White water and hot water often mind when people think of Minakami. From spring to fall a steady flow of helmet-wearing, paddle-waving rafters bob down the Tone River that flows through this adventure town in Gunma Prefecture. Yet still waters also run deep in the Minakami area and one person who has been enthusiastically guiding tours on local lakes is Nao Chee.
Water has been a central part of Nao’s life. She’s a certified YMCA Physical Education and Swimming instructor and has spent time in the pool with everyone from babies to grandparents to the handicapped. Her time at YMCA Summer Camps and Ski Camps for kids where she fell in love with teaching children about the outdoors.
In 2000 Nao joined Mogi-san at Uncle Bear Rafting in Minakami to learn more about water sports. During her time at Uncle Bear she met people from all over the world, learned some English and married a fellow outdoor instructor. She also became a canoe and kayak instructor and discovered the beauty of Lake Naramata.
Nao decided to combine her love of water sports, children and teaching in the outdoors to start her company, fittingly called I Love Canoe. The mission of her and her friendly guides is to share the beautiful lakes around Minakami and the joy of canoeing and kayaking.
Guests can paddle the crystal clear waters while monkeys and kamoshika (a Japanese serow) walk the shores of the lake. One look at the I Love Canoe Web site and you’ll see the staff love what they do and want to share their enthusiasm with customers.
Full-day, half-day and kids’ adventures available. One, two and three-person boats available. I Love Canoe staff can help arrange accommodation, discount tickets to local hot springs…
I LOVE CANOE
Tel/Fax: (0278) 72-1337