What is a Clear kayak?
Have you heard of the new trend making waves in outdoor tourism, “clear kayaks?”I’m sure you know kayaks, the small plastic rowboats up to two can ride through rivers and such.
So, what comes to mind when you hear the words “Clear Kayak?”
It’s quite literally a kayak with a see-through floor!
These clear kayaks, a popular activity among outdoor enthusiasts across the world, have recently made their way to Japan. With their clear floors, kayakers can see the water directly beneath them, offering a new kind of maritime experience. The cleaner and clearer the water, the more river, ocean, or lake there is to gaze upon beneath your feet. This makes Hokkaido, an island well known in Japan for its incredible water quality and many crystal clear bodies of water, the perfect place to get the most out of this new breed of watercraft.
Clear kayaks allow riders to see spectacles divers and snorkelers enjoy without actually having to get in the water. Take a peek through the bottom of a clear kayak, and you will definitely be soothed by the beauty of fish and seaweed swaying in the water beneath you.
Clear Kayaks are also popular as exercise!
Similar to canoes and normal kayaks, clear kayaks require more than just your arms to control. You have to stretch your legs out inside of the kayak while you paddle, using a lot of core strength. This posture gives your stomach a great workout, making it especially popular among woman. Furthermore, the simple act of paddling turns into a comfortable way to work up a sweat when done over a long period of time.
Japan’s Number One Clear Kayak Spot
The number one spot for clear kayaking is located right here in Hokkaido! The Shikotsuko Lake in Chitose, near Sapporo and Otaru, has been chosen the spot with the highest quality fresh water in Japan for 11 years running.
As you can tell by the picture, this lake boasts incredibly clean water. However, there is more to Shikotsuko Lake than being so clear it looks invisible that make it widely considered one of the most picturesque spots in Japan. Each of the four seasons each have their own special collaboration with the lake; the Spring when mountains are blanketed with freshly green leaves, Summer when the water is at its clearest, Autumn when the lake is painted crimson with the reflection of fall foliage, and Winter when the lakes transforms into a Winter wonderland.
Shikotsuko and Clear Kayaks, a match made in Instagram heaven
The clear kayak experience featured on Basho trip includes a guide who will take pictures of you to meet your social media needs. It should be mentioned that, as all things do where weather plays a part, not every trip will result with a picture where the kayaks appear to be floating on thin air. It is, however, guaranteed to become one of your favorite memories of your trip to Japan.
Clear kayaks for seeing Otaru’s best kept secret spot, the Blue Caves
【This Blue Cave Clear Kayaking tour has been in preparation.】
Shikotsuko isn’t the only spot for visitors to enjoy clear kayaks. There is another incredible spot in the Shakotan area, known popularly as the “Blue Caves,” not far from Otaru and Sapporo.
Otaru’s blue caves are made up of large rockey walls lined with many remarkably strange shaped rocks. The deep blue colored water, known famously in Japan as “Shakotan Blue” reflects brilliant blue sunlight brightly onto the rock walls, a spectacle that draws many people to the caves every year.
The blue caves are in a spot that can’t be accessed by land, so the tour on Basho trip starts with kayakers paddling along the coast to head to the caves. Kayaking through the Shakotan blue alone is worth the trip, but what makes it even better is that these tours use clear kayaks, allowing participants to see into the water as if they were snorkeling.
That being said, don’t get too focused on the amazing sight beneath your feet, as a blue wonderland awaits within the caves.
As the weather effects how the caves look every single day, each trip is a one of a kind experience. Some people feel intimidated by kayaking through the ocean, but there is no need to worry as you will be accompanied by a veteran guide.
What you will need for your trip
You actually don’t need to bring anything! Though it may be a good idea to wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet as there is a lot of water involved. Weather-proof clothing is especially great as the tours typically are held even when it rains.
In addition to getting wet, there is also nothing to block you from direct sunlight when riding on a kayak, so you will get super sunburnt if you are not prepared. Brining sunglasses and sunblock is strongly recommended.
Give clear kayaks a go if you are in Sapporo!
It isn’t a stretch to say that clear kayaks are one of the most popular activities in Sapporo right now. A must-do for everyone visiting the Sapporo area.