|Okinawa Sea Kayaking
Japan 7 days ex Tokyo
This week long adventure takes us from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo to the laid back islands of Okinawa. Surrounded by clear blue waters
teeming with sea life the islands of the Kerama group are a little piece of paradise. With around 1,000 different types of fish and 400 types of
coral the marine diversity in this area is second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
We spend 5 days exploring the Okinawan islands by kayak, snorkelling through corals and tropical fish, paddling past uninhabited islands
and stopping in at sandy beaches for lunch. As well as enjoying the stunning ocean scenery we learn more about the marine life that lives
here from the local Ryukyuan people, the original inhabitants of this area. They have long lived in harmony with the beautiful and delicate
environment around them and we learn about their culture and beliefs which are very different to those of the Japanese people who live on
the main islands of the country.
Stretching from the island of Kyushu, one of Japan’s four main islands, to the island of Taiwan, the Ryukyu islands stretch 1,000km. There
are more than 150 islands which are divided into the northern islands, part of Kagoshima prefecture on Kyushu, and the southern islands,
part of Okinawa prefecture and administered by Naha on Okinawa island.
With a subtropical climate, temperatures are relatively constant throughout the year, making it hard to distinguish between the four seasons.
The clear blue waters and sandy beaches have made it popular with mainlanders escaping the northern winters and are a perfect place to
explore by kayak as the sheltered islands have many bays and sandy beaches to land our boats for a swim, lunch break and relax.
The water around these islands is kept constantly warm and clear by the flow of the “kuroshiro” current, otherwise known as the “back tide”,
or the Japanese current. It carries warm water north from the western Pacific Ocean past the east coast of Japan, and sustains this area’s
coral reefs, some of the most northerly in the world.
|Day 1 Tokyo
Arrive in the bustling capital of Japan and transfer to our hotel before an evening tour of one of Tokyo’s
famous entertainment areas. Karaoke anyone?
Days 2-5 Okinawa islands kayaking
We fly to Naha, getting our first glimpse of the blue seas and white beaches that await us on our kayaking
adventure. On arrival we transfer by ferry to the Kerama Retto islands, 30km offshore Naha, which will be our
home for the next few days. The warm clear waters around the islands teem with tropical fish darting
amongst colourful corals and we spend our time here kayaking, swimming, snorkelling and diving. With
over 1,000 types of fish, 400 types of coral and seasonal visits from a variety of sealife – humpback whales
(January to March), sea turtles and the rare dugongs, the waters here have a diversity of marine life second
only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
The majority of the islands are coral rock and the white sand beaches are perfect for landing our kayaks on
for a swim, relax and hearty seafood barbeque of freshly caught fish. The water around these islands is kept
constantly warm and clear by the flow of the “kuroshiro” current, otherwise known as the “back tide”, or the
Japanese current. It carries warm water north from the western Pacific Ocean past the east coast of Japan,
and sustains this area’s coral reefs, some of the most northerly in the world.
Days 6-7 Naha/Tokyo
After our final day exploring the islands by kayak we head back to Naha for a night in town before flying to
Tokyo. Capital of Okinawa prefecture and located on its largest island, Naha is a surprisingly lively city given
the relaxed pace of life of most of the islands. To the already eclectic mixture of Japanese, indigenous and
Chinese cultures it adds the presence of American servicemen, stationed here since the end of the Second
World War. Flying back to Tokyo for a change of pace we hop on bikes to see and learn about the history of
the city as it grew from a small fishing village in the early 17th century to the metropolis that it is today.
7 days ex Tokyo
|Frequently asked questions
|1.Sea-kayaking… What’s it like?
Sea-kayaking is a most wonderful way to explore the world. It’s inexpensive and
environmentally-friendly, does not require months of training and superior strength,
and is good for the body and soul. Sea-kayaking can take you beyond the reach of
civilisation into the natural world, into the space between earth, sea and sky.
2. Is it easy to learn? Do I have to be fit?
No prior experience is necessary. As long as you are in good health and have a sense of adventure, you will quickly master the skills
needed to paddle and steer your kayak. Our experienced guides will give an introductory lesson at the beginning of the journey, and will be
there to help and keep everyone happy and safe throughout.
3. Would the expedition be too hard/too easy for me?
We believe the trip has some challenging sections but they are not beyond the person with general fitness. If you are physically fit and have
a sense of adventure then these expeditions are for you.
4. Is it safe?
It is safe. The Kerama Islands are a sheltered island group and as such large swells are uncommon. There are sections of the sea that
has amazing whirlpools, but these are easily navigated through. The sea-kayaks we use are sleek and very stable, and all are equipped
with the usual safety features. The No Roads guides have kayaked, worked and adventured in wild places for many years, and are skilled in
risk-management and emergency medical care.
5. Do I need to be able to swim?
No. In the unlikely event that your sea-kayak should capsize, you will easily exit the boat and your high-buoyancy life-jacket will keep you
afloat. Even snorkeling is possible for non-swimmers, with the help of your guide and your life-jacket.
6. What’s our group size?
We keep our groups small, a maximum of 8 on each, to minimise our impact on the places we pass through, and to maximise our
enjoyment of each day.
7. Are the kayaks singles or doubles?
We use double kayaks, which means you will be paddling with another person. You may like to book with a friend and paddle together, or
you may be happy to get to know your fellow travelers by kayaking with them.
For more experienced kayaks we can convert the kayak into a single if you wish.
8. What about the sleeping arrangements?
We spend 3 nights in family run ryokans which are a great way to experience the traditional way of living as well as get to know some of our
friendly hosts. 3 nights will be spent camping on the Kerama islands with the sound of the ocean and millions of starts lighting up the sky. 1
night is spent in a hotel.
9. Is diving possible?
The snorkeling and scuba-diving around the park are world-class, and are highly popular activities. Snorkeling equipment and instruction is
included in the No Roads expedition price.
10. Apart from the sea-kayaking, snorkeling and scuba-diving, what else is there to do?
Where do we start… there’s lying in hammocks, reading books, going fishing, swimming, beach-combing, meeting the locals, walking
through forests, bird-watching, taking photos, exploring, playing beach volleyball, and coconut petanque, dining with friends, sharing stories,
watching the sun set, playing guitars, gazing at stars, sleeping soundly.... You’ll love it!