Stand Up Paddleboarding On Kochi’s Rivers and Ocean
Home to Japan’s purest river and over 700km of coastline, Kochi Prefecture is a great spot for water sports, and especially SUP!
Where to SUP in Kochi
If you want to take on a river SUP adventure, the Niyodo River in central Kochi and the Shimanto River in the western region of the prefecture are both popular, thanks to their clear water and generally gentle flow.
For those who prefer the beach, Kochi’s coast faces the Pacific Ocean and is filled with coral reefs and tropical fish, so SUP enthusiasts often head out to explore areas like the Tatsukushi Coast, Nahari (just a train ride away from Kochi City), and the white sand shores of Kannoura, in the very eastern tip of the prefecture.
The crystal clear Niyodo River boasts some of the purest waters in the entire country, so if particularly good for families, as you can swim (and SUP) without any worries about pollution or contaminants.
The glowing blue color of the river is nicknamed Niyodo Blue. The downstream section of the river is the best spot for SUP, as this is where the Niyodo is widest and calmest. The gentle waters make it the perfect place for beginners to give SUP a try. Looking across the water from your board, the view of the crystalline Niyodo Blue and lush green of the forests that cover the surrounding mountains is deeply relaxing.
Your SUP experience on the Niyodo River will start with helmet and life jacket fitting before a quick safety talk on the riverbank. The instructor will teach you the basic maneuvers so that you feel confident on the water, before finally paddling out into the river.
The first step is to gain your balance while kneeling on the board. This also puts you even closer to the water's surface, so you can appreciate the transparency of the Niyodo River. Once you get used to paddling, the board will glide smoothly across the water, and you can try standing up!
If you want to rest, just lay down on the board and listen to the flow of the river, gazing down into crystal blue waters. Too hot? Jump off your board and dive in!
SUGGOI SPORTS offers SUP adventures along the Niyodo River, including a special course that takes you to a secret spot that can only be reached by water. Completely covered by an arch of leafy trees, this magical place is well worth all the paddling. And even better, SUGGOI SPORTS is only about a 30 minute drive from the center of Kochi City!
SUP on the Pacific Ocean!
For those with a little more SUP experience (or who don’t mind an occasional fall off the board) the Pacific Ocean along Kochi’s coast offers some world-class options.
Trying SUP by the Tatsukushi Coast in western Kochi takes you over vibrant coral reefs filled with a variety of sea life. Although there are waves, they are comparatively gentle inside the bay. If you want to see the coral but skip the paddling, glass-bottom boat tours and an underwater observatory nearby can give you a peek into life under the waves. You can also head to the Nahari area in eastern Kochi to see large schools of tropical fish, or to the gorgeous white sand beaches of the Kannoura area where you can test your balance with SUP yoga!