outdoors

Japan’s weeping plum trees are so beautiful they’ll bring tears to your eyes【Photos】

Mie town’s garden opens its gates after nightfall so guests can see the gorgeous blossoms in a whole new light.

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Snowboard and ski in Japan for FREE with new offer exclusively for foreign tourists

This incredible promotion lets you ski all day for free, in a powder snow paradise just a few hours away from Tokyo Station.

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Right now is the very best time to go to Japan’s “castle in the sky,” and here’s why【Pics, Vids】

The conditions are just right to surround Takeda Castle with a sea of clouds.

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We visit Japan’s “cave of death,” said to end the life of those who dream of it

Will this be Mr. Sato’s last adventure?

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Mr. Sato visits the mystical atmosphere of Japan’s Yabuzuka Quarry Ruins

Our reporter ventures deep into the heartlands of Japan to find this hidden landmark.

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Airbnb listing in Japan reveals travel destination with exclusive use of huge private island

Sleep in a traditional Japanese house while surrounded by rice paddies, beaches, tree-houses, zip lines and a lighthouse on your very own private island.

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Japan’s “Gap Tent” for solo campers fits just about anywhere, weighs almost nothing

Clever design even takes into account how to keep you entertained during those long, lonely nights.

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Cool Japanese X-shaped four-person tent lets you and your friends camp together, sleep separately

Single-person sleeping areas connected by a common space give you a living room in the great outdoors.

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Japanese company’s full-body mosquito net jumpsuits: For when all the bug spray just isn’t enough

Japan gets incredibly muggy in the summer. For many people, the worst part about the soaring humidity is the way it makes them constantly sweat, but for me, the bigger issue is always the mosquitos. Right now, I’m sitting pretty with a relatively low count of only two large, itchy bug bites, but summer is just getting started, and I’m sure I’ll have many more before the seasons is done.

But no matter how much bug replant you spray on, there’s just no way to completely keep mosquitos off your skin, right? Actually, it turns out there is one foolproof method: slipping into one of these full-body mosquito net jumpsuits.

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New solo grill, perfect for when you next ditch work and run off into the woods

Spring has sprung in Japan, and the cherry blossoms will soon be in full bloom. A favorite spring pastime of many Japanese is hanami, or “flower-viewing”, where friends, family and coworkers gather together to have picnics and barbeques under the blooming cherry blossom trees, as a way to welcome the end of winter and enjoy the nice weather and floral display.

Just in time for the season, DOPPELGÄNGER OUTDOOR has released their new solo barbeque grill, just perfect for… all those lone hanami-goers out there?

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Nissan unveils “smart BBQ” car that comes with a drone, karaoke machine, mist shower…and a grill

Outdoor barbecues are the epitome of summer fun. But if you live in Japan, you’re sure to be drenched in sweat after ten minutes in the hot, humid weather. Luckily, Nissan created a solution to the hassle and heat of the typical cookout: the Ultimate Smart BBQ vehicle. The all-electric compact car includes everything you’ll need for a summer barbecue, including the grill and high-tech mosquito repellant, and comes with some things you might not necessarily need, like a “flying selfie camera.”

“With this electric vehicle, you can always enjoy a BBQ that goes far beyond your expectations,” commented Osamu Suzuki, editor-in-chief of the Nissan Social Project. Intrigued? Check out this crazy car after the jump!

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Macho Bus tours let you pick strawberries, play sports with buff dudes (if you’re not too heavy)

Japan is famous for having a whole industry set up around letting guys do fairly mundane things in the presence of attractive women, with hostess bars and maid cafes dotting its urban entertainment quarters. But ladies like a little eye candy too, which is why host clubs and even butler cafes have sprung up to fill that need.

However, at most of these establishments catering to women, the physiques of the available companions fall into the categories of slim, slender, and skinny. With an alternative, though, is a new organization offering one-day bus tours with male attendants who’d instead be described as buff, ripped, or yoked. They’re looking for a group of ladies to spend the day picking strawberries and frolicking outdoors with, with the one catch that the female participants must weigh less than 100 kilograms (220 pounds), although there’s a fairly valid reason for the restriction.

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Cool, super-absorbent handkerchief maps keeping Japanese hikers dry and on-course

There are a few things you’ll want to make sure you have before setting out on a long hike. Proper footwear is a must, for example, as is a sufficient supply of water.

Especially if you’re heading into the mountains of Japan during the summer months, a hand towel is something else you’ll definitely want to have with you. The high humidity means you’ll be working up quite a sweat, and having something to wipe yourself off will go a long way towards making your day outdoors more enjoyable.

Of course, even more so than being drenched in sweat, getting lost is an easy way to ruin your day out. Thankfully there’s now a way to prevent both of those problems with a towel that doubles as a map.

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Special camping plans let girls in Japan rough it by day, enjoy champagne and butler service at night

With so many people in Japan living in cramped urban population centers, it’s understandable that a large number of them want to head somewhere more rural if they’ve got a few days to get out of town.

On the other hand, Japan’s traditionally high standards regarding hospitality mean that often travelers want to be pampered while away from home. Add in the fact that it’s much more common for a group of Japanese women to travel together than a group of men, and you’ve got the makings of a new cottage industry of luxurious accommodations for female campers.

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Landlocked Tochigi Prefecture seeking create new national holiday: Mountain Day

It’s no secret that Japan is a hard-working society. Thankfully, there are a few times each year when more or less the whole country goes on vacation for a few days. There’s the string of holidays collectively known as Golden Week in early May, plus o-bon in August where people traditionally head back to their home towns, spend time with their relatives, and pay a visit to the graves of their ancestors.

However, there’s not much to stem the flow of work or school responsibilities between those two blissful periods, except for the oasis of Umi no Hi, or Marine/Sea Day, on the third Monday in July, which encourages people to take a trip to the beach and splash about in the sea.

Of course, this leaves June without a holiday of its own. And while Marine Day is great for people living in the coastal regions of Japan, residents of the country’s eight landlocked prefectures feel understandably left out. Thankfully, a group in mountainous Tochigi Prefecture has a solution to both problems.

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