Darin McQuoid Blog Reviews Tutorials River Directory

Japan Diary 8

With low water on the North end of the island we started doing a bit of driving down the west coast to see what we could find. Traveling into the night found us on the beach by the Sea of Japan.

I intentionally left the dust marks in here, a nice reminder that even with sensor cleaning in the camera, it's still necessary to clean the sensor manually on a regular basis.

The beach itself wasn't legal to camp on, so we drove a bit more until we found a flat spot and called it a night.

  In the am we woke to drive a bit more and after an hour or two were at a trailhead. The park and huck looked good in the book, but was just a bit too low to be run safely. 

Skunked by low flows we decided we were done with the far Northern end of the island for our trip and returned to Minikami where we'd meet up with Lincoln Taylor, an Australian turned Japan local. Lincoln had something in the books for us, a run he'd done at low water with a waterfall hidden in a gorge. Looking at the put-in falls Lincoln said flows were about double what he'd done the run at before, and we knew the day would be full on.

There was hope that the put-in falls would go, but it fell about thirty feet onto rock before plunging off the bottom tier.

The river looked truly glorious during the short hike in.

Lincoln had mentioned a steep put in. This is what happens when you kayak with people who rock climb & or canyoneer: kayakers using rope.

Cody Howard approaches river level.

With the team assembled at river level we wasted no time putting on, as we had not gotten an alpine start. Soon enough we were in the goods, a series of bedrock slides and falls, most dropping ten to fifteen feet. Kind of like a Japanese South Branch Feather.

Shon Bollock

Cody boofs a nice double set.

Shon gets into a nice double ledge hole drop that had serious swimming potential.

Yoshiro Takahashi boofs into a double fifteen sequence.

Shon exits the same.

We'd been taking our time down the river and were perhaps halfway through as the sun dropped over the ridge. It was a deep canyon, so it wasn't too late in the day but the pressure was on.


Ryan Knight on the same.

Nikon D700, Nikkor 70-300VR @  122mm 1/1000 f/5.6 ISO 200

A little boogie water led to a large horizon. Cody scouts.

   Things were looking a bit bleak. A forty foot falls landing in a box canyon. Good to go minus the severely undercut wall on the right. Most of the river was flowing into the wall, which looked terminal. A lot of deliberation and we decided that we'd run the falls on the far left. Boofing. Sore back potential.

Ryan Knight focused and coming in strong.

The undercut on the right is far worse than it looks in the image.

Shon celebrates.

   With the canyon slipping into full shadow we pushed hard to exit the gorge. One portage held us up for longer than expected due to high flows, and we barely made it out before dark, happy to have completed our first serious mission in Japan.

An evenings technical portage.

Nikon D700, Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 @ 75mm 1/320 f/4 ISO 3200

Japan Diary 9

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...