Tsuyu season will soon be upon us – the perfect time of year to let out your inner adventurer.

With the seasonal heavy rains, low pressure weather systems and the ominous lingering feeling that a typhoon might hit at any given moment, the norm for dealing with Japan’s rainy season is to hunker down with a month or two's worth of at-home entertainment and a stockpile of comfort foods (you are probably thinking ‘isn’t that what COVID-19 has been forcing us to do lately anyway?).
But why waste precious moments sitting inside asking for the mercy of the rain, when you could actually be out in it, living your best life?

The rainy season may put a halt to your usual plans, but it can also open up a doorway to unexpected adventure.
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu aims to put the thrill back into the tsuyu season, with their all new rainy season off-road rally race experience – the Tomamu Dororo Rally.

The Hokkaido based resort will be holding the Tomamu Dororo Rally from July 1st to August 31st, 2020. A rainy day-only activity, the experience allows partakers to drive a modern and durable four-wheel drive mud buggy along muddy, forest roads and through deep puddles.

Hoshino staff will provide full support on buggy driving operations, and will equip each participating group with directions for the planned out off-road courses. This year, the resort has added two new courses to the event, the ski resort hillside and the farm area; increasing the overall course mileage and making the activity even more challenging, with a range of mud and water obstacles to drive through.

The Tomamu Dororo Rally uses a special four-wheel drive buggy that can drive in various different road environments. This buggy can plough through muddy water with a depth of about 30cm, and can charge over rough debris filled roads – ordinary cars can’t handle stuff like this.
The rally course will be spread across 6 kilometers from east to west and is dotted with forests, grasslands, mud paths and deep puddles.
During the event, the running times of all participants will be recorded and placed in ranked order, adding a little bit of friendly competition to the already exciting activity. Winners of the overall timed event will get to take home an original medal (embossed with the buggy and a checkered racing flag) and a souvenir champagne for adults, and non-alcoholic sparkling drink for children.

The real pleasure of this activity is the chance of driving in a multitude of different terrains which you can’t normally attempt in every-day life. Before driving the guide will lecture on how to correctly operate the steering wheel and use the accelerator and brakes on rough roads. A course map and recommended locations where wild animals are likely to appear will be provided, and a support vehicle will be available on call if a buggy gets stuck in a puddle or on a muddy road.
If the idea of getting your clothing muddy is holding you back, fear not, Hoshino Resorts has you covered, as they’ll be providing special work suits, towels, and boots made for the wear and tear from beyond the beaten path. And after getting completely covered in mud without dirtying your own clothes, you can take a bath and relax at the resort’s open-air onsen “Kirin no Yu”.

Tomamu Dororo Rally will offer a chance to explore a side of yourself that you may not know that you had. The event will run at the resort from July 1st to August 31st, when the course is wet and muddy, and will cost 18,182 yen (plus tax) for one set. Included in the price, event entry, mud-buggy, guide support, complete rental gear set (suit, helmet, boots, bath towel, face towel), open air onsen and soft drinks after the experience.

Reservations for the rainy season rally race experience can be booked up to two days before at the GAO Outdoor Center or over the phone on 0167-58-1111. Up to four people can take part in each group, however, the driver will need to be a driver’s licence holder. If you do not own a driver’s licence or don’t want to drive the course, an experienced guide can take the lead and drive the buggy for you.

Don’t hide from Japan’s rainy season – revel in it instead.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.