Raft down the Shinano River with a guide! With a mix of gentle currents and swift rapids, Japan's longest river poses a fun challenge. Enjoy Tokamachi's natural scenery, swim in gentle waters, and, after the rafting tour, bathe in a local hot spring.
With a total length of 367km, the Shinano is Japan's longest river, flowing through Niigata and Nagano Prefectures. On this river rafting tour, you will raft down a 7-km stretch of the Shinano River, with a good balance of rapids and gentle currents. You can swim where the currents are gentle — or, if you can't swim, have fun floating about. You'll be wearing life jackets throughout the tour, so don't worry! Finally, you will end the day at Mion Nakasato, a local hot-spring facility where you can soak your aches and pains away. This tour is available from mid-April to mid-November., with two available start times: 09:45 and 13:15. It lasts for about 2 hours and 45 minutes, and roughly follows this itinerary: 09:45 / 13:15 — Assemble at the meeting point near Mion Nakasato; sign consent form; get changed, and wear life jacket and helmet 10:00 / 13:30 — Move to the rafting area 10:15 / 13:45 — Orientation and safety pointers; practice paddling and rowing 10:30 / 14:00 — River rafting begins 12:00 / 15:30 — Reach endpoint 12:15 / 15:45 — Head for the meeting point by car 12:30 / 16:00 — Arrive at meeting point; get changed. The tour disbands here; spend the rest of your time relaxing at Mion Nakasato For another fun activity in the Tokamachi area, trek the ancient Matsunoyama Kaido and see the picture-perfect Hoshitoge Rice Terraces along the way. This tour is a perfect mix of history and sightseeing! Visiting Niigata for a workation or working holiday? A few stations away, the hot-spring town of Echigo-Yuzawa has two stylish coworking spaces where you can work comfortably and mingle with the locals during your downtime: Kirahoshi Base, a facility with plenty of natural light and a great view of the mountains; and Kamoshika Side Cafe & Works, with a cafe that serves delicious, fresh meals — including vegan, vegetarian, and halal options. At Echigo-Yuzawa, how about taking a cycling and walking tour? Or, try waterfall meditation and matcha-making on a tour of locations that are associated with the Nobel Prize-winning novel Snow Country. Got a car? You can drive to Gunma Prefecture's Minakami, a hot-spring town that's 30 to 40 minutes away by car. There, challenge yourself with a recreational tree-climbing session!