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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Action & Adventure

Nagano Kayaking 長野 カヤック体験

Appreciate the splendor of Nagano while kayaking her prefectural lakes

Watersports enthusiasts, amateurs and professionals alike, will find much to do in Nagano. A number of the prefecture's lakes offer flatwater kayaking in beautifully clear waters amid gorgeous mountain scenery. The Sai River north of Matsumoto offers downriver tours as well.

How to Get There

To reach Lake Ontake and Lake Shizenko:

The closest train station to Lake Shizenko is Kiso Fukushima. From Tokyo, take the JR Limited Express Azusa from Shinjuku Station. Transfer at Shiojiri for the JR Limited Express Shinano to Kiso Fukushima Station. From there, take the Ontake Kotsu Bus to Otaki Village.

From northern Nagano, Kiso Fukushima is a straight shot on the Shinano Express from Nagano City (90 minutes) or Matsumoto (40 minutes).

From Kiso Fukushima, take the Ontake Kotsu bus to Otaki's village center (40 minutes). The tourist center is right across from the bus stop.

To reach Lake Nojiri:

Take a bullet train to Nagano. Travelling time is approximately 90 minutes from JR Tokyo Station. Transfer to a train bound for Myokokogen and alight at Kurohime station. To get to Lake Nojiri take the Nagaden bus from Kurohime Station.

To reach Lake Aoki:

The closest station to Lake Aoki is Shinano-Kizaki Station.

Take a bullet train to Nagano. Travelling time is approximately 90 minutes from JR Tokyo Station. Take a Shinano Express bound for Matsumoto Station. From there, transfer to the JR Oito Line for Shinano-Omachi. From Shinano-Omachi Station, continue on the Oito Line for Minami-Otari and disembark at Shinano-Kizaki Station.

Quick Facts

All kayaking tours need to be booked in advance

The kayaking season usually runs from April through October, but check individual providers for details

Lake Nojiri

An ancient glacial lake less than four hours from Tokyo and about 20 kilometers north of the city of Nagano, Lake Nojiri is buttressed by a number of mountains. The area boasts an international resort feel, due in part to the lake's development in the 1920s by a Canadian missionary. The Shinetsu Shizenkyo Activity Center runs half-day and full-day kayaking tours of the lake.

Lake Aoki and the Sai River

Based in Hakuba, the Evergreen Outdoor Center offers half-day kayaking on the incredibly pure Lake Aoki at the foot of the Northern Alps in Omachi. Another option is signing up for a full-day adventure pack combining kayaking with a half-day of mountain biking or their popular canyoning excursion.

The firm also provides one and two-day kayaking tours on the nearby Sai River, which flows from the Northern Alps. The Sai River features gentle class one and two rapids suitable for beginners.

Lake Ontake and Lake Shizenko

The Kiso Valley's Otaki Village at the foot of Mt. Ontake has two great kayaking options. The first is on Lake Ontake, a reservoir with amazing views of Mt. Ontake. You'll paddle far and wide on the lake itself, and then head up the beautiful Seto River for a change of scenery. Tours are run through the Otaki Tourist Center.

Lake Shizenko is one of Nagano's most remote, and unique, kayaking experiences. The lake was created by a 1984 earthquake when a massive landslide from Mt. Ontake dammed a part of the Otaki River.

The surrounding forest was submerged, and the remains of the trees still rise from the lake like ghosts. The result is a stunning work of nature. Halfway through the tour, you leave the main part of the lake and paddle through a towering section of canyon.

The eco-tourism award winning Ontake Adventure runs the kayaking tours on Lake Shizenko.

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