When summer comes along, Niseko and the surrounding area turns from a winter wonderland into an emerald green playground. While the skis and snowboards have to be packed away, there are still plenty of ways to explore and enjoy this beautiful area. One of our favourite things to do is grab a paddle board and discover some of Hokkaido’s most stunning waterways. Here are our top three spots to SUP this summer!
- Shakotan Peninsula
Located two-hour’s drive from Hirafu Village, the Shakotan Peninsula juts 30 kilometres into the Sea of Japan. The steep sides of the Peninsula fall into crystal clear waters, creating a dramatic and colourful coastline. You can walk along the Peninsula and admire the blues and greens of the ocean, or we recommend jumping aboard a SUP and taking in the superb vistas from a unique perspective.
- Lake Toya
This volcanic caldera (cauldron) lake is located less than an hour’s drive south of Niseko. Lake Toya is unique for many reason, including the facts that it’s nearly completely circular and is surrounded by active volcanos like Mt Usu, which has erupted four times since 1900. The lake itself is home to a volcano-like island which rises spectacularly from its depths. It’s also Japan’s second clearest lake, making it a particularly picturesque spot from paddle boarding. You can paddle to the big island in the middle or one of its smaller neighbours, or explore the shoreline where you’ll find jagged caves, sandy beaches and water so clear you can see fish darting about in the rocks beneath you.
- Shiribetsu River
Shiribetsu is the local river and is fairly mellow all year ‘round. This means it’s perfect for kayaking, canoeing, fishing and, especially, SUPing. The river is very clean and clear and the shore is decorated with deep green foliage. You’ll love meandering along as the river winds past farms and beaches, all while admiring Mt Yotei and the continuously changing scenery.
Rhythm Japan rents SUPs that are stable and easy to use, so it doesn’t matter if you’re a first timer or an experienced paddler. We also offer guided tours to all of three of these spectacular locations. Our tours open June 1st but feel free to make an enquiry now!