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Kayak and Hike the Japanese Wilderness

Paddle the tropical coastline of the volcanic Izu Peninsula and take on a section of the sacred Mt Fuji pilgrimage trail

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Trip Ref #10334

Kayak and Hike the Japanese Wilderness

Paddle the tropical coastline of the volcanic Izu Peninsula and take on a section of the sacred Mt Fuji pilgrimage trail

DURATION
7 nights
LOCATION
Japan
ANNUAL LEAVE
5 days off work
SEASON
May-Oct
GROUP SIZE
Up to 10 people
MEETING POINT
Tokyo Airport (Haneda or Narita)
ACCOMMODATION
Classic

Hotel · Ryokan

OVERALL RATING

4.5

Based on 6 reviews
DIFFICULTY
Moderate

No kayaking experience is needed but you should feel comfortable on the water and able to hike for up to six hours at a time

Kayak past Hagachizaki Bay, home to a troop of over 300 wild Japanese macaque monkeys

Bed down in traditional 'ryokans'; don your robe, roll out your futon and hop in a steaming ‘onsen’

Hit the backstreets of Tokyo in search of hidden ‘izakaya’ for the ultimate foodie dive bar experience

Day 1

Touch down in Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo, sensory overload coming your way! You’ll meet up with the group at the hotel in Asakusa before heading out for some dinner. Lined with street food stalls and backstreet ‘izakayas’, this district is a great place to hang out and get to know your fellow crew.

Day 2

To the sea

Kayaking

5hrs · 15km

A quick transfer to the central station to start your three-hour train journey to the coast, whizzing past Mt Fuji and the rolling tea terraces that surround it. Arriving on the east coast of the Izu Peninsula late morning, you’ll set up your kayaks and hit the water as you paddle from Stumekizaki to the white sand beach of Shirahama. You'll spend the night in the fishing town of Shimoda at a small local 'ryokan', time for your first Japanese set meal and futon slumber.

Day 3

Yumigahama via 'Surfers Paradise'

Kayaking

4hrs · 14km

Early start today for those who fancy visiting the local fish market and grabbing breakfast there - the regional speciality is ‘Kinmedai’ (Red Bream) and is served fresh off the boat in the on-site restaurant. Jumping back in your kayak you’ll make your way around the peninsula past Kisami Ohama beach, a famous local surf spot. The landscape starts to get more wild today, you’ll paddle past craggy rocks and isolated beaches and weave your way through dramatic sea caves stopping for a swim or snorkel before checking into the ryokan in Yumigahama.

Day 4

To the remote west coast

Kayaking

5hrs · 18km

The challenge today is to pass around the southern tip of the Izu Peninsula as you paddle from Yumigahama all the way to the remote village of Koura, along the way passing shrines and the Irozaki Cape lighthouse. There’s a small section that can feel more exposed to the sea conditions but you’ll have the assistance of your expert guide to get you around safely.

Day 5

Monkey Bay

Kayaking

5hrs · 15km

Final day in the kayak today as you explore one of the most beautiful stretches of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Conditions allowing, you’ll paddle past the towering red cliffs of Hagachizaki Bay, under the watchful eye of the hundreds of monkeys who call it home. Once back on shore, you'll hop on the bus back to Shimoda for a saké celebration dinner and another futon slumber.

Day 6

Hike the seven waterfalls of Kawazu

Hiking

2hrs · 6km · 230m up · 100m down

This morning it's time to lace up your hiking boots and head deep into the Amagi highlands. You’ll follow an ancient track that winds through native beech forest and farmland until you get to the seven waterfalls of Kawazu. In the afternoon you'll say goodbye to the Izu Peninsula, taking the scenic four-hour journey on local transport to Fuji-Kawaguchiko, a lakeside town which serves as the gateway to your Mt. Fuji adventure tomorrow.

