[Activity] River Trekking! Refreshing great nature during hot summer
It’s been hot every day, and many of you might be thinking that you want to go out, but you’re tired of hot places.
“I want to enjoy the great nature of Yamagata in the summer and make the best memories! And I want to stay cool and comfortable!”
This time, I heard that there is a place in Oe Town where such a wish can be fulfilled, so I participated in the special summer project of Oe-cho Yamazato Koryukan Yamasabe!
1. Oecho Yamazato Koryukan Yamasabe River Trekking
Oe-cho Yamazato Koryukan Yamasabe is a lodging-style nature and cultural experience facility that was renovated from an abandoned school building.
Through contact with the seasonal nature of Oe Town, they offer valuable experiences that cannot be learned in school classes.
The river trekking introduced this time is the most popular activity available from Yamasabe.
It is a water activity where you can enjoy the charms of a river by walking, swimming, and sometimes jumping in the river with a nature guide who knows the nature of Oe Town.
All full-fledged equipment such as wet suits are available for rent, so anyone can safely and easily enjoy swimming in the river.
The road to Yamasabe
Yamasabe is about 30 minutes by car from the Sagae SA Smart IC on the Yamagata Expressway.
If you use public transportation, it is convenient to use the town bus from the JR Aterazawa Station.
On the way to Yamasabe by car, I found a carved kingfisher on the bridge!
In addition to the kingfisher, other creatures that can be seen in Oe Town, such as carvings of fireflies and salmon, will welcome you one after another.
When you see the signboard, you’re almost to Yamasabe!
We arrived at the parking lot.
The spacious parking lot is safe for use for parties and club activities.
This is the building.
Let’s go inside!
The inside is so well-maintained that it’s hard to believe that the school was closed, and it’s very clean.
Registration will take place at the gym. Let’s play and wait until it’s time.
The children are full of energy, running and playing basketball!
Now, the river trekking starts here!
2. River trekking activity
First of all, the instructor will explain today’s flow and precautions to take.
② Change clothes
After listening to the explanation, move to the changing rooms and change into wetsuits.
If you don’t have a swimsuit to wear under your wetsuit, you can use a T-shirt and shorts.
I wore quick-drying underwear, a T-shirt, and shorts inside, but my body didn’t get cold during the trek and I was comfortable until the end.
In addition, wetsuits adhere closely to the body and emphasize the shape of the body, so if you are concerned about it, it is safe to prepare half pants that you can wear over the top.
Put on marine boots and marine gloves and gather at the front entrance.
③ Wear a life jacket
Before departure, there will be a lecture on how to wear a life jacket correctly.
A life jacket is an essential item for safe river swimming.
The instructor will check yours carefully so that it will not come off on the way.
④ Let’s go on an adventure!
It’s finally time to start river trekking.
Go to the Tsukinuno River, which flows right below the facility!
⑤ Arrive at Tsukinuno River
First of all, in order to get your body accustomed to the coldness of the water, play with water!
It feels good to be cold!
The water is cool enough to feel comfortable, and your body will soon get used to it.
Swim, jump into the river, and have fun even though it’s still the starting point!
In river trekking, there are several points where you can meet up with your companions, including the starting point.
Families with small children can enjoy it with the whole family!
⑥ Walk, swim and advance in the river!
Once you’ve had enough fun and got used to the water, head to the upper reaches of the river and the adventure begins!
I’m wearing marine boots, so I don’t slip even on rugged rocks.
Everyone walks and swims without losing to the flow of the river.
For adult girls like me who don’t get enough exercise on a daily basis and feel like they’re going to lose to the current, don’t worry.
Let’s walk along the riverbank here and there.
⑦ Diving experience at the natural poolside
We arrived at a spot with deep water.
Let’s jump into the river and have fun!
Big jump for the whole family!
It’s a place that can be seen well by attendants, so you can perfectly capture the moment of jumping in.
Both adults and children were jumping in one after another while showing off their poses!
⑧ Relax your body and mind in the natural flowing pool
When you get tired of playing, why not take a break by floating on the surface of the water?
The river trekking course also has spots where you can relax like a flowing pool.
Lie on your back and let go of your strength, and leave your body in the Tsukinuno River.
At this spot, if you let yourself go with the flow of the river, you will naturally reach the shore.
The power of nature is amazing.
I don’t think about anything extra, I float and look up at the sky.
The blue sky, the sound of the river flowing, the chirping of birds, and everyone’s happy laughter.
You can relax your body and mind, and you can’t help but think, “Oh, I’m glad I came for river trekking.”
⑨ Dive from the big jumping platform!
The fun river trekking finally takes us to the last spot.
With attendants watching, the big jump competition, which can be said to be the main event of the day, begins.
I can’t swim, but if you come this far! I decided to take courage and jump in.
When you go up to the shore, it’s scary after all!
Encouraged by the other participants, “If you imagine yourself flying far away, you’ll be fine!”
Boom! The moment I made a noise and jumped into the river, my vision and mind were completely blank!
Since you are wearing a life jacket, you will immediately rise to the surface of the water even if you jump in, and the water flow will carry you to the place where your feet can touch ground.
It was like going back to playing in the pool when I was in elementary school.
All the participants are showing the most exceptional smiles of the day.
⑩ River trekking ended! It was fun!
Fun time will come soon.
It was a wonderful experience to feel the summer of Yamagata with my whole body.
Your head and heart will feel refreshed, as if all the stress and fatigue of the day has been washed away!
Here, we asked the participants who had just experienced the experience to talk about it.
“Today was my first time doing river trekking.
It was a little scary at first, but the big jump at the end was the most fun! I want to come again~”
The whole family told me with a very nice smile.
⑪Refreshing with a shower and a bath ♪ Thank you for your hard work!
When you return to the facility, take off your wetsuit and wash your body.
Yamasabe also has a bath area, which is a great thing.
From the person who took a shower, we finished accounting at the gymnasium and flowed and dissolved.
Thank you for your hard work!
Some of them are energetic children who go home after playing one more time in the gymnasium!
I’m sure it will be good in the car on the way home ♪
3. Message to VISIT YAMAGATA viewers
Finally, we received a message from Mr. Ryuma Sasaki, director of Yamasabe.
“At Yamasabe, with the motto, ‘Adults and children can really enjoy it,’ we have prepared various experiences according to the season, such as river trekking and night walks in the summer, and snow water slides and snowshoes trekking in the winter. Let’s just enjoy nature together!”
You can also stay overnight, so you can enjoy the luxurious experience of river trekking during the day and night walks at night, observing creatures and enjoying the great nature of Oe Town.
Adult river trekking can be done until the end of October.
It’s perfect for hot summer days, but the wetsuit has excellent heat retention, so it’s an activity that can be enjoyed even on slightly chilly days.
You can apply from two people, so how about a special nature experience with your family and friends?