Sawanobori, Japanese-style canyoning

Give Sawanobori, an ancient practice of going up the river, a try in one of the most beautiful natural settings in Japan.

In the heart of the Japanese mountains in the Hida region

The Hida region, north of Gifu, the central mountain region of Japan, is known for its wilderness, primary forests and unspoilt countryside. It includes the town of Takayama, the village of Shirakawago (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its thatched houses where silk was produced), and the Gero Hot Springs.

Maze Village

Maze village is surrounded by a forest of centuries-old cedar trees which are used for carpentry. The Mazegawa River flows through the valley and is renowned by fishermen from all over the world for its "ayu" fishing. It is in this idyllic Japanese hinterland, between the traditional and the majestic nature, that you can spend some time in the opposite of urban Japan.

Make the most of your time before or after your activity to explore Maze village, enjoy its onsen, or taste the seasonal dishes (e.g. ayu fish caught in the river during the summer months) and many other things that your host Gwenn will be able to advise you on. 

Sawanobori, Japanese-style canyoning

Sawanobori, a cross between canyoning and hiking, is literally translated in Japanese as "stream climbing". Unlike canyoning, the aim is not to go downstream but to go upstream. The practice stems from the fact that in the past, it was often more convenient to go by river than through thr forest to return to the village. Travellers from Japan's wilder regions therefore used rivers as a means of travel when safe paths were not available.

With your local guide, travel up the river in the footsteps of these ancient travellers. 

An activity for mountain lovers

On this expedition, follow the canyon to the Fudo-myō-ō-no-taki waterfalls (21 metres). This trip through the heart of the Japanese Alps is a real off-the-beaten-track adventure for lovers of nature. And if you come to Japan in the summer, this activity will be both fun and keep you cool! 

Practical information

Activity runs from June to October.

The meeting point is the Hida-Hagiwara train station (on the Takayama line) approximately 1 hour before the start of the activity. Your host Gwenn will pick you up in a minibus and contact you to inform you about the best train routes and times according to your departure location.

Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

You must be over 1.20 m tall and weigh less than 110 kg.

Included in the package:

- wetsuit- life jacket

- helmet

- shoes (size 36 and up)

Please bring:

- a swimming costume

- a towel

- shoes for people wearing size 35 or less. We recommend sports shoes and ankle-length socks. Marine shoes are not suitable, the sole needs to be thick.

This activity is physical but suitable for all levels. If you are experienced and would like to practice Sawanobori on a more challenging course, please contact us for more details.

The activity will not be cancelled if it rains, except in exceptional conditions, in which case you will be contacted beforehand.

The activity is a group activity and the other participants will be Japanese or foreigners.


Sawanobori, Japanese-style canyoning

$95 per person

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