8.01.2011

White Water Rafting in Minakami

As summer envelopes us in Tokyo, you start to become use to the trickles of sweat down your brow, the taste of warm water from a recently purchased bottle, and the feeling of relief when hopping on an airconditioned subway car. The lack of easy access to a pool or beach in Tokyo thus sends people off in search of some cooler, water-based activities. One such activity I undertook last month was white water rafting amongst Japan's beautiful mountain scenery in Minakami.

Minakami is situated in the Gunma prefecture, around one and half hours from Tokyo. We decided to do a rafting tour with Canyon's, who supplied us with wetsuits, rafting guide, and hot post-raft showers. We rafted about 13km down the Tone River along the gorgeous clear water, passing impressive cliff-scapes, onsen towns and river banks along the way.

Canyon's website says the best time to raft in this are is April - July. We went in June, when the rapid were around a grade 4, and it was a lot of fun. Each boat held 6 people, and Canyon's provides both Japanese and English speaking guides. Despite our guide being slightly crude (Australian humour) at times, my friends and I had a great time maneuvering through the rocks and rapids, as well as taking a couple of cliff jumps off surrounding rocks.

Minakami can be accessed via Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo station, or is a great road trip if you have / hire a car. The surrounding area is famous for it's traditional ryokan's along the river, and other sports such as canyoning and bunji jumping.

Suiting up
Photo courtesy canyons.jp


A well deserved post-raft beer on Canyon's deck



4 comments:

Minakami Mike said...

Nice blog post. Hope to see you up in Minakami again!

gcex said...

River rafting is an African adventure that cannot be compared to any other. This adrenaline fuelled event requires teamwork, balance, strength, determination and a fearless attitude. The roaring rapids will show no mercy, and conquering them is an achievement that you will never forget.

http://www.gcex.com/faq.html

white water rafting tips said...

White water rafting uses special terminology, so familiarizing oneself with some key expressions and terms of white water rafting before taking a trip could definitely be helpful.

white water rafting tips

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