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Yamagata Forest Kayaking

With drastically alternating seasons and vast mountain ranges, Yamagata has a constantly rotating offering of outdoor splendor with countless experiences to discover.

In recent years, one such adventure has been buzzing among the locals here that has exploded in popularity and even started to draw people from abroad.  This is the submerged forests of Iide, high up in the mountains of the Okitama region of Yamagata promising guests a one of a kind experience kayaking and canoeing through green forests that emerge from deep below the waterline. 

Kayaking and Canoe Experience in Yamagata

What's Included

All rental equipment 
English speaking outdoor instructors 
Approximately 1.5 hours of kayaking 
Round trip transportation via pre-paid reserved private charter taxi from Yonezawa Station or Nagai Station


From 24,000 yen per person (for 2 people and up, single travelers will be more expensive)

Experience Availability

March 23rd 2024 to May 25th 2024
Depending on the day, the kayaking experience timeslots will vary. 
Generally, you will leave your requested train station at either 8:40am, 11:40am or 1:40pm.

Average Duration

Approximately 4 hours

Meeting Location

Due to the local train line shutting down, public transportation options to get to the lake are now impossible.  Meeting location for this experience will now be at Yonezawa Station where you will board a taxi to take you to the lake via a drive that is about 40 minutes.  

Meet at the West Exit of Yonezawa Station.

Important notes

Experience availability may vary and is subject to cancellation if unsafe weather conditions present themselves.  The decision to cancel this tour rests on the outdoor guides, refunds will be given in this circumstance.  

No refunds will be given for guests who are more than 15 minutes late for their appointed departure times at Yonezawa Station or for their return from the kayaking facility back to Yonezawa Station.  

The Submerged forests of Yamagata

This surreal phenomena is the result of a unique collaboration between the local farmers of the town of Iide and Mother Nature. In preparation for the planting season of the vast rice fields below, the local dams in the mountains swell with freshly melted snow to their capacity for release later in May. 

During a brief one month period, these reservoirs fill up high enough to submerge sections of parks and forests surrounding the dams. Short enough not to damage the trees and just enough time for outdoor enthusiasts to flock to what is quickly becoming one of the entire Tohoku Region’s premier outdoor experiences.  

This course is fully guided by outdoor guides who will lead you through the forests before making your way out onto the Shirakawa Lake for some open water kayaking.

Please note that Shirakawa Dam is located in the mountains of Yamagata with no public access options.  
Guests will need to use a taxi to get here which is why we have configured this tour package to include round trip taxi fares packed together with this experience.  Guests with rental cars can let us know in the reservation form.

Reservation for the kayaking and canoe experience

You can send a booking inquiry for your experience below. After we receive your inquiry, we will confirm the booking with our partners and send you a booking confirmation email.

We also highly recommend a stay at the mountain lodge right next to the kayaking area which serves up Japanese cuisine with traditional Japanese rooms and hot spring baths.  You can see this tour package here

Cancelation policy

Our general cancelation policy for our experiences is below. Cancelation fees may vary according to exceptional circumstances.

2 weeks before date of experience


2 weeks or less before date of experience

30% of total price

1 week or less before date of experience

50% of total price

3 days or less

100% of total price