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Great Escapes Sea Kayaking in Izu
(Entered Jul. 09, 2007)
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Summer is here so it's time to get the hell out of Tokyo! Ever since I went to Shimoda in Izu last year with Jason, I've been wanting to get back again. This time though instead of skimboarding, I went kayaking. Turns out this little sea kayak rental place that I found online is only minutes away from the exact same spot Jason and I were at last year. Nice coincidence!
JC, Reiko, Kumi and I arrived in Shimoda in the early afternoon and made our way down to 'Wonderful World', a small, two person, one dog kayaking tour and rental operation, nestled in the hills and a 2 minute walk to the beach. Yeehaw!

Izu ocean kayaking lodge

We arrived and put our bags in the shed, I mean our cabin. Just enough room for two bunk beds and an entrance. What it lacked in space though it made up in cleanliness. It looked like it had been built yesterday. However on closer inspection, there were ants on the floor and spiders on the walls. So much for being brand new. Even though the bed was just a bit bigger than a coffin, I suppose I slept well enough. It helped that the weather was cool, and that JC didn't snore.

Log Cabin

Saturday weather was not beach weather. Cloudy, windy, and rainy, not to mention some dangerously big waves, we spent most of the day hanging out on the sand, not in the water. I had to go in at least once though, and managed to shame JC into going in as well. It might look like we're taking a dip off the coast of Greenland or something, but the air temperature was comfortably warm. The water temperature however was a different story.

Mike and JC in the ocean

'The Attack of the Sea Creature' or 'Fleeing Before the Tsunami'?

Monster Mike

In the evening we used the barbeque facilities. They only provided the grill, so we had to bring our own food, charcoal and utensils which was a bit of a pain. Good times though and almost no bugs at all. Here's Kumi holding up her tasty cocktail chu-hai. JC spent the evening fanning the barbeque, which you can just make out on the right, in an effort to cover our food with ashes.

Barbeque in the evening

Finally what we all came for! We woke up early Sunday morning to clear skies. I had spent the whole week using my willpower to make sure that Sunday's weather would be sunny and warm. It's amazing what you can do when you concentrate. Check out a little video of all the fun you can have while in a kayak!

Master and commander of the open ocean! This is only my third time kayaking, but I think I must have been an Inuit in a past life. Just hopped in and zoomed away from everyone else like I was born in a kayak. The kayaks we used had rudders at the back that you could control with your feet, but I found that I preferred to control all motion with my arms, you know, the manly way.

Mike kayaking in Izu

After a bit of schooling and practicing, the girls had no problem controlling their kayaks. Here's Kumi taking a break from zipping through the water. The speed you can get in a kayak is pretty impressive!

Kumi kayaking in Izu

Apparently this car was dropped off the cliff, (a good 50 meter fall) but no word if people were in it at the time or not. JC seemed to think there was because he spent the whole day looking for 'floaters' (dead people in the water). There doesn't appear to be a road above though so I wonder how they even got there? JC wanted to pose in front of it seeing as how he 'discovered' it.

JC kayaking in Izu

The rock formations around the Bay were fantastic! Caves everywhere and strange bulging patters in the rocks that looked almost man made. In fact if I didn't know better I'd say that Disney designed the whole thing. Some of the caves were dead ends but others tunneled through the rock to exit on the other side! Too much fun!

Kayaking in Izu rock formations

The instructor/owner of the company was an interesting guy. He didn't say much, and seemed to be a bit nervous in general. I liked him though because when JC and I told him we'd been kayaking before, he told us that we didn't need to stand around and listen to his lesson. He said we could jump in our kayaks and paddle around, just not too far. However, I swear to god, the guy must smoke 4-6 packs of cigarettes a day. At first it was a joke, then it became downright bizarre as he continually lit up his next cigarette right after putting out the last one. This went on non stop, all day! I guess we were lucky to have made our reservations when we did. At his smoking rate, next year will be too late, or maybe even next month. That's him on the left, holding a cigarette naturally.

Kayaking in Izu

After kayaking we were hot, salty and tired. What do Japanese people do when they're hot, salty and tired? Go to an onsen of course. It wouldn't be Japan if we didn't hit the hotsprings during our vacation.

Kayaking in Izu Mike Kumi JC Reiko

Kayaking was fantastic, but all good things must come to an end, which means heading back to the madness of Tokyo, sigh.... I'll be back again though Izu!



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