Rafting in Japan

Rafting in Japan

Head out with local guides to go rafting on Hakuba Valley’s Himekawa (Princess River). A technical class 2 whitewater river with great views of the Hakuba mountain range. Both morning and afternoon tours are available and we welcome big groups to join in. After a ride down the river, a relaxing soak in a mineral onsen is included in the price.

Please be aware that rafting in Japan gets more hard-core than this, and after the spring snow-melt this river can be quite tame. It is not recommended for thrill-seekers but more for families with children/first-time rafters.

Evergreen Outdoor Center has been training on the Shinanogawa River for several seasons in order to offer a different rafting experience to our guests. If you have a large group get in touch and depending on availability we may be able to offer a Private Tour.


The Himekawa River begins at the Himekawa Genryu, a natural spring in the south of Hakuba near Sanosaka. It is also fed by numerous outflows from the mountains including the more major tributary rivers Hirakawa and Matsukawa.

The water flows at a decent rate early in the season once the snow begins melting, but generally by late July – August the water level is quite low.

Himekawa Half-Day Tour

rafting in japan on hakuba's himekawaTours are run by Hakuba Adventure Club (HAC), based at the bottom of Echoland. If booking through EOC, a courtesy shuttle can be provided, or you are welcome to make your own way there. Change into wetsuits, lifejackets and water shoes then travel by bus to the put-in point. The tour is around 1-1.5 hours, followed by an onsen to shower and get changed. The bus will then take you back to HAC.

Himekawa Rafting2015 Season

  • April-June: A & C Tour
  • July: A, B & C Tour (B Tour National holiday & weekends only)
  • August: A, B & C Tour
  • September: A, B & C Tour (B Tour National holiday & weekends only)
  • October: A & C Tour


  • A Tour: 8:30 ~ 12:00
  • B Tour: 11:00 ~ 14:30
  • C Tour: 13:30 ~ 17:00

*sign-in at start-time above, but please don’t be late

Himekawa River, Hakuba

Meeting Point
Hakuba Adventure Club, Echoland, Hakuba

Adults: ¥8,000
Children 6-12 & under: ¥6,000

Guide, raft, life vest, paddle, wetsuit, rafting helmet, insurance, tax, onsen at the end of the trip. Add 100 yen extra for insurance

What to Bring
Bathing suit, towel – that’s all!

Early season for more excitement, July-August for families/first-timers

From 6 years old

Minimum Group Size
2 adults


The Shinanogawa is the longest and largest river in Japan. Known as the Chikuma River in Nagano, the name changes to the Shinano River as it enters Niigata. It rises from Mount Kobushi on the border of Saitama, Yamanashi and Nagano, and flows northwest to meet the Sai River from Matsumoto.

Rafting in Japan on Nagano”s Shinanogawa Full-Day Tour

shinanogawa raftingThis is not a regularly scheduled tour. We have been training and running group tours on this river for several years, but we do not yet offer general tours on the Shinano. If you have a large group and are interested contact us and, availability depending, we may be able to offer a Private Tour.

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Tours run from May through September. Late spring and early summer have the highest water flow. Late July/August is great for first-timers / families.


Just your swim gear and a towel. All required gear and transportation is included in the price.


If on the day the water level is found to be too high, EOC reserves the right to cancel the tour. In this case alternate dates may be offered or full refunds will be made.

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“Fantastic! Evergreen couldn’t do enough for us. We will definitely be back and recommend you to our friends. Thank you!”