Sea kayaking in Japan, 1981
Kids launching Cec's boat. Friendly locals. School children collecting sea-weed.
Kids launching Cec's boat. Friendly locals. Primary class collecting seaweed.
Scribe: Laurie Ford
In 1981 five paddlers from Tasmania took sea kayaks to Japan for eight weeks, and spent about five and a half weeks paddling from Kobe, west through the Inland Sea to Hiroshima, and then through the Shimonoseki Straits and out to the Goto Retto Islands, approximately 600 miles all up (map). From memory I think there are something like 3,000 islands in the Inland Sea, which made it a very interesting place to paddle in. You wouldn't believe how friendly the people were, and their whole culture was an eye opener for me - their homes, their villages, even their cities. Because we didn't speak any Japanese at all it made going into a restaurant a little difficult, but many of them actually had very life-like plastic imitations of a lot of their dishes in their front windows. Many's the time we would drag the waitress outside by the hand and point to something that took our fancy, not really knowing what it was - but it looked edible to us.

The canoeing conditions were pretty flat to say the least, and the weather incredibly warm and pleasant, till the 'wet' season arrived mid trip. This trip has been written up in some detail and is available over several issues of The Sea Canoeist. Sorry it is a large file, but here it is - part 1 - part2.

Copyright Laurie Ford

This page last updated on February 12, 2001.