Fun Watersports Around Niseko


As well as being a winter sports destination, there are also plenty of opportunities to explore Niseko and the Japanese countryside in the summer months by enjoying the variety of watersports on offer.

So what kinds of watersports are there? And where can you join in? In this guide you can discover the range of fun watersports in the Niseko area and learn about some of the best locations for each.

Popular Watersports Around Niseko And Where To Participate…


The Shakotan Peninsula can be a fantastic place to kayak, especially if you’re looking for a bit of a sea kayaking adventure, as the coastline is rugged and filled with rocky cliffs and caves that are great for exploring.

When you’re paddling in the clear blue water you will be surrounded by nature, with this coastline of the Sea of Japan being part of the Niseko-Shakotan-Otaru Kaigan Quasi National Park, so it’s a protected area.

The Shiribetsu River is another location that is great for kayaking, with a combination of white water rapids and slower moving sections, for a bit of variety. Lake Toya can also be a great place for kayaking, especially if you don’t have much experience and are looking for a calmer body of water to learn on.




Lake Toya is known as a caldera lake, which is a crater formed by the eruption of a volcano. From Lake Toya you can see the active volcano, Mt. Usu and due to the geographic location of the lake, it doesn’t freeze in the winter, despite the temperature of the air, so it can be a great place for canoeing all season long.

This is a scenic spot for a canoe trip and it’s possible to paddle to the island in the center of the lake, Nakajima. However, the wind can be quite strong at the center and you should be a confident paddler if attempting this trip.

There are also bays and shallow coastlines to be explored, which might be more suitable for beginners and those who are less confident on the water.



One location where you can get out on a stand up paddleboard (SUP) is on Lake Toya. This large lake features calm shorelines which can be a great place to get started.

On Lake Toya you can stand up paddleboard surrounded by a stunning natural landscape, including the active and smoking Mt. Usu volcano, which will add even more relaxation to your SUP trip.

The water is very clear, being the second clearest lake in Japan and there are lots of bays to explore from your SUP as you take in the natural scenery. There are guides and tours that you can book if you’re looking for assistance on your trip.



 Rafting is a popular summer activity in Niseko and one of the best places to do this is on the Shiribetsu River, where the whole family can get involved and take an adventure together along one of the clearest rivers in Japan, paddling over white water rapids or, if you prefer, at a more relaxed pace in slower sections of the river.

In the summer it is also possible to jump in for a swim, as long as the conditions are suitable, so it can be a great day out in and on the water. There are also plenty of outfitters that offer guided tours and tailored adventures.

The Shiribetsu River is a scenic river through a natural environment, where you can also see Niseko’s Mount Fuji, Mount Yotei, the volcano that towers above Niseko.




Photo credit: Hanazono Niseko

 Canyoning can be a great way of enjoying the outdoors if you love adventure and don’t mind getting wet. And one place in the Niseko area where you can enjoy this action packed activity is in the Sakazuki River.

Surrounded by trees and wildlife, the Sakazuki River offers waterfalls, pools, rocky water slides and a wild landscape where you can enjoy the exhilaration of canyoning through the Hokkaido countryside.

Canyoning is also available on Niseko’s Konbu River and there are various companies in the area where they will guide you through the adventure routes.

To try these great watersports for yourself contact our friends at

Guest article submitted by Mark from – your source for everything to get started in the kayaking world.



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