Japan has some of the most interestingly diverse selection of nature’s best venues for all sorts of outdoor activities. Whether it’s water, land or air based, Japan is well known for being an aesthetically pleasing country with much to offer in the outdoor department. Mountains for hiking, the ocean for sailing, fields for camping and so on.
Regardless, if there is one thing the Japanese have an abundance of, it’d be water. This, of course, is not surprising given the country’s status as an island nation, but also gives way for many different kinds of activities for locals and foreigners alike to participate in. One such activity is rafting and kayaking, which takes full advantage of the numerous rivers and streams running through Japan’s numerous prefectures. The beauty of the activity is that it’s very entertaining to do in groups and can cater to all levels of comfort. Whether one seeks thrill and adrenaline or relaxation and picturesque views, kayaking and rafting can provide it all.
A great place to start in, especially for those hesitant around deeper waters or for those with no experience in a boat, are the kayaking tours on the Aokiko Lake. Aokiko Lake is located in Nagano and is one of the purest lakes in Japan. The lake is a fusion of pure spring water emerging from beneath the earth and melted mountain snow produced at the end of the Japanese winter. With the clarity of the water, the mountains in the background and the forest foliage surrounding the lake, one can experience a truly beautiful time in a kayak on the lake. Ideal for those willing to take it a little slower or those wanting to practice some kayaking and rafting techniques before tackling some more challenging rivers.
Another place of note is the Tone River, located in the Gunma Prefecture. The river is the largest one running through Japan. It also has a 12 kilometer long stretch used for kayaking and rafting. During summer, the part is rated a 2 on the International Scale of River Difficulty during the summer months, making it a nice and easy rise for beginner and intermediate riders. In the spring months, following the melting of ice and snow, the river is flooded to a 4 on the scale, providing a worthy challenge for intermediate and expert rafters and kayakers, making it ideal for testing one’s progress over time on the water.
First image by gajinfarmer on WordPress
Second image by evergreen-hakuba