There is a new attraction in Tokushima City, which has 138 large and small rivers.
“Awa-Odori” in summer is the most famous attraction in Tokushima City.
But Tokushima City is also known as a “city of water” with a total of 138 large and small rivers.
A sightseeing boat has run for many years on the Shinmachi River, which flows through the center of Tokushima City. But in the past few years we have been able to see people who enjoy Stand Up Paddle Board (a.k.a. SUP, an activity started in Hawaii) on the river.
Walking for 5 minutes from JR Tokushima Station – turning left on the street along Shinmachi Bridge, and heading south, I found a sign for “Funride Tokushima” which said “STAND UP PADDLE BOARD.”
The owner of this place, Mr. Hisayuki Nanri, is an official instructor for the Stand Up Paddleboard Association Japan.
The SUP experience allows you to see the center of Tokushima from the river
Even beginners can enjoy SUP, so this is a very good activity for any tourists who enjoy sightseeing.
There are several plans at “Funride Tokushima,” and the most popular plan is a 1-hour course called “Hyotan Island Experience School.”
Hyotan Island is actually the land surrounded by the Shinmachi, Suketo, and Fukushima rivers.
The course is about 6 kilometers long, and many people participate in this tour because you can enjoy sightseeing around the center of Tokushima City from the river.
The activity starts with a basic lecture which shows you how to use the paddle and gives you some important pointers.
If your child is more than 9-10 years old, then he/she can ride on the board by himself/herself.
Much smaller kids can experience SUP if you choose to ride tandem.
The oldest person who has experienced SUP here was 80 years old…!
This sport is pretty safe because of the high stability of the board.
There is only a low possibility that you will fall into the river (it’ll take a lot to make you to fall).
Seeing Tokushima City from a much lower point of view than when driving a car, or even walking, is pretty interesting, and this is a special feature of SUP.
If you feel a little bit tired, you can sit on the board and take a rest.
Another good feature is that you can enjoy paddling at your own pace.
During the cherry blossom season, groups of people can ride on an oversize SUP and do cherry blossom viewing from the river!
Enjoy, and hold on to your field.
Beautiful ladies from “Arabian Nights” also enjoy SUP!?
The photo was taken at the “Machi-Asobi” event, one of the biggest Anime events in Japan, which is held in Tokushima.
The number of people who enjoy SUP while doing “cosplay” is increasing every year.
Of course they are wearing life belts and leash cords, so to enjoy SUP on the basis of “safety first.”
There is an SUP event around Hyotan Island with cosplay suits for Christmas at the end of the year.
Many Santa Clauses throw balls containing some sweets or snacks to the riverside, as the onlookers chant for them.
SUP is the one of the best activities in Tokushima City which takes advantage of its many beautiful rivers.
Anyone, including solo travelers, couples, or groups, is free to participate, so please try it when you visit Tokushima City!
Address／3-18, Minami-uchimachi, Tokushima-shi, Tokushima
Closed／irregular (Experience tours or schools all require reservations beforehand.)
Photographs and text by Takashi Shigeto
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