The Kiso, Hida Akaishi Mountains form the Japan Alps (or Japanese Alps), a picturesque region with mountains soaring to over 3,000 meters; and onsens (hot springs) stretching across Toyama, Nagano, Niigata, and Gifu prefectures.
The area includes Hakuba, a popular ski destination, and 7 cities (Takayama, Matsumoto, Shiojiri, Omachi, Hida and Azumino). During the green season (spring and summer), the area is a perfect choice for corporate retreats as it offers a welcome break from Tokyo's heat.
Popular spring festivals in the Japan Alps include:
- the Takayama Spring Festival in mid-April
- the Sanno Matsuri in April
- the Seihakusai festival in Nanao in May 30-ton wooden Hikiyama (towering mountains) floats are wheeled through the area.
- Hyaku-man-goku Matsuri featuring ancient Kaga costumes, Noh Theater and traditional music in Kanazawa in early June
In Otani, snow is plowed in early spring to provide access to the area, creating “Yuki no Otani ” with 20-meter high snow walls.
Attractions include in the Japan Alps include Matsumoto Castle, Japan Alps National Park, Minami National Park , Aoni Village, Kurobe Dam and Azumino Alps Park.
Some of the activities that can be enjoyed in the area include mountain climbing, via ferratas, mountain biking, hiking, rafting, paragliding and canyoning.
For more assistance in planing your trip to Japan also consult, Asia: Amazing Activities for Team Events and Team Building and Japan: Incentive Travel for all Seasons.