Crystal clear rivers and the Pacific Ocean: canoe & kayak through these pristine waterscapes!
Kochi is blessed with pristine crystal clear rivers and by the vast open waters of the Pacific Ocean, so naturally canoeing & kayaking are major activities. There are activity spots in each area of Kochi, so be sure to add it to your travel plans!
The rivers and oceans of Kochi - So many incredible locations!
Kochi Prefecture stretches in a long narrow arc from east to west and much of its borders are ocean. From beautiful sandy shores to steep-cliff capes, Kochi offers many different views of the Pacific Ocean. Coral reefs flourish in the warm ocean currents, and whales swim and play off shore; come and feel the immense scale of the seas of Kochi for yourself.
That said, if you've come to Kochi you cannot miss out on visiting the rivers here. High quality, clear waters flow through many regions, running down from the mountainous areas of Kochi. Shimanto River, Niyodo River and Yoshino River are popular for river activities. Enjoy fishing, canoeing, rafting and, of course, swimming. Experiencing the beauty of these rivers is sure to become a very special travel memory!
Enjoy the rivers of Kochi by canoe
Try canoeing on the two famous rivers of Kochi. The views from the water are inspiring.
Shimanto River: Japan's unspoiled natural beauty
The Shimanto River runs for 196km through the lush green mountains of western Kochi Prefecture. Unspoiled natural beauty and countryside scenes from bygone days are the areas biggest appeal. The gentle waters of downstream Shimanto River are perfect for even beginners to enjoy canoeing, while those looking for rapids can head up to the midstream area. There are plenty of canoe schools and experience centers in the area, making it the perfect location for first-timers too.
Guided tours passing under chinkabashi (submersible bridges that have no side rails) are also available. These bridges are symbolic of the region.
You can canoe year-round here, but the best time to come is between May and September. The Shimanto River area is so beautiful, you'll want to keep it a secret!
The unbelievable crystal waters of the Niyodo River
The Niyodo River, famous for the clarity of its waters, can be reached within a 30min drive from the center of Kochi City. The clear blue waters of the river are breathtaking year-round, however, the enchanting blue color of the river (nicknamed Niyodo Blue) is said to be at its most brilliant between mid-August to mid-January. Take a canoe out into the river and you'll be blown away with the beauty of the water!
The surface of the river also acts as a mirror, reflecting the blue skies and green mountains. In such beautiful surroundings, with only the sounds of the river and small birds, you'll forget that you're not far from the city!
Just like the Shimanto River, chinkabashi (submersible bridges) also span the Niyodo River, meaning you can enjoy this very Kochi-style scenery here too!
Canoe experiences for beginners run between April and November.
Sea kayaking is hands down one of the best ways to experience the ocean surrounding Kochi. Feel the spirit of adventure as you explore the waters around Kochi's islands and capes.
The ultra-transparent seas of Kashiwa Island
Located in the western area of Kochi Prefecture and connected to the Otsuki Peninsula by bridge, Kashiwa Island is a prominent diving spot in Japan. Visitors can expect to find a large scale reef, about 1000 different species of fish, and an emerald green ocean that looks like scenery from a tropical island paradise. The waters are so clear that from your kayak the ocean floor will look a lot closer than it really is. Clear kayaks are a really popular way to make the most of the water clarity and all the colourful fish swimming below. With its relaxed island atmosphere and transparent blue seas, you'll definitely want to have a camera handy for this special place.
Sightseeing information and brochures are now easier to get thanks to the Kashiwa Island Tourist Information Center, newly opened in February 2019.
Kayak on the Pacific - An extraordinary experience!
Facing the Pacific Ocean, Kochi Prefecture has many spectacular locations to sea-kayak!
The Susaki area in Kochi's west is blessed with magnificent branched coastal inlets, called rias, while Nahari in the east boasts a reef with around 70 different species of coral.
The real charm of sea-kayaking in Kochi is that there are so many incredible encounters in each part of the prefecture.