On June 16, the 3rd Sunday of the month as usual, 7 people (Anna, Meg, Laura, Yafa, Alicia, Motoko, and Kyejin) and 2 guests (Alicia’s friend and Motoko’s friend) headed to Okutama.
Okutama (奥多摩) is a town located in the west side of Tokyo. It’s just 1.5 hour away from the city but there are lots of different river and mountain activities available. It’s a perfect place for Tokyoites who want to enjoy nature.
We decided to do kayaking as it’s easy even for beginners and most of us don’t have any experience.
By the way, did you know the difference between kayak and canoe? There are many differences but one of them is, kayaking paddles have two blades while canoeing paddles have one.
1. How was the activity? Score from level 1 (bad) to level 5 (good). Why?
Yafa: 5/5 The activity wasn’t very difficult and it was a well-balanced exercise between sports and enjoyment.
Alicia: I would score this activity a LEVEL 5! Not only was it fun, I really appreciate the fact that I was able to partake in an activity I’ve never tried before in Japan. Being outdoors surrounded by nature, water, and sunlight really made my mood feel great and as a part of a wellness program, this activity really marked all the boxes! I was able to have fun, relieve stress, clear my mind, work on my fitness, bond with everyone, get a tan, and work on my kayaking skills! It was really a great choice for an activity!
Anna: 4! Not 5 because I would have loved to stay more in the water, but it was great!
Laura: 5, it was fun and the place was beautiful : )
Meg: 4. It was awesome!! I wish we got to do it longer!
Motoko: 4.5: Kayaking was amazing and its score was 5+, but the unexpected car ride almost made me sick. *I get motion sickness easily.
Kyejin: 5. It was so fun and I didn’t want to finish kayaking ;_; so I was almost crying when it was time to go back. It wasn’t so difficult nor dangerous. Also, the staffs were kind and friendly, and the owner was a kayak representative of Japan! Amazing!
2. How was the scenery/sightseeing there? Score from1 (bad) to level 5 (good). Why?
Yafa: 5/5 the scenery was just amazing!
Alicia: I would say the scenery was a LEVEL 5! I’ve only been kayaking in my hometown, Miami, where we would kayak in the ocean and see things like boats, islands, rough ocean waves, etc. But this kayaking experience was a whole different experience! The mountains, the amount of greenery, the refreshing water, the sunlight, the security and untouched feeling of nature, was really breathtaking and I feel really lucky I was able to see such a scene and experience the natural side of Japan more!
Anna: 5 being able to see the views from the kayaks was so new and different. Maybe it was a bit bright at some points but the weather was so good it made it perfect.
Laura: 5, lots of green and nature. Plus the weather was great.
Meg: 4. It was really nice and so much nature.
Motoko: 5: It’s not too far from the city, but has a lot of green and mountain view. The lake was also surrounded by good scenery to get relaxed.
Kyejin: 5. It was really beautiful. The weather was perfect - it was sunny, hot enough but not too hot. We were so lucky to go kayaking on such a wonderful day during the rainy season.
3. What was the most memorable moment of this trip?
Yafa: The moment to get into the boat and where I tried to keep my balance.
Alicia: I would say the most memorable moment from the trip was taking a picture near the waterfall while everyone was kayaking! I think it was the only time everyone was actually able to get together while we were in the kayaks, so it was funny to see everyone working together to stay near the waterfall and hold on to each other for the picture!
Anna: Seeing a man fishing on a floatable donut (?) in the middle of the river. It really made me think about my lifestyle and how much I wanted to be him.
Laura: Being able to explore around the river after getting full control of the kayak.
Meg: Kayaking in the water and just relaxing.
Motoko: Everyone’s smile while kayaking. Some were good at paddling, and some were not really, but everyone was smiling and I could see his different aspects I cannot see at work. The sky from the lake was also beautiful. When I looked up while I stopped paddling, looked up, I felt as if I was floating in the sky.
Kyejin: Can’t pick just one. When I first sit down on the kayak and got scared a little bit, when I was enjoying the view of the river surrounded by mountain under the blue sky, sitting down on the kayak without paddling, when we were trying to take pictures together on the kayak and it was difficult to do so we had to grab each other’s kayak, when I had to leave so I was almost crying : D
4. How was food? What was your favorite?
Yafa: The best soba I have ever had served by two amazing grandma and grandpa xD The best was the cake that they gave us as a welcoming gift.
