Kayaking the Shakotan Peninsula


The history of kayaking began in Greenland and the Aleutian Islands. The first kayaks were apparently created by the indigenous people of the region, who used whale and seal bones for the structure, and the skin and fat of the mammals for waterproofing and the necessary buoyancy required by the hunting vessels.
Modern kayaks are now made with polyethylene or plastic for better resistance to the waves, winds, and currents, and allow for longer journeys than their ancient predecessors.

An ideal way to explore the beautiful coastline of Japan is by way of Sea Kayaking, and we were fortunate enough to have Yutaka Takanashi, owner of a local sea kayaking Tour Company, share his passion for sea kayaking with us…
Growing up in Kanagawa, Takanashi san spent a great deal of time outside soaking up the sunshine and enjoying one of his favourite sports, sea kayaking. “I love the rhythm that comes from the waves, and being able to feel the speed of the kayak while you connect with nature and take in the spectacular wilderness”, says Yutaka Takanshi. His favourite exploration location is the Shakotan Peninsula on the west coast of Hokkaido; an hour’s drive from Niseko and the perfect day trip destination. The beautiful natural environment remains relatively untouched in this area due to its rough landscape, and with a great many tunnels and not many coastal roads, sea kayaking provides easy access to a great choice of tucked-away coastline and hidden caves, just waiting to be explored.
Sea kayaking is harder to master than you may think, and you will need to learn the basics before starting off, such as how to get in and out of the kayak, and how to hold and use the paddle correctly—all important skills to operate the craft. Yutaka Takanshi spoke of his experience when he first started sea kayaking; how excited he was when he took his first stroke in the water with the paddle; and how he loved the smooth feeling of moving through the water, which was like riding a waterslide. He described staying very close to the water while watching the breathtaking surrounding nature; and taking in the amazing ocean colour called ‘Shakotan Blue’, and a truly magnificent landscape view from the water surface.
When you slowly drift into a cave—explore the huge rock platforms, and travel through hollows which twist and turn like the inside of a giant seashell—you will forget everything else and just enjoy the sound of the waves echoing around you and the feeling of nervous exhilaration as you move ever deeper into the mysterious caverns.

Weather can be unpredictable, so travelling with well-experienced tour guides will ensure your safety and make certain that you enjoy the experience to the fullest.

kayak-shakotan-cavesContact SummerJapan.com to book your Shakotan Sea Kayak adventure!


1 Comment

  1. Stunning clear waters with great scenery, and caverns to explore on the side. Looks like a great area to check out.
    I’ll try to get out to that area some time. Will take in Tokyo too of course. A kayak trip/day will be a nice nature antidote for all the crazy city life 🙂

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