A few months ago we were supposed to enjoy a week long holiday in Hokkaido. However, before we could travel, the Japanese government changed the law which impacted on our accommodation, and so the holiday was cancelled. This led to many boohoos on our end, but also resulted in $100 voucher for an ‘Airbnb Experience’.
We decided to sink that money into a night time kayaking adventure in Tokyo, from which we could admire the infamous Tokyo tower in all it’s glory. It seemed like something that would be a bit different and would allow us to experience life in Japan from another angle; waterside.
We started off in East Tokyo and gently kayaked along the waterways heading towards the tower. On route we got to glide through very calm waters and witness one of Tokyo’s many cloud lightening storms. This August these storms have been big news as they light up the whole sky and can go on for hours, often unaccompanied by rain.
We learnt a little about the water based history of Tokyo too from our guide. 50 years ago the water in the canals was out of control as they are tidal based. He showed us some water lines which had shell remains embedded in and that sat about 2 metres above our head. It was pretty clear that one big storm would flood most of East Tokyo. The government acted by installing ocean gates to have control over the tidal flow and so now the rivers actually sit below sea level, allowing for that storm rain to safely drain away.
Our journey took us to a brilliant viewing spot of Tokyo Tower. She was feeling a little shy on the day we visited and her top half wasn’t shining as brightly as usual (perhaps due to the lightening storm) but it was still a very iconic view from a reasonably unique viewpoint. Plus it was excercise on a Friday night and that can’t be a bad thing…and it was free, which is also something I am a big fan of.
Overall it was a great experience and a little bit different! We got to see the city that is our new home from another different perspective and learn about it’s history from our guide, who has lived here all his life. The only slight fly (ant) in the onitment was that after the kayaking I changed back into my shoes in the car park. Here I very breifly stood barefoot, but it was long enough for me to catch a nasty little hitchhiker. The beast, a fire ant, the proceeded to make its way up my leg taking nibbles as it went, causing me to totally freak out on the subway as I thought I was having a stroke. Fire ant bites feel like you are being burned, duh. OUCH. The nasty little critter isn’t even a native ant of Japan so it was pretty darn unlucky for me to pick one up! Still, no lasting damage and the kayaking was hardly to blame…
Fire ants = terrrible evil beasts.
Kayaking in Tokyo = highly recommended!