White water rafting is the best way to experience the thrilling rapids of the Yoshino River. Be sure to book a wild ride down the Yoshino and take in the lush valley and clear emerald green water!
Japan's Wildest River
The Yoshino River is a class A river that flows from Kochi to Tokushima Prefecture. It is the largest river in Shikoku, stretching for 194 km. Its basin is around 3,750 ㎢, taking up almost 20 percent of the whole island of Shikoku! Over time the clear waters that flow from Kochi Prefecture have carved out this deep valley and created the striking rock formations that border the riverside.
Yoshino is known as Japan's wildest river, and thus attracts rafting enthusiasts from far and wide. In 2017 the World Rafting Championships were held in Oboke Gorge and Koboke Gorge, where you will find some of the most exciting and challenging rapids in Japan.
Ready for your own rafting adventure? There are several tour operators in the town of Otoyo in Kochi Prefecture, staffed with guides who love to share the rapids with visitors!
What To Expect on a Yoshino Rafting Adventure
All the tour companies will provide a detailed safety talk before you start rafting, giving you all the info you need to know, teaching you how to hold the ropes on the rapids and how to paddle correctly.
Then the guide and your groups of up to eight people will take to the river to challenge the rapids! The waves, turns around massive boulders and the swift current make it feel like a natural rollercoaster, a thrilling way to experience the valley of the Yoshino River. Your guide is there to help you in case you fall out of the boat, so you are in safe hands.
In calmer section of the river, you can get off the rafting boat and float along in the current, or jump off the rocks and splash into clean, refreshing water. Some tour companies offer lunch as part of their rafting adventure, so you can enjoy a riverside picnic while taking in the emerald water and valley views.
One good option for outdoor enthusiasts is Mont-Bell Outdoor Village Motoyama, where you will find stylish cottage accommodation, a restaurant, gear shop and bathing facilities. This is an excellent base for sightseeing around the Yoshino River. In addition to rafting there are also bicycle rentals, along with shower climbing (a sport similar to canyoning) and kayaking tours. At the restaurant, be sure to try a barbecue featuring local Tosa Akaushi wagyu beef, which just melts in the mouth.
Kochi is blessed with several clear rivers, so there are other options for those who want to take to the rapids. On the Shimanto (Japan’s last free-flowing river) you can ride downstream at a relaxed pace while gazing up at the area’s iconic chinkabashi (submersible bridges) and the forested mountains that surround the valley. Another great spot is the Niyodo River, where the relatively calm course allows you plenty of time to enjoy the vibrant, clear blue of the water, check out the birds that cluster around this pure river and perhaps even jump in for a swim!