I believe that in English we do not need the "out". It is understood that if you travel TO Japan, you have to get out of the place where you are in order to travel to Japan. In fact I doubt that anyone would use "travel out to".
"travel out to" is a common expression in English. For example: "The sports team will travel out to Europe to compete this spring". Its used when someone or a group is travelling outside of their home region to a foreign area, generally for a specific purpose.
I have heard it here in NZ. In fact, today "I travelled out to Kaiapoi". Or "I went to Kaiapoi" - "I travelled to Kaiapoi" sounds weird as it emphasises the travelling - I want you to know I went to Kaiapoi..
At least in the US, "sportsman" tends to refer more to people who do outdoor, wilderness activities like hunting and fishing. I would always choose "athlete" for someone who plays an organized sport or ballgame like football.
The ki in this sentence has to do with aspect of the verb, rather than a directional sense. It puts the focus on the start of the activity, and indicates that we're not really talking about an ongoing trip in progress, nor a habitual action of traveling.