Japan is surrounded by ocean, and lined with rivers and waterways. Kayaking and rafting the waters of Japan will give you a completely different perspective of the countryside.
Up north in Niseko (Hokkaido), take to the rafts as the snow melts and floods the rivers in spring. For something a little less challenging, raft or kayak the rivers in summer when the water is much calmer.
How about rafting the biggest river in Japan? For world-class rafting, head to the Tone River in the Minakami region of Gunma prefecture. From April to June the river provides consistent grade four rapids for over twelve kilometres.
Kayak on Lake Aoki or navigate the rivers in Hakuba (Nagano). Alternatively, you may like to challenge yourself to the grade two rapids of nearby Hime River.
Kumano River, in Wakayama prefecture is the world’s only UNESCO World Heritage listed waterway. Pilgrims once rafted down the river to reach Kumano Hayatama Shrine, one of the three grand shrines on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. Nowadays you can enjoy half day or full day kayaking tours on the same river.
The biggest rapids in Japan can be found on the Yoshino River in the Iyakei Valley, Tokushima, Shikoku. For more information on all of these locations, please see the links below.