Sea Kayaking & Canoeing
We’re in the mountains, but we love to go out on the water. Myoko’s a great place for sea kayaking: Lake Nojiri is just minutes away, and is ideal for a first, wave-free kayak experience. And within an hour, we can be on the ocean in an area that’s fun for beginners or experienced kayakers alike. We also would be happy to take you out for the fun of paddling on the lake in a canoe as well — quite a different paddling experience from a kayak.
We also have a great deal of experience in hosting multi-day sea kayak touring on the Sea of Japan. Destinations include Wakasa Bay in Fukui, the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa, Awashima Island off the northern coast of Niigata (a great first camp/kayak destination) and Sado Island, right off the coast here. For tours, we often work with our partner Granstream.
We would be very happy to develop an itinerary and estimate for you, based on the number of people, days and destinations.
Lake Nojiri is a great place for a first experience in a kayak or canoe. There's a surprising mount of wildlife here, from fish and freshwater shrimp in the water to kingfishers, mandarin ducks, cormorants and birds of prey in the air around the lake. If you're an early riser, we'd suggest getting out very early, before the motorized bass boats start screaming around the lake at 7am. But it's always good to be out on the water, and the fishermen's initial frantic attacks usually quiet down pretty quickly (tehy get a bad case of big fish fever first thing in the morning, but quiet down once they start casting).
I had to use that title, as it's also the name of one of our very favorite restaurants in Myoko
. But, once you've gotten used to the feeling of kayaking on the lake, the natural next step is to head out to the ocean. The area near Kashiwazaki, a little less than an hour's drive from Myoko, gives us a great setting for learning about the waves, about threading through the narrow passages of the rock gardens, and more. In fact, on a quiet day it is possible to make this a first paddle as well, if you're confident in and around the water. Once you've gotten used to them, the waves make paddling a lot more interesting (although we'll never go out when conditions are wrong, or if our guest isn't confident). This means learning a greater of variety of paddle strokes to move through tight spaces and deal with the waves.
As mentioned above, one of the main goals in learning to paddle is to then be able to go out for overnight or multi-day tours. Sea kayaks and canoes make these trips great fun: they carry a lot of gear (none of it on your back!) so we can carry along lot of camping gear and even heavy items like Dutch ovens!
Some of the possible destinations include:
- Okutadami Lake (on the border between Niigata and Fukushima) by kayak or canoe.
- Awashima Island. easy access, camping right on the beach (or in a beach house). A complete circumnavigation of the island takes about six hours, and anyone with a good, straight paddling line can do it.
- Sado Island. Much bigger than Awashima, a tour here can be anything from a two nights to more than a week to do a complete paddle around the island. Historic, with excellent local cuisine and even some saké breweries that can be toured along the way.
- Wakasa Bay. One of our favorite places, with lots of choices for touring, super-clear waters and good food! Pretty far from Myoko, but we can meet there, and also call on our local partner Granstream from support.
There are so many variables, particularly in touring (we can even provide a luxury tour with our car moving ahead to prepare meals, or host a tour where we stay in local hotels), so tell us what you'd like to do
and we'll get back to you with an estimate and more information!
About backcountry activities
Please read and understand the following before taking part in a tour:
1. Depending on weather and snow conditions, tour destinations may be changed, or the tour cancelled.
2. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding and water sports involve the risk of injury or death. For that reason, we require all guests to sign a waiver before taking part in backcountry activities (a pdf version can be found here
). At the same time, our guides have training in paddling and water safety, first aid, avalanche forecasting and rescue, and are dedicated to providing the most enjoyable, well-planned experience possible
3. Every Dancing Snow client is automatically included in our group insurance policy at no additional charge (please contact us if you would like more details on coverage). We also strongly suggest that all those taking part in backcountry tours have their own active insurance policy which covers outdoor activities.
4. If you do have a chronic health condition, we appreciate your letting us know. We know that many people can take part in outdoor activities despite some conditions, and we respect your ability to judge if a tour will be within your abilities. Your information will be kept strictly secret, but will be very useful in helping us respond should anything happen during the day.
Note on personal information
To ensure the safety of our guests, we do ask for personal information including telephone numbers, emergency contacts, etc., as part of registration for lessons and tours. We will not use this information for anything other than this purpose, nor will we release any personal information to any third parties.