- Thrilling but safe 1.5 days rafting experience down one of Japan’s most exciting rivers – the mighty Yoshino
- Exciting canyoning experience at one of two sites: Ninja canyon and Flying Squirrel canyon, with all equipment supplied
- Professional English- and Japanese-speaking guides with multiple licences, including river guiding, rafting, and canyoning
This 2-day river tour by Shikoku’s oldest and best-rated rafting company will give you the thrills of white water rapids and canyons. You also get to take in the natural beauty of the untamed Yoshino River. The fun is so intense that we decided to extend the standard course into a 2-day thriller. The tour also includes a BBQ on the first evening at your guest house. Vegetarian also available. The program starts with a half day of rafting in the upper stretches of the Yoshino River followed by a half day of canyoning. On Day Two, course starts further downstream and ends up twenty-plus kilometers later deep in Tokushima.
In case you are more of a beginner, check out the experience here.
If you are interested in seeing more of Shikoku at your own pace, check out our 4-day Ohenro self-drive tour.
The Yoshino River is an iconic back-country whitewater river, having its source under Mt. Ishizuchi, about 100 km to the west. But it’s where the Yoshino hits the Kochi-Tokushima border that things get interesting. The torrent of water is squeezed between towering cliffs as it makes its way through down to the Oboke gorge and later the exit point from the mysterious Iya valley. The huge river boulders, towering cliff formations, and large volumes of high pressure water transform the Yoshino into a foaming, surging rafting paradise. Our rafting supplier is fully licenced to operate on the Yoshino, and offers both this two-day Advanced course as well as a shorter, Beginner-friendly one.
Your hosts are our supplier’s founder, Australian Mark Treston, his colleague and now-president of the company, Teruhiko “Teru” Katsuragawa, and more than a dozen (in peak season) other multinational team members. Between the two leaders, they have 41 years of rafting experience and it shows. Likewise the rest of the team are all river enthusiasts and yet highly aware of safety. This allows the team to offer a variety of rafting and customized options, including experiences for young families – although please note that this particular experience is more suited for adults and kids of 12 and over but if you need a custom experience, please let us know.
In the morning of Day 1 you will learn the safety basics of rafting, what to do if you fall overboard, how to steer and paddle, what to expect as you hit the whitewater rapids, and what instructions you will hear from the boat guide. Then you will ride the bus up to the launch point and push off. Rounding the first corner, it’s not long before the raft picks up speed and you encounter your first rapids. While scary at first, you quickly realize the rafts are actually very stable – although it helps to hold on!
In the afternoon of Day 1, after returning from the rafting orientation and having lunch (all you can eat bagels), you will set out on the supplier’s bus with a different instructor to one of two canyoning venues. Depending on the weather and rainfall these will be either the Ninja canyon or the more challenging Squirrel canyon. Here you will learn the safety basics of canyoning, how to orientate your body as you go through a chute, how to hit the water safely, and climbing. This is an ideal activity for group bonding, as members challenge themselves against height and speed.
After returning and changing to warm clothes, you will then be taken to your shared accommodation (single and group occupancies also available, please inquire) to relax, explore, and as dusk falls, a BBQ or other pre-ordered dinner. Vegetarian and other options available, please ask.
Day 2 you head back to the supplier’s home base, change and gear up, then join the group by bus to the downriver launching point for the full-day rafting experience. Once again, you will be tested and inspired by the thrilling river dynamics and during slower periods by the surrounding scenery. The group will beach around midday, and take a break for lunch and bathroom visits, then it’s back to the river for the final stretch.
All along the course your guide will take photos which will result in a group (the group on that raft) photo CD you can take home for free. Sadly, the adventure is soon over and boarding the bus you ride back to the Home base for a warm shower and a change of clothes. While decompressing from the thrills of the day, you will be able to review the photos, talk to the staff and have a snack before leaving to return home.
07:45 Catch the Nanpu 06 Limited Express train from Kochi Station to Oboke Station (station D45 on the JR Dosan line), or drive
08:49 Arrive at Oboke Station. You will be met by our rafting supplier and driven across to the supplier’s home base in Otoyo.
09:00 Arrive at our rafting supplier’s home base, for teaming with other crew members in your raft, course introduction, fitting, and basic instructions
9:30 Travel in supplier’s van to the launch point, where the safety orientation starts, along with instructions on how to handle the paddles and raft.
12:00 After almost 2 hours of incredible thrills and fun, you arrive at the pickup point, just meters away from the supplier’s home base
12:30 After changing, enjoy an all-you-can-eat bagel lunch baked on the premises, and receive your complimentary photo CD with all the shots taken by your river guide
13:45 Meet up with instructor for canyoning session (or optional hiking - please inquire), team with the other tour members, course introduction, fitting, and basic instructions.
14:00 Set off in supplier’s van to the canyon chosen for the day. Activity begins at 14:30 after a safety and instruction session.
