July 25, 2024
Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan-Inspired Travel Activities

The EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN is an upcoming event that highlights innovative ideas, technologies, and solutions to address a variety of pressing global challenges. The EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN also serves as a platform for countries, organizations, and individuals to collaborate and share insights on topics such as sustainability and cultural exchange, while fostering international cooperation and dialogue.

The theme for the EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN is “Designing Future Society for Our Lives,” a concept that extends far beyond the event’s host city and resonates in all corners of Japan. Read on to learn more about how you can appreciate the EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN core tenets during your travels in other parts of the country.

Hokkaido

Discover the Volcanoes of East Hokkaido by bike and on foot

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan-Inspired Travel Activities

f you’re looking for a way to replenish your body, mind, and soul, consider a visit to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. This region is revered for its plethora of outdoor activities and incredible natural landscapes, and perhaps none more so than the volcanoes of East Hokkaido. A visit to the Akan-Mashu National Park is a must as it’s one of the country’s oldest national parks and encompasses an area of over 90,000 hectares, including the caldera lakes of Lake Akan, Lake Kussharo, and Lake Mashu. The landscapes here have been forged by volcanic activity, and exploring them on foot or by bike are two fantastic ways to enjoy this amazing side of Japan up close.

For the two-wheeled adventurers, there are numerous bike types available for tours through the park, including road bikes, fat bikes, and e-bikes. The experience not only boasts incredible scenery and thrilling downhill sections but also presents an amazing chance for some local wildlife spotting, including the likes of Yezo sika deer and red foxes.

The national park also offers excellent opportunities for hiking, including trekking up Mount Meakan, which stands 1,499 meters tall. This active volcano is known as Machineshiri in the Ainu language, and the mountain’s landscape changes from lush vegetation to more rugged terrain as you ascend. Another benefit of the area’s geothermal activity is the excellent onsen culture, which feels extra soothing after days of physical activity!

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan-Inspired Travel Activities

Tours of Akan-Mashu National Park align with the EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN goals in several ways. By encouraging low-impact recreational activities and eco-friendly travel options, the tours promote the goal of fostering sustainable tourism that minimizes negative impacts on the environment and local communities. Many guides are indigenous Ainu, providing opportunities for cultural exchange plus sharing of traditional knowledge and local customs, fostering mutual understanding and respect.

Additionally, outdoor activities promote physical and mental well-being, aligning with the EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN “Saving Lives” sub-theme. Immersing oneself in nature, engaging in outdoor recreation, and experiencing the therapeutic benefits of natural landscapes contributes to overall health and happiness, underscoring the importance of such experiences.

Kanto

Be wowed by bamboo at Wakatake-no-Mori Wakayama Farm

Japan’s cultural heritage is woven with elements that reflect harmony with nature, and among its most iconic symbols is bamboo. The best-known destination in the country to appreciate its beauty is the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto, but there are plenty of other places where you can enjoy it without the crowds, including Wakatake no Mori Wakayama Farm in Tochigi Prefecture.

Located in the northern part of Utsunomiya City which is also famous for gyoza, the farm sprawls out over 24 hectares and has seen multiple generations of the same family grow bamboo and chestnuts over the past century. The owners are passionate about pursuing earth-friendly farming methods and initiatives for C02 reduction to ensure sustainability for future generations, with the mindset that “agriculture begins with cultivating the soil.”

There are several ways that visitors can enjoy the farm, whether it’s simply strolling through the serene bamboo forest for relaxation, or participating in bamboo craft workshops and matcha tea experiences for some hands-on learning opportunities. There is even the ability to hang a hammock in the bamboo forest and nap, and with the popularity of shinrin yoku (forest bathing) having exploded in recent years, it’s a great way to calm the body and mind by simply appreciating the quiet nature around you.

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan-Inspired Travel Activities

With its connections to nature, promotion of eco-friendly practices, and hands-on learning opportunities, Wakayama Farm aligns with the goals of the EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN in showcasing innovative solutions for sustainable living and environmental conservation, plus the sharing of cultural practices. You can learn more about the full range of activities and experiences offered at Wakatake-no-Mori Wakayama Farm via their official website.

Tokai

Take part in an Ama culture and food experience program in Mie

The tradition of Ama (literally, “sea women”) diving in Mie Prefecture dates back somewhere around 2,000 years, and the practice involves freediving to harvest seafood and pearls from the water’s depths below. The Ama’s intimate connection to the sea is reflected in their traditional attire, consisting of white diving suits and iconic headscarves, which have become emblematic of their profession. Ama diving is seen as sustainable by nature, with techniques that have a low environmental footprint, plus selective and seasonal harvesting practices that minimize the impact on marine populations.

