—A little context from “Anatomy of Money Shot,” running in 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. Money Shot: Kilyotsu Canyon. "It's about as remote as Japan gets with a 10-mile run that you have to time perfect to get under these massive ice bridges, about 100 meters of Class IV under ice. All my notes say is: 'Two must-runs, one portage, another must-run, huge landslide and then a 20-footer.'"
Canoekayak.com will be periodically running more updates and stories from this expedition East. — Eds.
“Our crew has just touched down in Tokyo, Japan. We have been getting some heavy rains and are starting to formulate our plan of attack over here. Our local friend, Yoshihiro Takahashi owner of Spirit Kayak Shop, has been kind enough to not only let us use his van, but has set us up at the Free Wave kayak house for these first few days. Today we drove an hour southeast of Tokyo to the Otaki Slide. This was the first drop I hit on my last trip here and it was a blast starting out the trip in the same fashion. The slide was low despite all the rain we have been getting here but was still a great day of park-n-huckin. The Otaki Slide is located in the Chiba prefecture, it’s about 80 feet long, and nothing but good times. The team (Cody Howard, Shon Bollock, Darin McQuoid, Ryan Knight, Nick Calderone, Brandi Suppi) is heading North tomorrow in search of snowmelt and more of the immense beauty Japan has to offer. Keep posted here at Canoe & Kayak for all the up to date news on the Japan trip—much more to come.” — Cody Howard