16:15 Arrive back at home base, get changed, chill for a spell
17:30 Supplier will take you back to your accommodation, and prepare a BBQ or your pre-ordered meal.
08:00 Team breakfast at your accommodation
09:15 Transport down to home base, booking, review of the course for the day, and transport to launch point by Supplier's van.
10:00 Push off for the next 10 km+ of river excitement
12:30 Stop for rest stop and a packed lunch beside the river, approx. an hour
15:00 Arrive at destination, pickup by bus, and return to supplier’s base camp
15:30 Arrive back at base camp, shower, and change clothes.
16:30 Leave with supplier’s driver to return to Oboke Station.
16:48 Arrive at Oboke Station, in time for the south-bound Nanpu 15 Limited Express and a train ride back to Kochi. If you are pressed for time, do not worry - there is another express train an hour later
Included in price
- Priority booking, including customization of experience (extra cost)
- Transportation from Oboke Station to home base
- Transportation from home base to the river launch points
- ½ day and 1-day rafting, and ½ day canyoning
- Lunch for two days
- Dinner for Day 1 accommodation
- Shared accommodation and transport to/from accommodation
- Guide fee, insurance, wet suit, water-friendly shoes, life jacket, paddle, helmet, photo data
- Clear instruction and support in English
- Train fare from Kochi Station
- Vehicle rental, tolls, gas, parking if you decide to drive
- Insurance for vehicle or yourself and passengers
- Vehicle accessories such as child seat, freezer box, etc.
- Wi-Fi Router unless purchased separately, as recommended
- Guides or other persons in attendance, other than the scheduled rafting activity
- Equipment for any activities you may plan to do independently (unless booked separately with us)
Know before you book
- All bookings must be made at least 1 week in advance, to allow us to prepare equipment and transport.
- This rafting experience depends on availability coinciding with your travel dates, and we may suggest a nearby date if not available.
- The rafting base is fairly remote, so if you need to have a meal, either pack snacks or be prepared for a limited selection at a local general store. There IS an excellent Indian restaurant 2.2 km distant, if you have a rental car or like hiking!
- You will not need a working (connected to Japanese cellular network) mobile phone for this activity, but if you wish to use one, we have high-performance, reasonably priced Wi-Fi routers available for pickup in Kochi BEFORE you leave on the train for the rafting base.
- Some parts of the activity may be modified depending on weather and seasonal conditions.
- High season bookings - there is a surcharge for high-season reservations (July 23, 24, 25, August 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 22, 23, 29, 30, and September 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21)
- Obon bookings - there is a surcharge for obon period reservations (August 13, 14, 15)
- Canyoning is only available from July 1st to October 14th. If you participate in this 2-day tour outside these dates, we will substitute the canyoning experience for a self-guided hiking experience. Prices will also change, so please inquire as to the details.
- Whole guest house rental at JPY 50,000 is available. Contact us for more details. <email@example.com>
- Guest room pricing for children: JPY 3,000 (6-11 years old); JPY 2,000 (3-5 years old). Contact us if you are planning on traveling with children.
2 days prior to the day of your trip: 40 % of tour price
1 day prior: 50 % of tour price
On the day, no-show: 100 % of tour price
- Japan is a safe country and this activity is low-risk, furthermore, the activity itself includes insurance coverage while you are with the supplier. However, considering the travel there and back, as well as perhaps wanting more extensive insurance coverage, we advise you to consider personal and third-party travel insurance out of abundant caution
- If you are renting a car to get to Otoyo, we recommend you buy the car rental company's insurance policy
Options at extra charge
- Afternoon trekking (guided) instead of canyoning, on the first day. You have a choice of guided and non-guided.
- Choice of food grade for evening BBQ, or if you are vegetarian, then Indian dishes are also available.
- Add an extra night of accommodation before or after the trip to relax some more.
What you need to bring
- Swimsuit, towel, change of clothes
- If you wear contact lenses, bring a spare pair of goggles
- Glasses strap if you are wearing sunglasses or prescription glasses
- Waterproof camera if you want to take your own photos and videos
- Sunglasses, water bottle, and other personal accessories.
How to get there
- By train: Take the JR Dosan Line from Kochi Station and alight at Tosa-Iwahara Station (D28 stop). The rafting home base is just 1-2 minutes walk south of the station on the same road. Trip time from Kochi: around 90 minutes. Trains are very irregular, so be careful about departure times and both ends of your trip. Tickets are available at the ticket office of Kochi Station for a return trip, or each way, with a machine-dispensed ticket at Tosa-Iwahara station. Another option is to take a limited express train to Oboke Station. These trains run every hour. You must contact HappyRaft to arrange a pick up from Oboke Station.
- By car: After renting your vehicle, set your navigation system to 221-1 Ikadagi, Otoyo, Nagaoka District, Kochi 789-0157. Get on the Kochi Expressway from the Kochi Interchange and follow the route north to National Route 439, then leave at the Otoyo interchange (Exit 9) and follow National Route 32 to Iwahara.
Organised by Japan Travel KK
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