Canyoning is a river sport that originated in Europe. It’s one of the most exciting nature sports, involving descending through rocky gorges formed naturally over thousands of years by the action of rivers. Intrepid canyoners abandon themselves to the flow of the river to slide and slither down rocky chutes, try their nerve by jumping many meters into the basins of waterfalls, or rappelling down from the tops of huge rocks. Nametoko Gorge in the southwest part of Shikoku is the premiere canyoning spot in Japan, offering an enormous range of natural chutes, slides and rappelling spots.
Sliding: One of the biggest attractions of canyoning is sliding down chutes and waterfalls. You can’t appreciate the excitement involved until you’ve tried sliding down a curving torrent, or a long straight slope from the top to the bottom at one go.
Jumping: Screw up all your courage to jump into the deep pool at the bottom of a waterfall. The fun here is totally different from jumping into a swimming pool. Don’t worry even if you’re not a good swimmer. Your life jacket will keep you afloat. There’s no need to worry about hitting the bottom either—these pools go all the way down.
Rappelling: Put your trust in the rope and harness and hang your hide out over nothingness! You can rappel down waterfalls or giant rocks with just a simple tool and a rope.
Climbing: Try climbing up the slippery rocks of a waterfall as you take a natural shower. The success rate of the most difficult climbing spots is only about 20%. Good luck!
Floating: After all the excitement and thrills, there’s nothing better than to just flurb out in a quiet pool, letting your life jacket take care of things as you float in the beautiful clear water, gazing up through the canopy of trees at the fluffy clouds in a blue sky.
Forest Canyon provides everything you need to enjoy this awesome nature sport. The price of the tour includes helmets, life jackets, wet suits, special hooks, ropes, and skilled tour guides who know everything about Nametoko Gorge. Accident insurance is included just in case. All you need is your swimwear, a change of clothes and a spirit of adventure.
Forest Canyon: http://nametoko.net/canyon/
Tel: (089) 542-0063
Name in Japanese
滑床渓谷 — nametoko keikoku — Nametoko Gorge
JR Matsuyama Station
↓ (about 1 hour and 30 minutes by train)
↓ (about 50 minutes)
↓ (about 30 minutes by taxi)
Nametoko Gorge (The office of Forest Canyon is also located here.)
Open: early in April to early in November
Price: Half day course 8,500 yen
Full day course 12,500 yen
(Every course includes all equipment, tour guide, and insurance for 1 day.)