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan-Inspired Travel Activities

Visitors to Mie Prefecture can take part in an Ama culture and food experience program at Ama Hut Satoumian, a replica of a traditional Ama Hut where these incredible divers rest, chat, and enjoy a meal after a long day of fishing. Ama Hut Satoumian is open for both lunch and dinner, and guests can indulge in fresh, charcoal-grilled seafood caught from the waters of Ise-Shima as they listen to stories from the Ama divers themselves. It’s even possible to try on traditional Ama attire for some special commemorative photos, and the gear is easy to wear over your regular clothing.

There are several ways that this kind of experience—and Ama diving as a whole—connect to the EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN goals. As mentioned above, Ama diving is a sustainable practice by nature, and doesn’t cause harm to the marine environment like trawling or dredging fishing practices do. It also provides employment opportunities, particularly for women, helping to sustain both local economies and continue a special cultural heritage. This primarily female-led line of work directly relates to one of the event’s sub-themes of “Saving Lives,” which has a focus on promoting women’s participation in the workforce.

By highlighting the contributions of Ama divers and promoting sustainable seafood harvesting practices, a visit to Mie can showcase the importance of ocean conservation and inspire global efforts towards a more sustainable future.

San’in

Enjoy a range of unique activities at a UNESCO Global Geopark

The San’in region of Japan encompasses Shimane, Tottori, and northern Yamaguchi prefectures, and one of the area’s most recognizable natural landmarks is the Tottori Sand Dunes. The dunes were formed over the course of 100,000 years and stretch an incredible 16 kilometers in length, captivating visitors with their otherworldly beauty. The unique landscape is so popular that it draws in over one million travelers a year, claiming the top spot as Tottori’s most-visited tourist attraction.

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan-Inspired Travel Activities

There are numerous ways that travelers can enjoy these incredible dunes, and the Tottori Sand Dunes Activity Select Plan is a great option for some one-of-a-kind experiences. Whether you’d like to start your day with some peaceful sand dune yoga, or an exhilarating sandboarding adventure is more your style, you can mix and match a set of activities for a memorable trip.

The options on offer as part of the Tottori Sand Dunes Activity Select Plan are a natural fit with the EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN goals. Yoga, with its emphasis on mindfulness and connection with nature, promotes a respectful and harmonious relationship with the environment. Practicing yoga on the sand dunes allows visitors to appreciate the natural beauty of the landscape without disturbing its fragile ecosystem, in line with the “Saving Lives” sub-theme of the event. In a similar vein, unlike motorized sports or activities involving heavy machinery, sandboarding leaves a minimal environmental footprint, preserving the integrity of the dunes for future generations to enjoy.

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan-Inspired Travel Activities

While you’re in the area enjoying the best of the sand dunes in eco-friendly ways, consider a visit to the Tottori Sand Museum. The venue has a range of incredible sculptures inspired by the broad theme of “World Travel With Sand,” with specific location content that changes annually. The best part is that the art here is designed to be sustainable, with sand from previous projects repurposed for new exhibitions. The theme for the upcoming exhibition is France, and it’s set to run from April 19, 2024 until January 1, 2025.

Kyushu

Head out on the water at one of Japan’s best-known gorges

Nestled in the southwestern part of Japan, Kyushu is a captivating region renowned for its rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant culture. It’s made up of seven prefectures—Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Kagoshima, and Miyazaki—providing plenty of inspiration for any travelers interests.

For the outdoorsy adventurers, the latter prefecture of Miyazaki is home to one of Japan’s most beautiful gorges, Takachiho Gorge. Formed by ancient lava flows from nearby Mount Aso that have been uniquely sculpted by the Gokase River, this spectacular natural destination has been prominently featured on social media in recent years. One unique way to take in the best of the gorge is via a packraft tour, since these lightweight, inflatable rafts are perfect for maneuvering through rugged environments.

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan-Inspired Travel Activities

There are several key reasons why packrafts are great from an eco-friendly standpoint, including that they’re non-motorized—this means that tour participants can navigate waterways without disturbing the natural environment. Compared to traditional boats or motorized watercraft, packrafts have a significantly lower carbon footprint, and they require less energy to manufacture and transport which cuts down on C02 emissions.

Along with the packraft tours creating jobs in the Takachiho area, participants get to enjoy boxed lunches that feature a variety of ultra-fresh local produce. There are both visible and invisible connections made between travelers and the community as a result.

To arrange a packraft tour at Takachiho Gorge, visit the official website here.

Looking for more?

Explore our additional article here for culture and nature-based travel covering the core principles of the EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN.

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