Maximum Whitewater Thrills in Two Canyons, Wild Geological Formations, and Onsen
Oboke and Koboke are narrow canyons located near the edge of the Iya Valley in the mountains of Tokushima, a prefecture in Shikoku, japan‘s smallest main island. These canyons offer maximum whitewater thrills, stunning geological formations, and the opportunity to relax in natural hot springs. The Yoshino River that runs through the valley is a prime location for whitewater rafting, canyoning, and kayaking. For those who prefer a more leisurely experience, there are sightseeing boat cruises and a scenic train ride. Additionally, the area is home to museums dedicated to gems and mythical creatures, adding an element of intrigue and wonder to the adventure.
The upper bounds of the Yoshino River
The Yoshino River is Tokushima’s largest river and flows across many of the island’s prefectures from west to east. As you follow the river upstream, you will encounter the awe-inspiring V-shaped gorges of Oboke and Koboke. These areas are not only known for their natural beauty but also for being home to a variety of wildlife, including wild deer, monkeys, and boar.
Taking dangerous steps big and small
The landscape surrounding Oboke and Koboke is characterized by steep mountainsides, which is the inspiration behind the names of the canyons. Oboke means “big dangerous steps,” while Koboke means “small dangerous steps.” These names reflect the sheer slopes and narrow paths that can be challenging to navigate. However, the thrilling experiences that await in these canyons make the journey well worth it.
A paradise for outdoor adventurers
Oboke and Koboke have become a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. The canyons offer a wide range of adventurous activities, including whitewater rafting, canyoning, and river kayaking. The rugged terrain and powerful river rapids create the perfect conditions for these adrenaline-pumping experiences. Whether you are a seasoned adventurer or a beginner looking for an exciting challenge, Oboke and Koboke have something to offer.
World-class whitewater rafting
Oboke Canyon, with its narrow and rocky terrain, provides the ideal setting for whitewater rafting. The powerful water flow and significant drop-offs make it one of Japan’s premier destinations for this exhilarating activity. In fact, the World Rafting Championship was held here in 2017, further solidifying Oboke’s reputation as a world-class rafting location. There are options for both full-day and half-day rafting trips, catering to different skill levels and preferences.
Peaceful river cruising
For those who prefer a more tranquil experience, the Oboke Sightseeing Boat Cruise offers a peaceful 30-minute ride through the gorge. The small tour boat takes you along the river, allowing you to soak in the breathtaking scenery. Each season offers its own unique beauty, from snow-capped mountains in the winter to cherry blossoms in the spring and vibrant foliage in the fall. This leisurely cruise is a perfect way to appreciate the natural wonders of the canyons.
Get off to a rocky—or spooky—start
Before embarking on your outdoor adventures, make sure to stop at the Lapis Oboke rest area. This facility houses both a gem museum and a yokai museum. The yokai museum introduces visitors to the fascinating ghosts and mythical creatures of Japanese folklore. It’s an opportunity to dive into the rich cultural heritage of the region. The gem museum showcases rocks and gemstones from the area and around the world, providing insight into the unique geological strata of the Oboke Canyon. The rest area also includes a tourist information center, a cafe, a free foot bath, and shops, making it an ideal place to relax and rejuvenate before or after your outdoor activities.
Gateway to the Iya Valley
Oboke also serves as a gateway to the Iya Valley, one of Japan’s most remote and picturesque regions. The valley is known for its unusual vine bridges, centuries-old thatched-roof farmhouses, and breathtaking mountain scenery. A visit to the Iya Valley can be seamlessly combined with your trip to Oboke and Koboke, offering a diverse range of experiences within the same region. To enhance your mountain retreat, consider a visit to the Oboke Iya Hot Spring Village, where you can indulge in a relaxing soak in natural hot springs surrounded by nature.
How to Get There
Getting to Oboke and Koboke is relatively straightforward. If you are traveling from Haneda Airport in Tokyo, it takes approximately one hour and 15 minutes to reach Tokushima Airport. From there, you can take a 30-minute bus ride to Tokushima Station. From Tokushima Station, it takes approximately two hours and 10 minutes to reach Koboke and one hour and 50 minutes to reach Oboke on the JR Tokushima Dosan Line (limited express) via Awa Ikeda Station. There are also hourly limited express trains between Okayama and Kochi that stop at Oboke Station. If you prefer to travel by bus, you can reach Oboke in 40 minutes from Awa Ikeda Station, with four departures available daily.
In conclusion, Oboke and Koboke offer a thrilling and unforgettable adventure for outdoor enthusiasts. From the maximum whitewater thrills of the Yoshino River to the wild geological formations and the peacefulness of the Oboke Sightseeing Boat Cruise, there is something for everyone in this stunning natural paradise. Whether you are seeking an adrenaline rush or a tranquil escape, Oboke and Koboke are sure to exceed your expectations. So pack your bags, prepare for an adventure, and get ready to explore the wonders of these incredible canyons.
Address And Maps Location:
Nishiiyayama-mura, Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima-ken