ILLUMINATION SUP – A BEAUTIFUL COMBINATION OF WATER AND LIGHT - All Ages Can Enjoy Beautiful Scenery and Twinkling Lights While Experiencing SUP Near Odai Town

ILLUMINATION SUP – A BEAUTIFUL COMBINATION OF WATER AND LIGHT - All Ages Can Enjoy Beautiful Scenery and Twinkling Lights While Experiencing SUP Near Odai Town

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is an activity that can be enjoyed by anyone who loves the outdoors. Participants who sign up for the Illumination SUP experience in Odai will head out on the calm waters of the Miyagawa River at night on a paddleboard to float among twinkling lights. A knowledgeable local instructor will make sure you have the confidence needed to fully enjoy the extraordinary ride. The experience starts at 5:30 PM, finishes at around 8:30 PM and costs ¥9,800 for adults and ¥7,800 for children. This price includes all equipment, training, dinner and a ticket for an onsen.

Written by Vern Begg
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.

Before we got started on the training, Noda-san pulled a large pair of blue rubber boots from the back of her truck and asked if I wanted to wear them. From what I had read about paddleboarding, I thought going barefoot would be the best option for me so I declined her offer. The main purpose of the boots is to keep your feet dry when mounting your board from the pier, but I wasn’t worried about getting my feet wet as long as the rest of me stayed dry.

Caption: I was ready to start my training on a perfect evening in Okuise.

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.

Before I took my paddleboard on the water, I needed some training. I was a beginner, so Noda-san was very clear and simple with her instructions. The paddling technique was similar to canoeing or kayaking, two activities that I had some experience with.

Caption: On land, it seemed quite easy to stand and paddle.

Of course, while my board was on land and stable, it was no problem keeping a smooth paddle stroke going. After the quick training session, it was time to get on the water and see if I could stand and paddle at the same time. I was looking forward to giving it a shot.

Caption: I was ready to try stand-up paddleboarding for the first time in a beautiful setting.

Caption: Noda-san putmy paddleboard into the water.

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.

As I pushed away from the river’s edge, I looked out at the amazing sunset that was just starting. The early evening was calm and quiet as I floated out onto the smooth water. The conditions could not have been better and it felt great to be disconnected from the land.

Caption: We started out in a sitting position so I could get comfortable on my board.

Noda-san continued to give me instructions and pointers as we made our way to the area with the illumination. I worked on my paddling skills and tried the turning and stopping techniques she had shown me. After some practice time, she asked me to follow her and we were off to a secluded area of the water.

Caption: I followed my guide to a beautiful area on the banks of the river.

The scenery was incredible and I felt very relaxed on my board as I paddled behind Noda-san. As we made our way to an area next to the forested shoreline, she again demonstrated for me the proper way to stand up on the board by keeping my core balanced in the center with my feet wide apart.

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