Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Kayak and Hike Japan

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

Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Kayak and Hike Japan

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

Hotel · Ryokan · Campsite

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

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking local kayaking and hiking guides

Accommodation

2 nights in a Tokyo hotel, 4 nights in a traditional 'ryokan' and 1 night beachside camping

Meals

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and train to and from the coast

Equipment

All your kayaking and camping equipment

Permits

National park permits and fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

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.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Ryokan · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5 – Day 7

Ryokan · 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.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - 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

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

On the beach

You'll spend one night camping, either on the beach or at a campsite right next to the beach near the small village of Koura. Accommodation options are extremely limited in this remote area so camping is necessary but also an absolute highlight as the skies are clear with very little light pollution. Your guide will aim to get the tents set up on the beach but depending on the time of year, there could be local restrictions, so it may be that you stay at the campsite instead. All of your camping equipment is provided and tents are twin-share by default.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge for the nights in Tokyo and while camping only, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking.

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 vast 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 really 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 the southern tip of the Izu Peninsula as you paddle from Yumigahama all the way to the remote village of Koura. There’s a small section that can feel exposed but you’ll have the assistance of your expert guide to get you around safely. Having passed the shrines and lighthouse of the Irozaki Cape, it’s a home run to your beachside campsite for a BBQ and fire under the stars.

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. You’ll paddle past the towering red cliffs of Hagachizaki Bay, under the watchful eye of the hundreds of monkeys who call it home. The south-flowing current is your friend today as you sail to the finish line and hop on the bus back to Shimoda for a saké based dinner and another futon slumber.

Day 6

Hike the seven waterfalls of Kawazu

Hiking

6hrs · 20km · 200m up · 100m down

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 waterfalls. Kawazu’s seven waterfalls drop from as high as 30m and one of the largest, Odaru, has a swimming hole and hot springs next to the stream for anyone who fancies a dip - the perfect end to the day.

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. 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. There'll be time to take it all in before dragging your tired legs back to the 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.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

Sea kayak and paddles
Lifejacket
Tent
Sleeping bag
Thermarest

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 for the camp

SLEEPING (optional - all sleeping gear provided)
Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner
Travel pillow or pillowcase

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

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

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)

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

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 for 2022 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. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

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 a bit of a slog uphill 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 6 hours on a steady incline on uneven terrain.

Sure can! Over 50% 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.

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 hike with you.

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 on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

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.

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