A little context from C&K‘s 2011 issue of Whitewater, now available on newsstands: “Lowdown: Cody Howard and company return for unfinished business from 2009's The Risen Sun, hoping to knock off some firsts near Minikami, north-central Japan's creekboating hub, as well as help the local paddling community's rebuilding efforts following the devastating March earthquake and tsunami.”


Photos By Darin McQuoid


“The team is finishing up our trip here in Japan, but savoring every last minute. The end of our adventure has brought a culmination to everything we have seen thus far in this breathtaking country. The Zacaragawa, with its committing canyons, countless waterfalls and a first-D 50-plus-footer to end the run, was a definite highlight. This creek boasts astounding bedrock, crystal-clear waters and plenty of opportunity to go as big as you want. After a long day on the Zacaragawa, rappelling in and out of the canyon, the team took off at dusk and headed back to Numata to regroup. To conclude the trip in true style, the team rallied back south to the bedrock waterfalls of Yamanashi Canyon—a steep 4-km hike up to the put-in and starts out with a bang. The opening set consists of four committing, beautiful waterfalls ranging from 10-40 feet. This amazing canyon hosts beautiful gin-clear water with a perfect hiking/scouting trail dug right into its lush granite walls.

From there, we rallied to Tokyo to soak in some culture, and party. The last days of our trip have been dedicated to checking out the sites and sounds of Tokyo, weaving through the massive crowds in the downtown districts. The city’s metropolitan area is the densest in the world, and it quickly becomes apparent—especially after weeks of exploring the countryside and mountains of Japan. Our group has walked away from this experience humbled by the generosity, compassion, and amazing whitewater Japan has to offer.”

Click to read Part I, and Part II