Stand up paddle board on the Niyodo River
Paddle along one of Japan's purest rivers in Kochi
The Niyodo River has repeatedly been ranked as Japan’s most pristine river, for the purity of the water and its glowing “Niyodo Blue” cobalt color. Stand up paddle board (SUP) tours are a great way to experience the river and lushly forested valley. Since the flow is usually gentle and the water clean and clear, the Niyodo is an ideal spot for kids and beginners to try out SUP.
See the water turn sapphire when the sun hits the river and tranquil pools, cool down by jumping into the refreshing water, and be sure to keep an eye out for all the fish and wild birds that make their home in this pristine natural habitat.
A variety of SUP excursions are available, including some that take you to hidden spots where the trees create a dappled green tunnel. From fall to spring, you may even get to pass beneath one of Kochi’s iconic chinkabashi (lit ‘submersible bridges’) during your adventure. These low, stocky-looking bridges are designed without side rails to reduce the risk of being washed away during floods. Used on both of the area's main rivers - the Niyodo and Shimanto - they seem to blend into the scenery better than a traditional bridge.
Be sure to bring sunscreen and comfortable clothes for splashing around and let the experienced tour operators take care of everything else. Access is easy, as parts of the river are under an hour by train or car from Kochi city.
How to get there
About 15 minutes walk from JR Omura Jinja-mae Station. Alternatively, about 30 minutes from Kochi city center or 40 minutes from Kochi Ryoma Airport by car.