Skip to content

Kayak The Untamed Canals Of Tokyo!


After you’ve climbed the north face of Everest, surfed the 50-footers at Mavericks, and helicopter boarded the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, what’s left for next year’s Golden Week?

Sadly, you discover that your idea of kayaking the Amazon from its headwaters in deepest darkest Brazil would require longer than five days. But then you see this subway poster at Akasaka-Mitsuke! What about a heart-stopping adventure right in your own back yard?

Of course, it’s rather unlikely you’ll spot any rare blue poison dart frogs while padding your way through Asakusa – even though this uncharted canal will take you through eyepoppingly grim parts of Tokyo that aren’t mapped in any guide book – but on the other hand, in the Amazon you can’t stop off at Skytree for some nice sushi and a beer at lunchtime.

If you’d like to visit the Asakusa area the next time you’re in Tokyo, directions & maps are on my travel website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

The #1 hostboy at Club Nova makes a handsome living, whispering sweet nothings in the ears of women who pay him a fortune for the privilege. But the party’s over when Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura is assigned to investigate the death of one of Hoshi’s customers…read more

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

4 thoughts on “Kayak The Untamed Canals Of Tokyo! Leave a comment

  1. Don’t mock us hopeful Indiana Joneses of Tokyo yet my friend! The tour is actually 6 hours (!) long. I believe it’s the first time I have seen a tour pamphlet in Japan where they actually say “this might not be for everyone”. (^-^)

    • Har, 6 hours! I admit I didn’t read the fine print! The thing is, I recently walked this neighborhood (starting at Asakusa and ending at Skytree) and it’s about as close to urban blight as you get in Japan. Fortunately, I don’t think you can see anything from down inside the canal, so maybe if you have a really good imaginiation, you can pretend you’re in the Grand Canyon…

      • Most of urban Japan is just a concrete mess, although it is walkable and hugely interesting, unlike the urban mess we find in some other countries that I can mention but won’t. (^-^;) I think the tour goes way beyond Akihabara and the Sky tree area, and you are right, you wouldn’t see much at all down there, which is kinda the point I guess, to see Tokyo from a totally different perspective. My all time favorite Tokyo photographer Masataka Nakano even made a great book about the Tokyo waterways, called Tokyo Float, although he was up in a tall motor boat and not 80cm above the water in kayak… (^-^;)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s