Alicia: The first thing I had was the beef croquette from the nearby local meat shop that was recommended to us by our guide from the rafting place. I really liked that it was a local business with a unique authentic taste owned by an elderly couple. The croquette really felt special because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it anywhere else! My favorite meal was definitely the udon I had at the local soba shop. The portion was good, the flavors were good, the owners of the shop were also really friendly, and again I got the feeling of uniqueness because it was a local shop and I appreciated it more because I knew I wouldn’t be back often to be able to taste that specific udon so I’m glad I got the chance to! There weren’t many options of restaurants but everywhere we did go had friendly staff and the food was great!
Anna: The omiyage food we brought was quite good, it was from a shop close to the kayak place.
Laura: Good! The soba place was cozy, the soba was good but the best was the Oden service. Delicious homemade oden.
Meg: I really liked the menchikatsu. So good.
Motoko: Ume soft served ice cream. The green ume plum flavoured sauce was a little bit sour but refreshing after the exercise.
Kyejin: Food after an activity is always so good : D The menchikatsu from grandma and grandpa who will retire this year was very tasty, the ume soft ice cream sold on “Snack Day” on June 16 was delicious, the soba served by sweet and kind grandma and grandpa who gave us cake as a gift was also great too! If I have to choose one, maybe I would choose soba. I was full so I thought I couldn’t finish it but once I tasted it, I just couldn’t stop eating lol
5. Will you recommend this place to others? Score from 1 (No way) to level 5 (Absolutely). Why?
Yafa: 5/5 Not very far from Tokyo it allows an emergence into beautiful and almost untouched nature. And for people stressed by the noisy city it gives a moment of beatitude.
Alicia: I would definitely recommend this place to others, LEVEL 5! Not only is there kayaking, but there were also many other services available such as canoeing, rafting, paddle boarding. I think there’s something for everyone to enjoy, it’s a great group activity, and it’s a great chance to enjoy the outdoors in Japan while having fun!
Anna: 4, if you like to do different activities I think this is very different to do an activity around Tokyo.
Laura: 5, this activity is good for anyone. The level of challenge was good, something new but with a bit of practice (and with great instructors, like the people Meg found for this trip) anyone can enjoy it. Pretty safe too.
Meg: 4. Yes, I totally recommend for a nice chill day to relax and enjoy.
Motoko: 4: I recommend this place for those who want something special for holidays. If you don’t like water activities, maybe not. This activity would be tough in winter.
Kyejin: 5. Yes! It’s not far from Tokyo but the atmosphere is completely different. There are many activities to enjoy in the beautiful nature and I think it’s a good place for a day trip for those who live in Tokyo.
6. Any comment?
Yafa: The ome ice cream was also very oishi.
Alicia: I think we got so lucky being able to kayak on such a beautiful day, I couldn’t have asked for better weather! If I were to say something I would change for next time, it would probably be that the actual kayaking portion felt a bit short so it would be nice if we can enjoy it a bit more next time! But everything was so fun! I want to say thank you so much to everyone who organized this activity! I think it was a great choice, and I’m really happy I was able to go and participate with everyone! I had a great time and would definitely do it again!
Anna: Kayak people were super nice and took lots of pictures of us in the water. And recommended us what to eat and where!
Laura: Thank you Kyejin for organizing! It’s great we can try new experiences with the people we see every day at the office. We get to know each other better : )
Meg: Come join us!!
Motoko: If the company plans a kayaking event, I definitely join! Once is not enough to fully enjoy it.
Kyejin: Thank you for coming, everyone! I’m so happy I got even more awesome memories with these awesome ILL friends. I’m already so excited about our next activity, camping, in a few weeks!
~ Anna, Meg, Laura, Yafa, Alicia, Motoko, and Kyejin
P.S. Our next activity is camping (or glamping) from July 6 to 7 in Yamanashi near Mt.Fuji!
This entry was postedon Friday, July 19th, 2019 at 7:37 pmand is filed under Life at Innovative.You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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