Wednesday, 17 January 2018
The Japan Open: Are you going?
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The Japan Open: Are you going?
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Are you going? You should. This isn't just another weekend tournament. This is THE disc golf experience. It is the tournament every disc golfer dreams about being a part of. It is the complete immersion of your mental, emotional and physical being into one complete disc golf fantasy.

The Japan Open has long and rich history dating back to the mid 1980's. Early Japan Open Championships were held at Showa National Government Park in Tachikawa, Japan. This famous park was established in 1983 to commemorate the 'Golden Jubilee' or the 50th anniversary of the Showa Emperor. Between the gardens and vast green space Disc Golf was later added to the list of other recreational activities including bike riding, boat rentals and BBQ garden cooking. The gardens grew and so did the Japan Open, so much so that the park was unable accommodate 72 + competitors. In 2002 Shimbo-san and team found the Nasu Highlands Golf Resort and the Japan Open was welcomed with open arms and deep bows. This year marks the 14th Japan Open.

Nasu Highlands is an exotic location in the majestic mountains of Japan. There are no picnic baskets or casual joggers here. This corner of the world belongs to the golfer. It was built for the golfer and the mountain resort that sits next to it was designed specifically for golfers.

Your meals? They're covered. And this isn't a ham sandwich and a bag of stale chips. During the event, all competitors will have their breakfast, lunch and dinner catered by the resort's five-star kitchen. Exotic Japanese cuisine will be on display along with a more traditional Western menu for the less adventurous. You will not go hungry.

From the moment you touch down at Narita until the moment you leave Japan, you will be immersed in the Japanese culture. You are an honored guest of tournament director and PDGA Hall of Famer Kozo Shimbo who has hosted this tournament since 1987. Shimbo-san, the staff at Hero Disc and Japan itself are here to accommodate your every disc golf needs.

Before the Nasu Highlands was a five star golf resort it was still a hot spot for travelers. Literally, for centuries, the hot springs of Nasu were considered a place of healing. Soaking in the hot springs were said to heal all wounds including a broken heart.

There are seven hot spring spas in the Nasu region not far from the resort. Guests are encouraged to visit them between rounds to soothe achy muscles and perhaps their broken hearts. The spring waters in the spas are heated deep inside the earth's crust and traditional Japanese baths were built directly above the natural springs. (Hint: hot springs are incredibly therapy for jet lag.)

If you're not a fan of soaking in a hot spring and you would rather explore the flora in the Nasu region. There are numerous nature hikes available which will put the mountains' natural beauty on display. Just down the mountain is the Nasu Honey Garden which is a traditional Japanese garden open to visitors. The Nasu Highlands is a nature walk up an active volcano.

The course? How's this; The land was crafted by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and it is cared for night and day, down to the last blade of grass, by a professional staff of landscapers and gardeners. During your stay, you will be provided a golf cart to travel about the property both during your practice and competitive rounds. Take the time to appreciate the physical perfection of the "Dream Land of Disc Golf"

Innova's Dave Dunipace redesigned the disc golf courses that were used during the 2010 Japan Open to accommodate the advancements made in disc golf technology in the past four years. Dunipace and JPDGA Executive Director Kawasaki Atsuhito created two new courses. Dave Dunipace said, "We have made some changes to the previous course set up to utilize more of the space we have and create bigger challenges for the competitors."