Day 7

Fuji Pilgrimage Trail

Hiking

6hrs · 15km · 1000m up · 1000m down

A full day of hiking today as you take on a section of the Mt Fuji pilgrimage trail. Passing through sacred forest and past numerous shrines and temples the aim is to get to the Fuji 5th Station (2300m). This point is often used as the base camp for hikers summiting Mt Fuji (3776m), the highest mountain in Japan and a right of passage for many. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see the mountain in full, the Fuji Five Lakes as well as the towers of Tokyo far in the distance, but the towering volcano has its own weather system and conditions can be changeable. There'll be time to take it all in before dragging your tired legs back to the big city for a final farewell feast and perhaps a celebratory trip to Shibuya for the night owls.

Day 8

Goodbye Japan

Back to the airport for your flight home. Or of course, opt to stay on for some extra time in Tokyo, there's no risk of you running out of things to do here in a hurry.

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking local kayaking and hiking guides

Accommodation

2 nights in a Tokyo hotel, 5 nights in a traditional Japanese guest house 'ryokan'

Meals

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and train to and from the coast

Equipment

All your sea kayaking equipment

Permits

National park permits and fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 6

Ryokan · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Hotel · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Japan is home to deliciously fresh and varied cuisine and a bowl of steamed rice is included in most typical Japanese meals. Side dishes are called 'okazu' and are served with miso soup. Meals tend to be fish heavy and are often served with saké. Street food is easily found in the cities whereas traditional set meals are more prevalent in rural locations and while staying in ryokans. Whilst kayaking, bento lunches will be sourced from stores in the coastal towns before setting out on the water each day.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be best catered for with prior knowledge - please just let your host know your requirements on the passenger information form.

What is the accommodation like?

Tokyo

In Tokyo you'll stay in the popular Asakusa district in a 3-star hotel, such as the Sunroute Asakusa or similar. Rooms are twin-share with a private bathroom and breakfast is served in the on-site cafe.

Izu Peninsula and Mt. Fuji

You'll spend 5 nights in 'ryokans' (traditional inns). Staying in a ryokan is a quintessential Japanese experience; you will sleep on futons on top of tatami mats on the floor and the rooms are separated by sliding doors. Most ryokans provide robes and slippers which are often worn to dinner and will also have a communal 'onsen' (bath) on-site instead of individual showers and bathrooms for the rooms. Onsens at the ryokan are usually shared hot spring baths that are either fed from a natural source or kept warm via mains heating. There are separate male and female times for the baths and there is strictly no mixing - you will need to wash before you get into them and clothing or swimwear is not allowed. Your guide will assist with the full etiquette when you are there.

The exact ryokans you will stay in will depend on group size and availability but some examples are:

Kanaya Ryokan in Shimoda
Ryokan Ogawa in Shimoda
Kyukamura Minami-Izu in Yumigahama

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room upgrade is available only for Days 1, 6 & 7 on this trip, in Tokyo and Kawaguchiko. Please see Optional Extras for the price and add this as a request at the time of booking.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Tokyo Airport (Haneda or Narita)

Arrive anytime on Day 1

Ends

Tokyo Airport (Haneda or Narita)

Depart anytime on Day 8

Transfers

A shared-shuttle airport transfer is provided for any day you choose to arrive and depart in Tokyo (if staying at the group hotel). A driver will meet you at either Haneda or Narita Airport.

Travel options

There are daily flights to Tokyo from major airports across the UK, Europe and N.America.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

Sea kayak and paddles
Lifejacket

What do I need to bring?

