Japan’s numerous gorges are the perfect place to go rafting and canyoning, offering full-on physical experiences amidst Japan’s scenic forests and rivers. Group outings are the best way to go, and you’ll bond with your companions.
As you hurtle along frothing river rapids in an inflatable rubber boat, you join forces with your fellow adventurers to paddle through an exhilarating ride. Among “river romp” activities, rafting may provide the biggest thrill. It’s also the ultimate combination of sports and natural sightseeing.
Some of Japan’s best rafting courses with foreign-language guidance include Tokushima Prefecture’s Yoshino River, Gunma Prefecture’s Tone River, Hokkaido’s Shiribetsu River, and Kumamoto Prefecture’s Kuma River. In regions where winter snow melts into the river basin, early spring rapids accelerate for even greater excitement.
- NRC Niseko Rafting Club (Hokkaido/Shiribetsu River)
- Rainbow Club (Shizuoka Prefecture/Fuji River)(Japanese and English)
- Forest & Water (Gunma Prefecture/Tone River, Tokyo/Tama River, Kochi-Tokushima Prefecture/Yoshino River)
- Happy Raft (Kochi Prefecture/Tone River)
- Kuma River ABC (Kumamoto Prefecture/Kuma River)
Canyoning & Shower Climbing (Sawanobori)
Explore ravines and gorges in a way you’ve never experienced before through canyoning and shower climbing. The sport of canyoning is an intensely fun physical descent along mountain rivers and waterfalls using various techniques. Along the route you’ll encounter crystal clear pools, natural waterslides and other diversions.
Conversely, shower climbing – known in Japanese as “sawanobori” – involves scaling river tributaries, ravine walls and waterfalls to their source. The end of the journey brings a strong sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.
Canoeing & Kayaking
Canoes and kayaks let you enjoy exploring rivers and lakes at your own pace. Perhaps the biggest pleasure of these activities comes from taking in natural scenery that you just cannot see on land. “Canoe” is a general term for small, narrow boats rowed with oars. There are many varieties of canoe, but rest assured that the most appropriate type will be prepared for you at whatever tour destination you choose.
Japan’s most popular canoeing and kayaking spots are divided into rivers and lakes. Among the best river destinations are the Ramsar-protected Kushiro Shitsugen Wetlands of Hokkaido, the limpid waters of Kochi Prefecture’s Shimanto River, the mangroves and other wildlife in the unique ecosystem of Okinawa Prefecture’s Iriomote Island, and the Amami Islands of Kagoshima Prefecture. For lake-bound adventures, Gunma Prefecture’s Naramata Lake, Nagano Prefecture’s Lake Nojiri as well as Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture are highly rated regions.
- Toro Nature Center(Hokkaido/Kushiro Shitsugen Wetland)
- With River(Kochi Prefecture/Shimanto River)
- Iriomote Sanpo Kibun(Okinawa Prefecture/Iriomote Island)
- I LOVE OUTDOORS JAPAN (Gunma Prefecture/ Lake Naramata)
- Sunday Planning (Nagano Prefecture/Lake Nojiri)
- Okubiwako Makino Grand Park Hotel (Shiga Prefecture/Lake Biwa)(various languages)
When going on your “river romp” or lake-bound adventure, please make use of local guides and arrange insurance beforehand. A multitude of unforgettable experiences can be had from early spring in April to autumn in around October. Nature, culture, and new friends in Japan await. Book your tour today.