when there's heavy meltwater from the mountains. Children and families tend to participate more frequently from July when the flow has slowed somewhat.

Canyoning hosts include Evergreen Outdoor Center and Hakuba Lion. Prices run circa 8,000-9,000 yen and in most cases, all you need to bring is a bathing suit, towel and sense of adventure.

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