Kayak across a vast caldera lake for a unique experience of the volcano-covered Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park! Enjoy stunning views of lush hills and the 'Fuji of Kyushu' from Lake Ikeda — famous for its giant eels and mythical lake monster.
Set amidst the volcanoes and mountains of Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park in Kagoshima prefecture, lies Lake Ikeda. With a circumference of 15 kilometers and a depth of up to 233 meters, this caldera lake is the largest in Kyushu — the southwestmost region of Japan. But it’s not its significant size that makes Lake Ikeda so special. Formed over 6,400 years ago from a volcanic eruption, this lake is a legacy of the power and continuous change of the active volcanoes in the National Park. Over thousands of years, massive eruptions have carved the almost Mars-like landscape of cooled lava, wide craters, grassy highlands, and in between the sweeping volcanoes, caldera lakes. Experience the dynamic nature of Kirishima-Kinkowan yourself by kayaking on Lake Ikeda! The calm waters of the self-contained lake — connected to no rivers and fully dependant on rainfall for its water — make for an enjoyable and relaxing time to soak in its beautiful natural surroundings. As you paddle across the lake, you can enjoy the view of the rising form of Mount Kaimon — often called the ‘Fuji of Kyushu’ for its resemblance to the shape of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji. In winter, the lake’s shores are covered in gorgeous, vivid yellow blossoms of rapeseed flowers, called ‘nanohana’ in Japanese. Another thing you can enjoy but may not be able to see, unless you are very lucky, are the giant eels that Lake Ikeda is famous for. While eel is a fairly common part of Japanese cuisine, these giant eels — measuring up to two meters long and 60 centimeters in diameter — are more of a natural wonder than something to fill your plate. But what you might be more excited to catch a glimpse of, whether myth or not, is the local lake monster called Issie — Japan’s version of Scotland’s famous Loch Ness monster, also known as Nessie. Whether you want to relax in the unspoiled nature of a National Park or have fun paddling and searching for giant eels and lake monsters, book now to enjoy this kayaking experience on Lake Ikeda!