"Teshio River Canoe Touring Competition" back on July 17 after two-year absence

Participants canoeing down the grand Teshio River (July 2019)

“Down the Teshi” is one of Japan’s largest canoe touring competitions, taking participants down the Teshio River. On April 2, the competition Executive Committee decided to hold this year’s event on a 34-kilometer course between Nayoro and Bifuka on July 17. The competition has been cancelled for the past two consecutive years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be held with thorough COVID-19 measures and a reduction in both the schedule and scale.

Starting in 1992, Down the Teshi is a popular event drawing canoe enthusiasts from all over Japan. This year will be the 29th installment. The previous installment in 2019 was a 57-kilometer course between Bifuka and Nakagawa that drew 206 participants from within and outside of Hokkaido, using a total of 120 canoes. The one-night, two-day schedule provided a chance to thoroughly enjoy the grand Teshio River natural environs and deepen relations with Teshio River basin residents.
This year will see the schedule reduced to one day as a precautionary COVID-19 countermeasure. Participants will start at the Nayoro Ohashi Bridge in the city of Nayoro and head to the Bifuka Island Canoe Port in the town of Bifuka. The welcoming ceremony and dinner social gathering, customary inclusions in the normal program, will not be held this year.

Participants will be asked to maintain good health and will be required to submit to a temperature check upon arriving and wear masks while on land. If a State of Emergency Declaration is issued for Hokkaido regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition will be cancelled.

Registration for participants is slated to start in June, and details including the participation fee will be announced as soon as they are determined. Pre-event instruction for beginners will be held at Lake Iwaonai (Shibetsu) on June 5 and on Teshio River near the Nayoro Ohashi Bridge on June 26.


Bifuka Island Canoe Port