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, the course begins further downstream and ends up twenty-plus kilometers later deep in Tokushima.
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. It makes its way through down to the Oboke gorge and later the exit point from the mysterious Iya valley. The vast river boulders, towering cliff formations, and large volumes of high-pressure water transform the Yoshino into foaming, surging rafting paradise.
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. Both 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. It allows the team to offer a variety of rafting and customized options.
On the morning of Day 1, you will learn the safety basics of rafting. The teaching includes what to do if you fall overboard, 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 very stable – although it helps 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. It is an ideal activity for group bonding, as members challenge themselves against height and speed.
After returning and changing to warm clothes, you will check into 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, and 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
Sakaedacho, Kochi 780-0061