Canoeing in Okutama - The Hidden Gem of Tokyo

JP Salvacion | 2019-09-11 14:57:45

Hello guys! I am JP from the Philippines!  I am currently an international student of Okutama Japanese Language School. Using this website as a venue to share my experience in Okutama in the hopes that foreigners like me who had no idea about Okutama would possibly want to go and experience Okutama themselves!

On the 21st of July, the town of Okutama had a special project for kids and students in Okutama for a free Canoeing Course experience at Lake Shiromaru. Let me tell you how special this experience was. First of all, Tokyo's common image to foreigners is busy streets and its skyscrapers. Who knew that a countryside exists within Tokyo, more so outdoor activities like Canoeing?! IKR?! 

We arrived at around 9:15 AM, and waited for a couple of minutes for everyone to assemble. The day started with a warm-up exercise and a short tutorial in getting ready for the actual Canoeing activity. It was a first time experience for most of us. So the moment we rode on our own boats, paddled our way through the calm waters of Lake Shiromaru felt surreal. It was mesmerizing to be surrounded by the picturesque scenery. What makes it more unique is that it is within the bounds of Tokyo! The price of the course was 10000 yen per head. Canoeing is definitely an activity that could be enjoyed by people of all ages. 

After the Canoeing activity, we also had the chance to meet and interact with the locals of Okutama during the Soumen eating event. A bit of a disclaimer, though. This was not part of the regular course offered by Okutama Canoe. It just so happened that we had the chance to experience it on that day. Nonetheless, it was a new experience yet again for me. Nagashi Soumen, aka flowing noodles are noodles placed in a long flume of bamboo carrying cold water. As the noodles flowed, we painstakingly plucked them with our chopsticks, dipped them in tsuyu, and ate to our heart's content. Eating noodles has never been this fun!