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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.


A variety of music festivals take place in Japan throughout the year offering environment for music lovers across a number of genres, from rock and pop to electronic dance.

Fuji Rock is one of the largest and most famous 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 event, 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.

If you want to experience the highlights of Japanese rock and pop music, head to the Rock in Japan Festival at Hitachi Seaside Park.

Events aren’t just limited to the bigger cities with regional events also taking place each year including Hokkaido’s Rising Sun Rock Festival.


teamLab is a first-of-its-kind creative group that brings together the talent of designers, artists, technology experts and engineers to create interactive digital art exhibitions.

The company’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.


Japan is known for its sake (rice wine) and whisky, but the country has seen a boom in craft beer brewing in recent years.

This has in turn given 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 participate in expert-led tasting tours.


Okinawa feels a million miles from Japan’s big, fast-paced 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 sweeping views over the landscapes and ocean.

You might choose to stay in one of Okinawa’s luxury 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 resorts to be found in Okinawa. 

Villabu Resort


A journey by road gives you the freedom and flexibility to adventure deep into the countryside, exploring the many hidden gems and experiences along the way.

Even from Tokyo, you can take scenic drives around Nikko, the Oku-Nikko area with its lakes, waterfalls and hiking trails, Hakone and Mt Fuji, and the popular Izu Peninsula which boasts beautiful beaches, onsen (hot springs) and fresh seafood.

Renting a camper is a great way to cover longer distances and see more of the country without having to worry about booking accommodation along the way.

Overland Japan offers a fresh and modern take on the typical road trip experience with its fleet of customised 4×4 camping cars available for rent.


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.