Sawanobori, or waterfall climbing, is an adventure sport that involves ascending steep mountain streams on foot to reach their source. Some trails are even completely off the beaten path and only trail runners and small groups know of them. The sport is gaining popularity among westerners as it offers some unique challenges that can’t be found anywhere else. Some areas have laws against climbing certain structures, so you may need to check that out before venturing into the forest. This sport can also be considered eco-friendly since many who choose to climb the heights will also plant trees and grow organic food along with using local plants and supplies.
The word “sawanobori” means “down stream”. It’s an extreme sport that’s challenging both physically and mentally for those who dare to try it. Climbers generally start at the foot of a waterfall and walk upstream to reach the source of the rapids. Each route is unique with multiple levels and unique scenery. Some of the more challenging routes require trekking upstream to reach the rapids where large rocks and high cliffs separate the water from the forest.
Many companies in Japan have taken up the sport of sawanobori and produce specialized shoes for the more adventurous climber.
The best shoes provide extreme comfort and ankle support that allows the climber to focus on enjoying the breathtaking view. Some brands offer an entire line devoted to these shoes. Some of these companies include: Yama, Nomame, To-CR2, Kingsdown, and more. These companies make the best quality climbing shoes in the world.
Waterfall climbing can be a challenging sport for beginners but it’s exciting for most. Some companies in Japan have produced shoes specifically for this sport so that the consumer has a better experience. Among the top shoes used in this sport are:
Wawashima, also known as Sawanobori, is the most famous wet wading destination in Japan. The most popular routes to the waterfalls are the ones that begin in the town of Wachodai and move downstream to the stream named O-edo. This sport involves many different elements including hand to foot and stream climbing.
Another type of sport that features water falls as a major element is called kitesurfing. It’s a great sport for the whole family. Part of the fun of this sport is being outside and having the ability to enjoy the natural environment. The best place to practice kitesurfing in Japan is at the Sawanobori National Park. Here, climbers can learn about the various techniques used in the sport, including stream climbing and landing on water.
Fly tying is another exciting way to get a breath of fresh air while visiting one of the wonderful waterfalls in Japan. Here, the water is so shallow that fly tying is possible. Clients can rent wetsuits climbers and take part in the sport. Clients need to bring their own equipment including ropes and a fishing rod. This sport involves knotting and the ability to tie knots.
Jet skiing and other water sports are not only enjoyed by the locals but tourists as well. Jet skis can be rented at many of the popular canyons in the area and travelers can also climb the numerous waterfalls in the area. For those who like to experience the serenity of the outdoors, canyoning is the sport for them. Clients need to wear all the correct clothing including shorts, socks and pants. They can choose to climb a single water fall or they can climb multiple waterfalls.
The third type of water sport, which is not related to sports activities is trekking. Trekking can be enjoyed by both novice and experienced tourists who go to Sawanobori on vacation. Clients can rent equipment such as backpacks, shoes, and tents. Clients can choose to climb a volcano or walk through a forest and they can also take a Jeep tour or ride a motorcycle.
One more thrilling activity to try out in Sawanobori is rock climbing. Rock climbing can be achieved in many different ways. Clients can climb the limestone cliffs or they can go to the nearby canyons to do rock climbing. Clients have to dress appropriately for the sport which includes waterproof clothes, warm clothing, sunglasses, gloves, and shoes. Clients need to prepare mentally before entering the game because their physical state might change during the game. There is also no guarantee of reaching the top of the waterfall if you don’t know how to use the climbing ropes.
Aside from waterfalls and rock climbing, another sport that is popular with tourists in Sawanobori is canyoning. Canyoning is basically when climbers rappel down a steep and slippery mountain stream. Clients have to follow instructions given by guides on where to place the handholds, where to place the safety harness, and where to place bolts. The streams are slippery enough so clients need to take extra care in order to not slip away. Aside from waterfalls and rock climbing, canyoning is also popular in other areas such as hiking and trekking.
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