World Aquatics Championships 2023 Fukuoka

The competition will take place at several venues around Fukuoka City, starting with diving at Fukuoka Prefectural Pool and choreographed swimming and water polo at Marine Messe Fukuoka. Athletes will compete in open-water swimming and high diving at Seaside Momochi Beach Park. This event will be followed by the masters championships held across Kyushu. 

When: July 14-30 Where: Fukuoka City, Fukuoka 

Salomon 4100D Mountain Trail in Nozawa Onsen

This trail run is in the traditional hot spring village and Olympic ski town of Nozawa Onsen. There are long (65 kilometers), middle (37 kilometers) and short (14 kilometers) courses and participants can run solo, as a pair or in a group. 

When: July 16Where: Nozawa Onsen, Nagano

OMM Lite and Bike Otari

This entry-level race is designed to give newbies a feel of an Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) navigational race in the mountainous Hakuba Region. The OMM Lite is a two-day race with some off-trail areas, but most is on trail with teams of two to five people. Families and friends who are not participating can camp with racers in the overnight camping area. The OMM Bike (the cycling version of OMM Lite) will be held simultaneously.

When: July 22-23Where: Otari, Nagano

World Aquatics Masters Championships 2023 Kyushu

Following the Fukuoka events, this masters championships will be held across Fukuoka City, Kumamoto City and Kagoshima City. The final races will wrap up on August 11th.

When: Aug. 2-11Where: Kyushu

Niseko Hanazono Hill Climb

This 14-kilometer race starts at Kutchan—the Potato Festival will be held here simultaneously—and runs mainly on flat roads until the Kutchan Agricultural High School. From there, climb a wide mountain road. The last two-kilometer stretch becomes a single lane with a steep slope until the goal at the border between Kutchan and Niseko towns. 

When: Aug. 6Where: Kutchan, Hokkaido

Mt. Rokko Trail Run and Summer Picnic

This trail run is held on Mountain Day in Japan at Mt. Rokko, which overlooks Osaka Bay. The 28-kilometer course goes up to 1,750 meters and takes about six hours, while the 10K race reaches 300 meters and takes about four hours. There is also a family-friendly rogaining challenge held the same day. 

When: Aug. 11Where: Kobe Municipal Arboretum, Hyogo

FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023

Okinawa joins Manila and Jakarta as hosts of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. Group plan or the first two rounds will be held at Okinawa Arena where some of the world’s best basketball players will gather and compete for the title. The quarterfinals and finals will be played in Manila. 

When: Aug. 25 – Sept. 3Where: Okinawa Arena, Okinawa

NAC Trail Run

Hokkaido’s first trail run returns for its 21st race. Choose between a hardcore 30-kilometer mountain course, a shorter 10K run and a 5K serene forest trail course.  

When: Sept. 3Where: Niseko, Hokkaido

Central Alps Nishikoma Bokka

Bokka in Japanese means to carry luggage or supplies up a mountain. This unusual hill climb goes up to Nishikoma, Japan’s central Alps’ northernmost mountain hut. Nishikoma was built as an evacuation hut in 1913 by local residents and the tradition of preserving this hut continues with this trail run. Choose between three or 15-kilogram stacks of firewood and run up to the 2,690-meter-high hut at Mt. Shogikashira.  

When: Sept. 3Where: Kiso Mountains, Nagano

Zao Skyrun

Run from spa to sky in Yamagata. The run starts from Zao Onsen’s hot spring town and heads up to the 1,840-meter Mt. Zao. You’ll also pass by the vivid-colored Lake Okama. 

When: Sept. 9-10Where: Zao Onsen, Yamagata

Adventure Travel World Summit

Travel professionals from around the world will come together this fall at Asia’s first Adventure Travel World Summit. There will be cycling and walking tours in between intriguing panel discussions by speakers including Shannon Stowell, CEO of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, and best-selling author Pico Iyer.  

When: Sept. 11-14Where: Sapporo, Hokkaido

Spartan Race Beast/Sprint

This course takes advantage of the hilly terrain at Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort and promises great views at the top. For a tasty reward, our friends at Baird Beer will be serving fresh craft beer at their booth.  

When: Sept. 23Where: Gala Yuzawa, Niigata

Niseko Gravel

This autumn race is a mixed-surface ride taking adventure cyclists through forest roads, gravel climbs and iconic Hokkaido farm trails.  

When: Sept. 23-24Where: Niseko, Hokkaido

Spartan Race Trail/Kids

Enjoy grand views of Mt. Fuji at this 10K race in Susono City, near Hakone and the Ashitaka mountains. There will also be the first-ever standalone Spartan Kids race.  

When: Sept. 30-Oct. 1Where: Susono, Shizuoka

Hakone Hill Climb

This road bike competition climbs to the top of Mount Hakone covering approximately 20 kilometers.

When: Oct. 1Where: Hakone, Kanagawa

Alps Outdoor Summit

This three-day event connects local and international outdoor brands and makers while exploring Matsumoto, the gateway to the Kamikochi mountains. Discover manufacturers changing the adventure travel scene, then go hiking or cycling during peak autumn foliage season.

When: Oct. 6-8Where: Matsumoto, Nagano

Tour de Kyushu

Eighteen teams from Japan and abroad will be cycling on an epic route through Kyushu’s historic, oceanic and volcanic landscapes. The race begins at Kitakyushu’s Kokura Castle then continues over the following days through Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, passing through the five Aso mountains and ending with a high-speed sprint in Hita’s city center in Oita. 

When: Oct. 6-9Where: Kyushu


This adventure cycling race combines the best elements of a mountain bike enduro with a gravel grinder-style road race. Plus racers can enjoy delicious food, an art and bike festival, live music and camping in the Japan alpine village of Hakuba. The 80K course follows flowing singletrack to flat rice fields. 

When: Oct. 7-9Where: Hakuba, Nagano


This 125-km. ride is for roadies as it’s a mostly paved course. Explore the southernmost point of the subtropical Izu peninsula with its ocean lookouts and beaches; the ride starts with a smooth yet hilly route in Shimoda. Head to Shirahama Beach before heading for the hills and traversing the center of Minami Izu. The checkpoint is in Matsuzaki, an up-and-coming MTB town. Enjoy quintessentially Japanese scenes at Ishibu rice terrace. Cycle to Cape Irozaki before returning to Shimoda. 

When: Oct. 29-30Where: Izu, Shizuoka

Sea to Summit

Montbell’s popular Sea to Summit race series aims to help invigorate local areas, holding events where participants can experience nature through canoeing, cycling, trekking and other means of human-powered movement.

When and Where:
July 16-17: Myoko, Niigata 
July 23-24: Bizen, Okayama 
Aug. 20-21: Asahidake, Hokkaido 
Sept. 10-11: Mt. Chokai, Yamagata 
Sept. 23-24: Lake Biwa, Shiga 
Oct. 8-9: Kamimachi, Miyagi 
Oct. 15-16: Chikuma River, Nagano 
Nov. 12-13: Kihoku, Mie

Montbell Photo Contest

Montbell, Japan’s largest homegrown outdoor brand, is hosting their fifth annual photo contest. Photo submissions include mountaineering, trekking, camping, kayaking, cycling, fishing, climbing, hiking and enjoying outdoor activities. Landscape and nature photography may also be submitted. Enter for your chance to win a ¥50,000 Montbell gift card and other exciting prizes. Anyone is eligible.

When: Until Aug. 31

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