BAGS
Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
Daypack (20+ litres)
Small drybags

CLOTHES
Waterproof jacket
Breathable wicking layers
Fleece jacket or similar
Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
T-shirts
Underwear & socks
Sunglasses
Sunhat
Something to sleep in
Hiking boots or shoes (worn-in)
Neoprene booties/shoes for kayaking Sandals

OTHER
Universal travel plug adapter
Passports (and visas)
Travel Insurance documents
Ear-plugs
Suncream
Personal first-aid kit
Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
Quick-dry towel
Alcohol hand-gel
Headtorch or torch
Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)
Energy bars and snacks

*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Optional Private Room Upgrade - Only available on Days 1, 6 & 7

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade - Only available on Days 1, 6 & 7

Pre-trip accommodation in Tokyo (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Pre-trip accommodation in Tokyo (Single)

Pre-trip accommodation in Tokyo (Twin/Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre-trip accommodation in Tokyo (Twin/Double)

Andrew

This was a wonderful break. The kayaking was a real pleasure - good equipment and very competently led. Food was outstanding - as was the quality of the various places where we stayed. Travelling on local trains and buses was an added pleasure to get a feel for Japan and its people. A memorable holiday

Fenella

It was a fantastic trip. Amazing to get off the beaten path. Great kayaking. Mount Fuji is stunning. Bob, our guide, made the trip. Honestly, I don't think he could have done more. He was so friendly, funny and helpful 5*

Mallory

We had a great host/guide. We saw some beautiful destinations in places that I know I would not have visited otherwise. We mostly lucked out with weather, but even the one rainy day was pretty magical.

James

This was my first time doing anything like this, and it proved to be an amazing way to see all Japan has to offer, whether that's kayaking and swimming on the coast, climbing Mount Fuji or exploring Tokyo, all the while eating amazing food and meeting great people. In particular, our local guide Bob made this trip, he was so welcoming and always made sure everyone was looked after. I'd recommend this trip to anyone!

Lisa

To put it simply, one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. I loved being taken off the beaten path and exploring places where there were next to no tourists. The beaches were some of the most beautiful I’d ever seen and they were completely deserted. The night at the home stay was a particular highlight - our hosts were amazing and the food was incredible. And the view from the place we were staying was insane.

Harriet

An absolutely great trip the food and care is excellant

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 385kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

You really do not need any kayaking experience however having a go before you arrive is probably a good idea and it can help to ensure your arms are strong enough for back to back days at sea. Your guide will give you full instructions and a safety briefing at the start. You’ll just need reasonable levels of fitness to handle a few hours in a kayak per day - the days are long, but the hours listed include breaks, so there is no rush and plenty of time to rest.

The final day hiking is up to 2300m and can be a challenge but again there will be plenty of breaks and time to take in the surrounding views and enjoy the forest trail. You should however feel comfortable walking for several hours on a steady incline on uneven terrain.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Your main overnight bag will be transported daily to the next overnight spot so you will only need to carry what you need for that day. While kayaking it's recommended that you store everything in a dry bag, 10 litres in size should probably do for your daily items. While hiking, a small daypack will suffice to carry water and an extra layer.

The tap water in Japan is safe to drink so please bring a refillable bottle with you, it will be well used.

The Izu Peninsula is known for its tropical summers - this means that although it is warm there is the chance of the odd rain shower. The trip is scheduled to depart in the warmer months between May and October where temperatures generally hover around 20-25°C in the daytime and down to 15°C at night. The season is the best for kayaking as the sea is generally calm and skies clear.

Your kayaking guide is very experienced leading groups along the coast of the Izu Peninsula. As currents and sea conditions can vary significantly from one day to the next, along with the weather, the guide may adjust the itinerary for reasons of safety and to benefit the group's enjoyment.

You will be able to store your bags at the ryokan you stay in on Day 2 and Day 7 so should only take what you really need on the activities with you. Ask you guide at the start of the trip for more information.

Tipping isn't customary in Japan and is not expected – in fact, it will sometimes be considered impolite. As a general rule you should not leave a tip in Japan, with a few notable exceptions - one being tour guides. If you feel that your tour leader has provided an excelllent service over the course of your trip, you may want to show your appreciation of their services. Your host suggest 500-1000JPY per person per day as a guidline.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Japan, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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