This documentation project is aimed at English speakers interested in everything the Hokkaido outdoors offers, particularly independent travellers and Japan resident English-speaking sea kayakers. By communicating Hokkaido’s sea kayaking routes in English, the project aims to convey Hokkaido’s beautiful coastal scenery and ecology to English speakers in Japan and abroad, increase the appeal of Hokkaido’s green season adventure tourism, and increase the number of adventure travelers choosing Hokkaido as a destination.
Tentative routes planned
Other routes will be added as time goes on. Level judgements assume good weather, basic sea kayak paddling skills (self-rescue, kayak handling skills, roll ability, group rescue skills etc) as well as basic understanding of sea conditions.
|4||Shiretoko Peninsula - Shiretoko Shizen-mura Campground to Otoko-no-namida Falls||6km||2hr||Beginner|
|6||Notsuke Peninsula||20km||1 day||Intermediate|
|7||Shioya-kaigan Coast (Otaru to Ranshima Beach)||20km||4.5hr||Intermediate|
|8||Cape Shakotan-misaki (Bikuni to Irikamura)||14km||3.5hr||Intermediate|
|9||Iwabe-kaigan Coast (Fukushima-cho Iwabe to Shiriuchi-cho Kotai-ishi)||10km||3.5hr||Intermediate|
|10||Hakodate-yama (Hakodate-shi Sumiyoshi to Irifune)||8km||3hrs||Intermediate|
|12||Okushiri Island (Cape Inaho-misaki to Aonae beach)||38km||2 days||Intermediate|
|13||Muroran-kaigan (Etomo to Itanki Beach)||15km||3.5hrs||Advanced|
|16||Cape Erimo-misaki (Toyo port to Erimo-misaki Kita-no-hama)||8km||3hrs||Advanced|
|17||Rebun-jima (Motochi port to Funadomari beach)||28km||2 days||Advanced|
|18||Shiretoko Peninsula - Full circuit (Aidomari to Utoro)||62km||5 days||Expert|
Characteristics of the planned HokkaidoWilds.org sea kayaking database
- GPX and KML route files for use in GPS navigation apps
- Printable PDF topographic maps with English place names (created by HokkaidoWilds.org based on Japan government base map data)
- Information on launching and landing sites and public transportation
- Explanation of fishing ports and other ordinances related to sea kayaking
- Route search based on your current location
- Detailed route directions with photos
- Information on hot springs near the route
- Safety information and frequently asked questions
- Recommended local sea kayaking guides for each route
Ainu place names
HokkaidoWilds.org strives to write the names of the places we cover (mountains, rivers, lakes, capes, etc.) in three languages: English, Japanese, and Ainu. HokkaidoWilds.org supports the Ainu people as a historical and contemporary cultural heritage.
Sea kayak route documentation team
Rob Thomson (New Zealand) – Rob is a New Zealander, and initiallyco- founded HokkaidoWilds.org as a space on the web for his Hokkaido adventure stories, originally posted on his personal travel blog 14degrees.org. He still holds the Guinness World Record for the Longest Journey by Skateboard (12,159km). He also previously cycled 12,000km from Japan to Switzerland. He holds a Ph.D. in Behavioral Science, and currently works at Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo City as an assistant professor in media and communications (specializing in Internet psychology). Swift Water Rescue Technician (SRT1).
Haidee Thomson (New Zealand) – Haidee is co-founder of HokkaidoWilds.org. She’s a Kiwi, and has lived in Hokkaido for over10 years, having lived and worked in Sapporo, Niseko, Muroran, and Chitose City. Keen on the outdoors and birdwatching, Haidee planned most of the multi-day cycle touring routes on The Hokkaido Wilds, including campgrounds, daily distances, and onsen hotsprings. Haidee is an assistant professor of applied linguistics at Hokusei University Junior College. Swift Water Rescue Technician (SRT1).
Chris Auld (New Zealand/UK) – Chris is a data scientist with Microsoft Asia, but he’s also originally from New Zealand. As a whitewater kayaker, mountain biker and skier with a cabin in Hokkaido he’s keen to share both high adventure and family fun trips on Hokkaido Wilds. Chris is a qualified ski guide, avalanche and whitewater rescue technician, outdoor first-aider.
Greg and Mari (Canada and Japan) – Greg and Mari are one of the most prolific Canadian canoeing couples in Hokkaido, with a host of multi-day canoe trips under their belt. Greg has a slew of previous paddling guiding experience.
We’re increasingly working alongside local Hokkaido tourism promotion agencies, NPOs and the Japan Ministry of Environment to further Hokkaido English-language outdoor adventure promotion and education. In the past three years, HokkaidoWilds.org team members have presented keynote addresses and presentations at a number of events inside Japan and overseas.
These include an invited keynote address at a Japan Ministry of Environment national park symposium, FOSS4G Hokkaido conference and Montbell’s Sea to Summit event, a workshop at the popular Hokkaido Outdoor Forum, and snow safety lectures in Singapore. Hokkaido Wilds won two national awards at the 2019 Geo Contest, hosted by the Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Tokyo in November 2019, for our printable A4 topographical maps. At the 2021 Geo Activity Contest we won grand prize for our UTM grid maps.