Japan: Incentive Travel for all Seasons

Incentive Travel & Corporate Events in Japan
(Summer & Fall)

In Japan, the changing seasons and festivals provide a tantalizing backdrop for your team’s incentive trip. In addition to modern conference facilities, your team can spend some time at a traditional ryokan or a resort with an onsen. Venues for corporate events include gardens, famous samurai movie sets, and feudal mansions. However, it’s important to make your plans and book well in advance. During the summer, well-heeled Tokyo residents escape to the mountain areas to beat the heat. If you want to experience a popular mountain retreat during the summer or Kyoto’s fall colours, your planning can’t be left until the last minute.

We had an excellent response to our light on text virtual tour of Malaysia’s hills so, we’re using the same approach to this virtual tour of some of Japan’s mountain and countryside areas. Come explore the possibilities.


Due to the humidity, some locals describe Tokyo as a “blast furnace” during the summer. To find relief from the heat, head to the Japan Alps, Hakone, Toyama, or Sapporo.

Festivals: During the summer, there are a variety of summer festivals (Natsu Matsuri) throughout Japan. Almost every night, various communities throughout Japan feature stunning fireworks displays.

  • Bon Odori Matsuri is celebrated throughout the country from Jul 13 – 15.

Hakone: Temperature – 24°C – 30°C (74° – 87°F)

1 1/2 hours southwest of Tokyo by train, explore Japanese culture and add variety to your incentive travel itinerary by staying at a traditional Ryokan (Japanese Inn) or a resort with an onsen (hot spring bath).

Hakone is a stunning mountain retreat that has a number of resorts and ryokans with onsens. Give your team a break from your meetings with a vist to nearby Fujisan (Mount Fuji) and a cruise on Lake Ashi followed by a cable car ride at Mount Komagatake. The panoramic view is absolutely spectacular and on a clear day you will be able to see Mount Fuji. You’ll be able to see the lake below and even the golf course where your team can enjoy a round or two.

Chubu – Mountains : Temperature – 21°C – 30°C (70°F – 87°F)

Every time I watch this video of a journey to the Japanese Alps in the summer, I get goosebumps. I wish I could jump right into the video.

Toyama: Temperature – 22°C – 30°C (72°F – 87°F)

Offering a panoramic view of the 3,000-meter Tateyama Mountains, Toyama is comfortable to visit all year. It has 4 mineral baths including the Unazuki-onsen. Attractions include Zuiryu-ji Temple and the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route where you can enjoy river rafting, cable car rides, and view from the Kurobe Dam observatory.

World Heritage Sites: Gokayama Village with ‘gassho-zukuri’ style dwellings

Sapporo : Temperature – 18°C – 29°C (65°F – 84°F)

Sapporo has a number of unique museums and attractions. Start with a tour of the Historical Museum of Hokkaido. Then visit the Bread Museum of Hokuo to learn about the Japanese art of bread making and sample freshly baked bread. There is also a chocolate factory that your team can tour.

If you’re looking for a few hours to unwind between meetings, you can let off steam at Teine Olympia, an amusement park within a forest. If you time your trip well, at any time of year, your team can take in a concert one evening at the Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara .

Shirakawa: For an interesting excursion, travel back in time this UNESCO World Heritage site, a 500 year old, traditional village with thatched roof huts.


It’s always cool and comfortable in this part of Japan that has numerous onsens, the ancient 4,000 – 5,550 year old ruins of Sannai-Maruyama.


  • Every year in August, you can enjoy the Nebuta Festival.

World Heritage Sites: Shirakami-Sanchi Mountains




  • October 22 – the Yuki Shrine Fire Festival


  • October – F1 Formula One



  • November 3 Daimyo Gyorestsu, a re-enactment of a feudal lord’s procession

One trip to Japan is not enough to see it all. So, to create a memorable incentive trip, pick your time of year and one or two areas to explore.

Once again. I have way too much material for one blog entry so I have actually had to split it into 3. The other two parts will go live soon. Next time, we’ll continue next time with incentive travel in Japan during the Fall and Winter.

For help in planning incentive travel in Japan, please visit our website. Then, contact us to let us know your requirements. For the best choice of options and to allow ample time for logistics, it is best to book your retreat at least 4 – 6 months before you intend to travel:

Anne Thornley-Brown has toured Asia 16 times and facilitated workshops and team building sessions for over 2000 executives, managers, and professionals.


4 thoughts on “Japan: Incentive Travel for all Seasons

  1. […] Japan: Incentive Travel for all Seasons Snapshots of mountain and countryside areas where you can access truly unique activities and excursions all year Throughout the year, there’s an opportunity to incorporate some really interesting Japanese cultural experiences into your retreat. To help your company “stay ahead of the curve”, field trips and factory tours to uncover ultra-modern new technology can also be built into your agenda.  […]

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