Use the

Planning a Trip to Japan?

Share your travel photos with us by hashtagging your images with #visitjapanjp

Sustainable Japan: Eco-Tourism Experiences to Make Lasting Memories

If you want to experience a different side of Japan than the one most tourists find, try outside the big cities! In lesser-known rural areas and remote islands you can try life as a sake brewer for a few days, go canoeing and snorkelling in beautiful UNESCO areas, take part in daily life in a local village or go on a guided bike tour of a popular onsen town.

Try Life as a Sake Brewer

Making sake, credit Kurabito Stay

If you are one of the many who have become aware of the popular Japanese rice wine in recent years, you should visit the Japanese region of Saku in Nagano Prefecture which has 13 different breweries. And with the new accommodation entitled Kurabito Stay (kurabito is Japanese for "sake brewer"), you can try your hand at life as a sake brewer for a few days. In the daytime, you get expert guidance in making sake at a brewery with over 300 years of history, while in the evening you can crawl to the top in the 100-year-old renovated building, where the brewers used to sleep during the busy periods. In addition to learning about brewing methods and what characterises a good sake, you also get the opportunity to eat at some of the area's local restaurants, where the food is of course paired with carefully selected sake.


Kayak along Beautiful Rocky Coasts

Kayaking the Byobugaura Coast

If you want to combine beautiful nature experiences with physical exercise, you can go canoeing along the ten-kilometre-long Byobugaura Coast in Chiba Prefecture. The coastline and its cliffs – shaped more than 300 million years ago – are reminiscent of the white cliffs of Dover in Britain. The kayak tours are organised by the guide company Choshi Kayaks, and both beginners and experienced rowers can join (children must be over 4 years old). 


Take a Bike Tour of a Popular Onsen Town

Touring by bike, credit Tyler Lynch

The town of Togura Kamiyamada Onsen in Nagano Prefecture is known for its hot springs and ryokan inns. If you want to learn more about the culture and history of the area, you can take a two-hour guided bike tour through the city and along orchards and rice fields outside the city. The bike tour is changed according to the season, but a stop is usually made at a local fruit grower or rice farmer to learn more about their techniques.


Stay at a Historic Farmhouse

Mt. Yatsugatake

If you'd rather spend your holiday on a Japanese farm, check in at the foot of the Yatsugatake Mountains in Nagano Prefecture. The century-old farmhouse has been lovingly restored by an expert, with the original columns and beams having been retained, while the building has been transformed into a modern place to stay. During the visit you can take part in the daily life of the village and go for a walk in the city with a local, make miso and pickle vegetables with local grandmothers or help the farmer with the harvest. Of course, you can also just enjoy the fairytale atmosphere of the city.


Learn About Life Below Sea Level in Okinawa

The pristine waters of Okinawa

The archipelago of Okinawa is known as the "Hawaii of Japan". The islands are a true paradise for anyone who loves nature and wildlife. And below sea level, the islands are abound with life which can be experienced during diving and snorkelling trips. If you want to learn more about tropical underwater life and its ecosystem, you can go on a tour with the guide company Natural Blue. The company recently received the Ministry of the Environment's Ecotourism Award for its contribution to the promotion of environmentally friendly tourism and regional integration, including its commitment to the SDGs, marine education and accessible tourism initiatives.  


Canoe Through UNESCO Mangroves

Canoeing through Amami Ōshima

North of Okinawa lies the island of Amami Ōshima, which due to its isolated location also has a very special marine ecosystem. For the same reason, this area is also a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Here you canoe through mangrove forests in the Kuroshio-no-mori Park which is home to several rare bird and owl species. You can also go on a beautiful hike to the top of Yuwan Mountain or hike along the Sumiyo River.


Make Beautiful Japanese Paper

Credit Washi Studio Kamikoya

Far up in the picturesque mountains of Kochi Prefecture lies the family-owned Kamikoya accommodation. The place is particularly known for its workshops in the production of traditional Japanese paper, which is decorated with local plants and flowers. Likewise, the rooms are decorated with wallpaper and lamps made of the beautiful paper. You can also book workshops without accommodation.


Cycle Around Lake Suwa

The Manji-no-Sekibutsu

Located in central Nagano Prefecture, south of Matsumoto City, is the city of Suwa. The lake that the city surrounds, Lake Suwa, is the largest in Nagano Prefecture, and affords wonderful local and regional experiences. You can see Mt. Fuji in neighbouring Yamanashi from the Takabotchi Highlands, wander through the lush forests, or visit the 4 shrines of Suwa Taisha, a shrine that is considered to be one of the oldest in the country. Within the lower shrine group, you can find a stone buddha statue called the Manji-no-Sekibutsu, known to be a lucky spot for visitors. A fantastic experience is also to cycle around the lake, there is one loop that circles around the entire lake spanning around 16 kilometres. Along the way, you can stop off at various cafes and museums. You can even stop by at some footbaths on the path, a welcome sight for any soreness during the trip. 


Learn About the Magic of Farmstays

Ajimu in the morning, credit Tourism Oita

The town of Ajimu in Oita Prefecture in Kyushu has been a pioneer of the homestay concept of tourism. Dating back to 1996, around 60 different families have hosted visitors over the years, operating under the concept that when one stays at a farmhouse once, they are considered a distant relative, but when they stay over 10 times, they are then considered a real relative. Each family only accepts one group at a time, giving visitors the chance to truly get to know the locals and the local area. Costing around 5,800 yen (£30) for a B&B option, and depending on the season, you can also undertake optional farming and cooking experiences with the locals. The Ajimu area is also known for its foggy, cool climate, mountains, and wine. Within Oita, there are 16 communities that currently participate in farm stays, all worth trying when you visit.


To stay up to date with all the latest happenings in Japan follow us on Facebook or Instagram!



Please Choose Your Language

Browse the JNTO site in one of multiple languages