Explore The Heart of Japan: Water Sports
WATER SPORTS: MORE COMING SOON!
Just about every water activity possible is available at Lake Nojiri, including wake boarding, water skiing, banana boats, cycle boats, fishing, swimming, pleasure boats, sailing, windsurfing and even an aquarium. Live cams of Lake Nojiri are are available here
Ricky’s Summer Sailing Camps are a unique summer experience of sailing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming and fun. The Camp is managed by Ricky Simeonsson, a life long Japan and Lake Nojiri resident.
In winter, visitors to Lake Nojiri can engage in the uniquely Japanese sport of fishing for smelt (wakasagi), using red-dyed ant-eggs as bait. Wakasagi are a tiny silvery freshwater fish about the size of an anchovy. As the lake freezes over (though be warned it is not thick ice for walking on!), specially designed boats are available for hire. You can sit in the cabin warmed by a kerosene heater sipping warm local shochu (a little similar to sake) as you fish. A fishing guide map (in Japanese) is here.
Lake Hokuryuko in Iiyama is also often used for kayaking and other water activities. On the other side of the valley lies Nozomi Lake. This lake is rife with rainbow trout, large and small-mouth bass as well as wakasagi and funa.
Iizuna Kogen Resort Area features a pond 1,100 meters above sea level, called Daizahoshi-ike (see below), set amongst a beautiful forest of larch and white birch. A legend says that Lake Daizahoshi, located at the foot of Mount Iizuna, was made from a footprint by Daidara-Bochi, a legendary giant. A great number of wild birds inhabit the resort area and various highland plants blossom in springtime.
Lake Nozomi is only 5-10 minutes by car from Madarao. It is regarded as a ‘hidden spot’ of bass fishing – but getting more and more popular with each season. Other activities are also available.
If it’s salt water you crave, it’s not such a long distance (approximately one hour) to the beach in Tanihama (Naoetsu) or nearby.
There is a popular aquarium available in Joetsu City. which is an approximately 20 minute walk from Naoetsu Station. It is generally closed on Mondays and days following public holidays but open everyday during July and August. Hours are 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.(6.00 pm during special summer displays). For directions and more details check out their website.