Water Sports in Kobe

ByJustin Hanus
Jun 28, 2022

Water Sports in Kobe

Are you looking to get out on the water and try some sporting activities? You can find a few facilities in and around Kobe where you can indulge in anything from a gentle paddle to high-octane motorboat-based fun. Here’s a selection of what’s on offer.


Whether you want to hire a boat for a bit of fun for an afternoon or book in for some lessons with an instructor, it’s worth checking out Paddle Your Trip, which is an enterprise that runs a variety of local activities, including canoeing, kayaking and – for those seeking fast and furious thrills – white water boating. They even offer night-time kayaking and a special kayaking program for kids. Prices mainly range from 3,000 – 13,000 yen, with multi-day tours available for 28,000 yen.

If you fancy going a bit further afield, the BSC Watersports Center runs schools in kayaking, yachting, and windsurfing on the beautiful Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. For kids, there is a series of seasonal camps where they can learn basic boating, diving, and fishing skills.

Surfing and Boarding

If you have your own surfing equipment, you can head to Suma Beach in Kobe and ride the waves. Here, you can also find Gem Resort offering surfing lessons suitable for beginners for around 5,000 yen a lesson. However, you don’t have to go to the sea to surf in Kobe. About 20 minutes by car from the city center, you will find Japan’s only artificial surfing facility in Kobe-Reyes. This venue uses a carry-type wave-making device that recreates ocean flows for surfers. Lessons are around 10,000 yen, and you can rent equipment as well.

For something, a bit different, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has become popular across Japan. Many watersports providers, including Paddle Your Trip, run SUP activities in various settings, including lakes, seas, and rivers. Suppose you want something to get the pulses racing. In that case, it’s worth heading out to Lake Biwa, where the Carmel Beach Club provides waterskiing, wakeboarding, and sumo tubing for both beginners and advanced practitioners. Prices mainly range between 3,000 – 10,000 yen per lesson.

Water Polo

A lesser well-known but highly fun activity, if you have a group of people, is none other than water polo. Water polo operates on the same principle as sports such as football or hockey, where the object is to score goals against the opposing team by getting the ball into their net. In water polo, everyone is in a pool, and the ball is thrown. The Kobe Port Island Sports Center has a regulation-size 50-meter pool plus water polo equipment. The center doesn’t currently hold water polo classes or activities, but private groups can hire the pool for a game.


If all of the above sounds a little too high-energy, you can always try the most chilled-out of all sports – fishing. Seafood features prominently in the Japanese diet, and there are many fishing locations in and around Kobe where you can fish for leisure or try and catch a bite to eat. One popular venue is the Hiraiso Marine Fishing Park, close to the famous Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. You can buy or rent equipment and bait, get free fishing advice, shop at the on-site fish market, and try and hook the likes of black rockfish and red sea bream.

Mti, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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