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JOMC Newsletter

Japan as Ideal Adventure Travel Destination Featuring Rich Nature and Incomparable Culture

Sounkyo canyon in Hokkaido

Sounkyo canyon in Hokkaido

This year, Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost prefecture, hosted the world's leadingconference on adventure travel, in conjunction with JNTO.

The Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) is an annualindustry gathering organized by the US-based Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), the largest global networkof adventure travel leaders. This year's conference was a virtual event, and Hokkaido looks forward to being the hostdestination again for what is hoped will be a physical ATWS conference in 2023.

Adventure travel allows visitors to experience a country on a far deeper level than is possible with regular travel. ATTAdefines adventure tourism as vacationing incorporating three main components: physical activity, a connection tonature and the environment, and an immersive cultural experience.

JNTO is promoting Japan as an adventure travel destination, and has participated in the Adventure Travel WorldSummit since 2019 to showcase the country's attractions. Last year it launched the special JAPAN ADVENTURE website aimed at international adventure travelers.

The 2021 ATWS was hosted under the theme of "kyōsei" meaning 'symbiosis,' or two elements living in harmony andmutually benefitting one another. Hokkaido is home to the indigenous Ainu people, who embrace kyōsei by conservingtheir homeland and respecting nature and all living species. ATWS attendees learned how adventure travel will helpvisitors to Japan appreciate the balance embodied by kyōsei.

Many imagine modern skyscrapers and bustling cities when they think of Japan. It is actually a land of nature with ahuge expanse of forests and mountains. Forests in fact cover two-thirds of Japan, an area that surprisingly has hardlychanged in size over the past 50 years.

Japan is blessed with rich nature and each region has its own diverse charm. Comprising more than 6,800 islands, theJapanese archipelago stretches for 3,000 km from southwest to northeast. Four distinctive seasons add extra flavorand dynamism to each region. The country also has 34 national parks, seven of which include areas designated as Whitewater rafting in the Oboke Gorge, Kochi Prefecture ©JNTO (Photo: Business Wire) UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Japan's natural environment allows visitors to enjoy diverse experiences, including hiking, rafting and canoeing as wellas diving, mountain biking and winter sports. Those visiting the countryside can also experience the local culture andlifestyles of each region, choosing from a variety of accommodation options ranging from traditional inns with hotsprings to luxury hotels. Japan is an ideal destination for adventurous travelers curious to try out new destinations andactivities as well as for those who want to interact with nature and experience different cultures in a respectful way.

Hokkaido is one of the archipelago's four largest islands (similar in size to Austria) and the least populous. Surroundedby oceans, it features magnificent mountain ranges, extensive wetlands and beautiful lakes as well as marshes, riversand forests. Hokkaido contains six national parks, including Shiretoko National Park, part of a UNESCO WorldHeritage site known for its unique marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Its expansive farmland means Hokkaido is oftenreferred to as 'the breadbasket of Japan'. It is geologically active, containing a number of volcanoes and a vast arrayof hot springs.

Lake Akan in Hokkaido

Lake Akan in Hokkaido

Hokkaido boasts four distinct seasons, including a cool, refreshing summer with low humidity - ideal for hiking, cyclingor kayaking - and a cold, dry winter with considerable snowfalls - a fresh powder mecca for skiers and snowboarders.Each season and region within Hokkaido offers adventure travelers a wide range of destinations promising memorableexperiences.

JNTO introduces recommended routes in Hokkaido during summer and winter:

Mayuko Harada and Taro Kakuage,
Weber Shandwick JNTO Team


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