10 Best Paragliding Spots in Japan!

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Soar like a bird as you feel the wind beneath your wings while you take in the open blue infinity of the Japanese sky. Paragliding is a popular outdoor activity that marries sightseeing with adventure as you drift over the iconic landscapes of Japan with daring and grace. Japan has a great number of paragliding locations that encompass a multitude of different landscapes ranging from beautiful ocean views to remarkable mountain peaks. Here is a list of the 10 best paragliding spots that you can’t miss in Japan!

1. Mount Fuji (Asagiri Kogen)

Paragliding at Mount Fuji

Mt. Fuji is widely known as the highest mountain in Japan which has been venerated by Japanese people as a symbolic landmark for centuries. Imagine racing through the skies with the towering 3,776m peak of Mount Fuji casting a bold presence in the background. Asagiri Kogen Paragliding School offers an exciting paragliding experience for any level of paraglider from beginners to advanced. Beginners who are paragliding for the first time can experience a short flight where they take off from a gentle slope at just 22m. Instructions and practice lessons are provided by professional pilots in advance to ensure rider safety. Tandem flight courses as well enable riders to enjoy the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji while flying over the beautiful Asagiri Plateau with the help of a pilot who accompanies you to control the glider! 

How to get there 

From Tokyo, take the Shinkansen to JR Shin-fuji station and then take a taxi or bus to Asagiri-Kogen 

Price

Tandem Flight 
¥10,000 (weekdays)
¥12,000 (weekends& holidays)

Short Flight 
¥8,000 (half day)

2. Mount Aso (Kumamoto)

Set out for adventure in Kumamoto!

If you are planning to travel to the southern island of Kyushu, head to Mount Aso in Kumamoto to find yourself an unforgettable paragliding experience! The area boasts Mount Aso which is known as Japan’s largest active volcano. Aso Natura Land is a popular tourist attraction in the area as well that offers a wide range of outdoor activities including paragliding, hot-air balloon rides, motorized mountain boarding, and trekking! 

For families with young children, the half-day paragliding class is a perfect option to get your young ones used to being up in the clouds. It includes simple instructions and practice lessons that help participants get ready for a solo flight from a small gentle slope which is safe even for kids! Tandem flights take off from the outer rim of Mt. Aso at a  height of 450m, which offers an unforgettable flight experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life! Sunset flights are also available which allows you to enjoy the breathtaking view of Mt. Aso along with a mesmerizing sunset!    

How to get there 

About a 50min drive from Kumamoto Airport
Take a bus from JR Kumamoto station to Aso station. It is about a 10min taxi or bus ride to get there. 

Price

Half-day Course
¥6,500
Tandem Flight 
¥15,000
Sunset Flight 
¥8,800(*Reservation is required for all activities)

3. Furano

Explore the Hokkaido wilderness from above!

Nestled in the central part of Hokkaido, Furano welcomes tourists with beautiful natural attractions as well as world-famous ski resorts. While it is widely renowned for the scenic lavender fields that are flushed with purple lavender flowers during the summer, it also offers a great paragliding experience which is available all year round! MPG Sorachi offers a motor-powered paragliding experience that uses a motor to provide a powerful thrust to take off and control the glider without the help of wind or the pull of gravity. All you need to do is wear a back-mounted motor (a paramotor) which enables a take-off from level ground. If you visit in the winter, you can enjoy a wonderful winter flight across the beautiful landscape covered completely with snow, creating a stunning view along with the snow-capped mountains!  

How to get there 

About a 10min drive from JR Furano station

Price

Tandem Flight
¥12,000

4. Ibaraki

Mount Tsukuba during the summer

Ibaraki is a perfect weekend getaway destination from Tokyo and is only a one-hour train ride away from the big city. Around Mt. Tsukuba, a popular hiking spot in Ishioka city, there are numerous paragliding spots and schools which offer exciting paragliding experiences available for all levels. Airpark Coo is one of the most popular paragliding schools in the area and has friendly and experienced instructors and a range of convenient facilities. Tandem flights take off from one of the surrounding mountains standing at 500m high, which while it may seem daunting, the rush is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before! If you want to start off simple, join a half-day course which includes 2-hour practice lessons at a gentle slope for beginners. Facilities include shower rooms, washrooms, a small shop selling paragliding equipment, and outdoor tables which can be used for BBQ!

How to get there 

From Tokyo, take the Tsukuba Express to Tsukuba station (※free pick-up service is available with a reservation in advance by email or phone)  

Price

Half-day course
¥6,000
One-day course
¥9,000
Tandem Flight 
¥15,000

5. Matsushima

Matsushima from a birdseye view

Matsushima is a magical natural dreamscape located in the Matsushima Bay of Miyagi prefecture. It is widely recognized as one of the three most scenic spots in Japan along with Amanohashidate in Kyoto and Miyajima in Hiroshima. Other than the stunning scenery, it also offers a great paragliding adventure that brings you to fly over Matsushima Bay. With the help of a professional pilot who controls the glider, you can enjoy Tandem paragliding while taking pictures of the scenery with your phone or camera. Landing is also easy as riders typically land on a sandy beach which is soft and cushy. The operating season is from April to November, and reservations are required by email or phone prior to your visit.      

How to get there 

From JR Sendai Station, take the Senseki Line to Tagajo station. From there it is about a 30min bus ride.

