Niseko’s Shiribetsu River rafting season

Spring rafting involves getting splashed with water while shooting the rapids

This year’s season for ‘spring rafting’ that involves shooting the snowmelt rapids in a rubber boat has begun on the Shiribetsu River, which flows through the towns of Kutchan and Niseko in central Hokkaido.

 Business at Niseko Adventure Centre, an outdoor activity company in the town of Kutchan, began in early April. On the morning of May 1, eleven people participated in a rafting tour that began near JR Hirafu Station and ended one-and-a-half hours later approximately 11 km downstream near JR Niseko Station.

 In spring, snowmelt makes the level of the river water one or two meters higher than in summer, meaning participants can enjoy rafting with a sense of speed. Clad in drysuits to prevent them from becoming wet, participants howled with delight as they were splashed with water while rafting through ravines in which snow remains.

 A male company employee who took part in the tour smiled as he spoke of how “the views from the river were constantly changing – it was great; so thrilling!” Spring rafting in the Niseko region will continue until late May.


Niseko Adventure Centre