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.

Caption: I was able to stand up on my board on the first try.

Caption: In a calm area, I practiced standing up on the board.

The protected area of the cove was perfectly still and there was a nice little waterfall about 20 meters into the forest. It calmed my nerves and I felt ready to try standing up again with more knowledge about how my balance would feel once I was on my feet.

Caption: I was feeling more confident and was ready for the illumination experience.

With plenty of confidence thanks to Noda-san's expert instruction, I was ready for the best part of my SUP experience. As the sun moved lower on the horizon, I appreciated the incredible surroundings and calm atmosphere of the river. Before arriving at the illumination, I took a few moments to just sit on my board and soak up the magnificent beauty of Mie at dusk.

Caption: Before heading to the illumination spot, there was time to just enjoy the natural beauty all around us.

After a few moments of quiet reflection, we headed the illumination spot. By this time, I really started to enjoy being on the paddleboard. I was able to paddle in a straight line and turn when I wanted to. Noda-san led me to a small tributary of the Miyagawa called the Sonogawa where the illumination was set-up for the special part of this experience. As we paddled into the calm, shallow waters of the tributary, the lights created a wonderful show in the water. With the darkness all around us, the water was lit up beautifully and it was easy to navigate.

Caption: The Illumination SUP is one of the most popular SUP experiences and this image gives you an idea of how special it is.

I wasn’t able to take any photos while in the illuminated section because I was focused on just enjoying the activity, so Noda-san provided the images you can see here. It really is something that must be experienced to be truly appreciated. The light played on the water as the ripples from our boards moved over the illuminated stones on the riverbed. Because the paddleboards are nearly silent when you aren’t paddling, the atmosphere is unbelievably relaxing and serene. Along the edge of the water, the trees and plant life was also lit up in the glow of the lights.

Caption: This image provided by Noda-san shows how the light accentuates the natural beauty of the river banks.

As the Illumination SUP part of my evening came to a close, I felt deeply connected to the natural world around me. The calm waters that glistened from the shine of the tiny lights had drawn me into a relaxing state of mind. By the time we finished, I wasn’t even thinking about paddling. I was just floating smoothly across the water and letting my stress melt away. It had been a truly special way to spend some time in the great outdoors of Odai.

When we arrived back at our starting point, we dismounted and pulled our boards to the top of the pier. Noda-san made sure all of the gear was accounted for before we loaded everything onto her truck. It only took a few minutes to get everything in order after a great time on the water.

Caption: It was an incredible experience thanks to Noda-san.

Noda-san was a fantastic instructor and guide for my first time trying SUP. Her expertise and outgoing personality made me feel comfortable from the moment we started the training until when we stepped off of our boards and back onto the shore. I was also impressed that she was able to help me accomplish standing up on my first try. 

Caption: The delicious meal at Anjou was amazing.

After spending just over an hour on the water, I had worked up an appetite and I was ready to eat a delicious meal back at the Okuise Forestpia. The package included a meal at Anjou, the French restaurant located in the hotel. Participants can choose to eat at Anjou or have a BBQ dinner as part of the package. I chose Anjou because it is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Odai and I was looking forward to sitting down in a nice dining spot to enjoy locally-sourced ingredients that were prepared with a French twist. 

Caption: A soak in the Okuise Forestpia onsen was a perfect way to finish the experience.

My meal was wonderful and the atmosphere of the restaurant fit my relaxed state of mind as I thought about my time on the water. When I was finished eating, it was time for the final part of the Illumination SUP experience, a visit to the hotel’s onsen for a nice hot soak in the mountain air. The onsen at the hotel has bathing options inside and outside the building, so you can choose the space that you prefer. For me, the chance to sit outside in a natural onsen while surrounded by mountains and forests is an opportunity I never pass up.

When I finished in the onsen and was ready to head back to my guesthouse for the night, I was in a mellow kind of mood that only finds me after spending time outside and then having a good meal. With a soak in a mountainside onsen to top it off, it had been an amazing evening in Odai.

In addition to the Illumination SUP package, there are many other different SUP experiences available in Odai that can be booked. Regardless of whether you are a novice or a seasoned paddler, there is an option that you can enjoy. All of the packages include a professional guide, training and all of the equipment needed. I highly recommend the full package that I experienced if you are looking for a really special night in Mie Prefecture. Check out all of the SUP options that are available by clicking on the links on this page and book your next great outdoor adventure.



Verde Odai Tour Information

TEL: +81-80-4840-7315


Okuise Forestpia Information



About 3.5 hours

- 5:30-6:45 PM - Twilight SUP

- 7:00-8:00 PM - Dinner at Anjou (French cuisine) or BBQ

- 8:00 PM - Onsen

<Operating Times>

- April to July

- September toNovember


- ¥9,800/adult (tax included)

- ¥7,800/child(tax included)

- Priceincludes guide fee, SUP set(SUP board, paddle, life-jacket), dinner, onsen fee

<Tour size>

- 2-6 people

<Meeting Time and Place>


Okuise Forestpia Lounge

993 Sono, Odai-cho, Taki-gun, Mie Prefecture


<Access to Okuise Forestopia>

- 30 minutes bytown bus from Misedani Station on the JR Kisei Main Line (get off at Okuise Forestpia)

- 15 minutes bytaxi from Misedani Station on the JR Kisei Main Line

- 20 minutes by car from the Kisei Expressway “OmiyaOdai” IC

From Tokyo

- About 5 hours by train

- About 5.5 hours by car


From Osaka

- About 3.5 hours by train

- About 2.5 hours by car


From Nagoya

- About 3 hours by train

- About 1.5hours by car

Tourist attractions covered by this article