One last day of
paddling in Japan. Then we'd get cultured before going home. The river
was another that Cody had done before, and close to Tokyo. No road
access, just a two plus mile hike up to put in. The hike was on a
narrow trail next to the river. I was amazed by the amount of people we
saw on the trail. Not only people, but elderly. The Japanese retired
get after it! In the US the trail could be considered pretty tough,
lots of up and down, narrow and slippery in spots. Didn't slow 'em down
at all. Ready to get in the water we were finally at the put-in and
wasted no time immersing ourselves in the photogenic river.
Shon Bollock runs one as Ryan Knight and Yoshihiro Takahashi watch on.
Yoshi enjoys the same nice slide in a beautiful setting.
What a start, the river
was all bedrock
for the first five rapids, the largest being the most substantial of
Ryan drops in.
The largest was a tricky
forty footer, of
the very low volume variety. I think we would have been tempted to skip
it if it was the first day in Japan. But it was the last day, so we
decided to fire away.
Shon leads the charge.
Yoshi runs the same.
During the hike up we
laughed about how
small and chunky the creek looked. On the water it went a lot better
than it looked,
Cody enjoys a nice boof from yet another good sequence.
Shon same same.
The downside to the run
that not only did we have to hike in, but after a mile of hiking the
river turned into a series of low volume, twenty foot dams with no
pools at the bottom. Looks like the party is over boys. The highlight
was a group of Japanese tourist lining up and applauding our efforts!
That was a first.
Not an official sponsor of the trip, but a thank you for the laughs,
food and abused bathrooms.
The next day we walked around Tokyo while Cody and Brandy experienced
Disneyland Japanese style.
Yoshi and Shon take a break.
I'll just leave you guessing.
Nick Calderone asks if
they will pretend
to arrest him on the car. Not so much.
An incredible mix of new and old in Tokyo.
Inspiring craftsmanship, Nick Calderone.
spent a good amount of
time hopping the subway to get around town, and then riding the subway
to the train system to the hostel. Many moments of culture shock, but
none in a negative sense.
Kind of funny to be the tourists with cameras staring wide eyed at
everything. A couple subway images:
Our last day in country we just dried and repacked our gear. Our final
meal was done in style, Yoshi hosted us to a Japanese style BBQ. We all
sat around the grill and placed items on it, picking them off as they
were done to perfection. A very fun way to make BBQ!
Cody seems to like the fire.
With a plane to catch there was no time to waste, jump starting the
I can't say enough about
Japan as a high quality paddling destination. I have no doubts I'll
return. It's not the kind of place you need a several year break from
to enjoy again. The people are awesome! Japan is not naturally a cheap
country to travel in, everything is slightly more expensive than the
states and there are few campgrounds. We more or less camped wherever
and saved a ton of money by doing that. There is no way our
would have been possible without the help of Yoshihiro Takahashi. His
generosity of time and equipment, namely his rafting van, also helped
us keep cost down. He is a great person and we all owe him the deepest
thanks for logistic support and patience with our group. I look forward
to returning the favor in California one day!