Guided Kayak Tour of the Miraculous Five Mikata Lakes: Learn About Their 70,000 Years of History

From JPY ¥7,000.00
  • Duration: 2 Hours (approx.)
  • Location: Mikatakaminaka District, Fukui
  • Product code: EN-FKI-7248-72483


What makes Lake Suigetsu, one of Mikatagoko (the five lakes of Mikata), a miraculous lake with 70,000 years of history?
Experience the wonders and charms of the lake by kayaking and taking in the sights from the water.


  • Visit the special topographical environment of Mikatagoko (the five lakes of Mikata) on-site and understand what a miraculous lake Suigetsu is. 
  • Our guided tour at the Varve Museum and a visit to the shores of Lake Mikata Goko will teach you of the 70,000 years of history that the varves reveal. 
  • Witness the local fishermen using traditional methods of fishing that have a history of over 400 years. With your knowledgeable local guide, learn the insight of the region and the lives of the locals around the five Mikata Lakes.   


Choose from two start times, 10:00 or 14:00. 

[10:00/14:00] Guests will meet in front of Cafe Shima (please arrive in the appropriate attire).
[10:05/14:05] First, guests will watch a brief presentation on varves at the Varve Museum. Next, guests will practice on a kayak before boarding the kayaks.
[10:30/14:30] A guide will take guests around Lake Mikata by kayak and, if time allows, guests can visit Lake Suga and Lake Suigetsu.
[12:00/16:00] The tour ends once guests are taken back to Cafe Shima.

Guests that want more information on varves, can visit the Varve Museum after the tour!


There is always a universal standard - a ruler, a scale, a time when measuring something such as the metric system, the Greenwich Observatory, etc. Similarly, in the world of archaeology, where there is no written record, there was a need for a standard for accurate dating. This is the varves.

There are only a few places in the world where varves can be excavated, and Lake Suigetsu is one of them. The world's longest varves of about 70,000 years have been excavated in a uniquely clean condition from the lake. Since then, the varves of Lake Suigetsu have become the world's recognized "measure of age" after several international debates.

How could it be possible to excavate 70,000 years of varves in such a beautiful shape? This miracle is thanks to the unique topography of Mikatagoko (the five lakes of Mikata). 

In this program, take a kayak and explore Mikata Lake, and sometimes go as far as Suigetsu Lake in order to get a view of this special terrain and experience the story of the land that produced the varves of Lake Suigetsu! Mikata Lake is also still home to traditional fishing methods. Depending on the season, you may have a chance to see eels, carp, crucian carp, and other fish being caught on the lake using traditional fishing methods that have a history of over 400 years.

Bookings must be made at least three days in advance of the event date. There will be special events for a limited time only!


  • Time:2 hours
  • Meeting point:Cafe Shima[MAP]
    Fukui Prefectural Varve Museum, 122-12-1, Torihama, Wakasa, Mikatakaminaka District, Fukui 919-1331
  • Access:
    [By Train]
    5 min taxi ride or 10 min rental bicycle ride from JR Mikata Station.
    35 min drive by rental car from JR Tsuruga Station.
    [By Car]
    5 min from the Mikatagoko Smart IC on the Maizuru-Wakasa Expressway.
    ※Free parking for 70 vehicles (including 4 large buses)
  • Language support:Japanese
  • Included:Varve Museum entrance fee, Kayak rental, guide fee, Life jacket, waterproof bag for valuables
  • Excluded:water shoes, waterproof pouch for smartphone*
    *The staff will take pictures of you on the lake, so don't worry if you don't have one.
  • Items to bring:Change of clothes ※Please come in clothes that can get wet.
  • Clothes:Please come in clothes that can get wet.
  • Participation requirements:Over 3 years old
  • Free WI-FI:No
  • Toilet:No


・Face masks required for travelers in public areas
・Face masks required for guides in public areas
・Hand sanitizer  available to travelers and staff
・Social distancing enforced throughout the experience
・Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
・Gear/equipment sanitized between uses
・Guides required to regularly wash hands
・Regular temperature checks for staff
・Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival


7 to 4 days before the tour date: 40% of the tour price
3 to 2 days before the tour date: 60% of the tour price
The day before the tour date, on the day of the tour: 100% of the tour price
※Right after the online settlement is made, a cancellation fee of 10% will be incurred in case of cancellation.
※The cancellation fee includes handling charges.