Rafting is populair. All around the world you can board a rubber boat and experienced guides will take you down stream through huge rapids, where the challenge is to stay in the boat.
There is even has a classification system: 2 and 3 is for the tourists, 4 is challenging with a chance of getting wet, 5 guarantees you get wet, and 6 (highest level) is dangerous…
Welcome to the Kitayama River in Yoshino-Kumano National Park in Japan. Here you can experience one of the most unusual rafting options in the world, different from any other kind.
You’ll be on raft made out of logs, rushing down rapids, with two captains at the helm. As much as there is a helm. You’re standing up behind them and only have metal rails to hold on to, and it’s quite a challenge…
Do note that the captains themselves have nothing to hold on to, and don’t wear life vests. They simply balance on the raft, which takes quite some skill. Make sure you get a spot at the front just behind the captains, so you can see how they keep their balance.
This century-old form of transport was used to move logs from the forest to the harbour, but in the 70s there wasn’t as much timber to be transported so it became a tourist attraction.
You can raft here from May to September, and have to be at least ten years old. You have to book in advance, which you can do online or through a local travel agency.
More information: www.kumano-travel.com