Price

Tandem Flight 
¥13,500 (※insurance included)

6. Takayama

The rugged Northern Japanese Alps

Takayama is a peaceful mountainous enclave nestled in the northern part of Gifu prefecture. It welcomes numerous tourists from around the world with the beautiful townscape featuring traditional Japanese buildings dating back all the way to the Edo period. It is also located at the base of the Japanese Northern Alps, an iconic mountain range that encompasses towering peaks exceeding 3,000m. Takayama Sky Sailing Club takes you on an unforgettable paragliding adventure with great views of the surrounding mountains. They offer tandem paragliding for beginners that is suitable even for children. If you have paragliding experience and are capable of controlling the glider on your own, solo flight is also an option. If you want to try other activities while in the area, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles are also available depending on the season.     

How to get there 

It is about 10min from JR Takayama station by taxi 

Price

Solo Flight 
¥6,000
Snowmobile (*winter season only)
¥6,000

7. Nasu

The incredible fall colors of Nasu

Nasu (also known as Nasu-shiobara) is an enchanting area surrounding Mt. Nasudake which is located in the northernmost part of Tochigi prefecture. It is easily accessible by shinkansen from Tokyo which takes just an hour and a half. Nikko is another popular tourist destination in Tochigi with a great number of world-famous tourist attractions such as Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Kegon Falls, which is about a 2-hour train ride to Nasu-shiobara station. 

If you want a memorable weekend trip in Tochigi, but have no idea where to go besides the Nikko area, head to KPS Paragliding School in Nasu which has offered exciting paragliding experiences for over 30 years! There are three courses that you can choose from depending on your paragliding experience and itinerary. Tandem paragliding gives you the opportunity to take off from 300m high and be accompanied by a well-experienced instructor. Half-day courses and one-day courses are also available which include practice lessons with insightful instruction which teach you how to use and operate the equipment in a practical and safe manner. After finishing your flight, enjoy a refreshing Onsen experience at Shiobara hot spring resort or Nasu hot spring resort!            

How to get there 

From Tokyo, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Nasu-shiobara Station. It is about a 30min drive from there. (If you have no car, contact them on their website prior to your visit)

Price

Half-day course
¥7,400
One-day course
¥14,000
Tandem Flight 
¥12,000

8. Atami

Views of Mount Fuji while paragliding in the summer

Located in the eastern part of Shizuoka, Atami is a popular weekend trip destination that is easily accessible from big cities such as Tokyo and Yokohama. This area boasts historic shrines, relaxing hot springs, and traditional Japanese inns, making it a perfect destination for international tourists who want a real authentic Japanese experience. You can also find a great number of outdoor activity options including water sports in the summer such as surfing and sea bathing at the beautiful sandy beaches. Para Filed offers both tandem and solo paragliding courses which are available throughout the year. They are located on “Yanbushi-toge”, a hilly area with different levels of slopes for beginner to advanced paragliders. As you take off from the 600m altitude course, the strong wind from the Ajiro Bay takes you up high and offers great views of Mt. Fuji and the surrounding areas including the city of Atami. Free pick-up service is also available from JR Ajiro station.       

How to get there 

From JR Ajiro Station, it is about 15min by taxi to get there.

Price

Half-day course
¥9,900
One-day course
¥13,200

9. Tottori Sand Dunes

Soar over the sea and the sand!

Tottori Sand Dunes are the most famous and iconic tourist attraction in Tottori prefecture. It is a perfect spot for camel riding, sandboarding, fat-tire cycling, and other exciting activities which are enjoyable no matter your age. The incredible scenery is best taken in from a birds-eye view made available through paragliding courses provided by Sakyu Honpo! The half-day course is the most popular and affordable course which is available for just ¥8,000. The easy course includes the same service as the half-day course, however, you can also get support from the staff to help carry the heavy equipment across the vast sand dunes. Tandem Courses are also available which offer carefully guided instruction by experienced instructors. During the summer, it is recommended that you take courses early in the morning or in the evening as the sand dunes easily get really hot!   

How to get there 

From JR Tottori station, take the bus bound for Tottori Sand Dunes and get off at Tottori Sand Dunes Kodomonokuni.

Price

Half-day course
¥8,000
Easy course
¥11,500
(*staff will help you carry your paragliding equipment. It is probably recommended for small children and elderly people)
Tandem Flight 
¥12,500/ per person

10. Amami

Fly over the ocean like a seagull in Amami!

Amami is a cluster of remote lands which belong to Kagoshima prefecture. Amami Oshima is the largest island among them and is located approximately 380m south of Kagoshima. This scenic island is widely recognized as a perfect location for diving and snorkeling which allows participants to take a glimpse into the underwater world of a fish. Turning to the skies, however, paragliding enables you to enjoy the entire island and the emerald green ocean from the sky like a bird! Happy Sky offers motor-powered tandem flights which take only about 15 minutes, making it a perfect option to fill your free time in your itinerary. Enjoy taking photos of the stunning coastline, beautiful sandy beaches stretching along the blue ocean or the breathtaking sunset at dusk. The best time of the year for paragliding is from March to May, or July to November when the island is hardly visited by harsh rain or strong wind!    

How to get there 

It is about a 15min drive from Amami airport

Price

Tandem Flight 

¥10,500/ adult
¥8,000/ high school student and under

Paragliding is an exciting, memorable experience that is definitely worth a  try at least once in your life. It might seem a little scary or difficult especially if you have never tried it before, however, in reality, it is very safe and all paragliding operators are extremely reliable and provide a high level of safety regardless of your paragliding experience. Some paragliding spots we introduced above also offer a range of other outdoor activity options which would further enhance your travel experience and make your holiday even more special!

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Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with traveling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. Also love to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.

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