About the Author:
Spending time in the outdoors and being active has always been a passion of mine. When I still lived in Canada, my options for outdoor activities usually depended on the season and weather. Since moving to Japan in 2015, I have appreciated the opportunity to enjoy my favorite activities year-round.
When I decided to try stand-up paddleboarding for the first time on a trip to Mie Prefecture, I wasn’t sure how difficult it would be. I was hoping to stand up on my first try, but my main goal was to just stay dry. One thing I knew for sure was that my first experience on a stand-up paddleboard was going to be memorable. I had chosen the Illumination SUP experience that would take me out on the Miyagawa River at night where I would be paddling through a lovely light display.
Caption: Noda-san prepared the boards and gear before we went on the water.
My guide was Ayako Noda and she asked me to call her Noda-san. She was a friendly outdoor guide with many years of experience helping visitors to Mie enjoy the outdoors while creating special memories. It was her recommendation that I try the Illumination SUP experience, so I was eager to try the package that she said was enjoyed by everyone who tried it. The other reason I selected this package was that it included dinner at Anjou, the popular French restaurant in the Okuise Forestpia hotel, and admission to the hotel’s awesome mountainside onsen at the end of the night.
Caption:There was an option to wear boots, but I decided to go barefoot.
The weather on the day of my experience was wonderful and there was no breeze to worry about. This experience starts in the early evening around 5:30 PM and, as the sun begins set, the area along the river becomes increasingly more spectacular.
Caption:Noda-san showed me the proper technique for smooth paddling.
Caption: On land, it seemed quite easy to stand and paddle.
Caption: I was ready to try stand-up paddleboarding for the first time in a beautiful setting.
The starting point was a concrete platform with steps leading down to the water’s edge. Noda-san kindly took my wide green board down for me and placed it in the water. It was time to go and I walked down the steps in anticipation of a great first SUP experience.
Caption: As we started paddling, the sunset was amazing over the water.
Caption: I followed my guide to a beautiful area on the banks of the river.