taizako canyon-oita-river-trekking-bridge

River Trekking in Taizako Canyon, Oita

Last summer I went on a delightful outdoor adventure in Bungoo, Oita. The activity this time wasn’t bike riding or mountain climbing, but rather, river trekking on the Okudake River!

Continue reading to see what this trip with High Five Outside was like!

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We started the morning early, well before the sun was up.

The drive from Hakata Station to the canyon was supposed to take just over three hours, but with a few rest stops and needing to reroute due to closed roads, the trip took a while longer.

Finally, our group arrived at Kawasemi Park, sleepy from the drive, but excited to start the river adventure.

Before heading out, we suited up in safety lifejackets and helmets. We also wore shoes with grippy bottoms to prevent sliding on the rocks.

Since parts of the journey were expected to be too deep to walk across, we carried dry bags for our valuables and snacks. I was a bit nervous about bringing my nice camera, but the Unigear dry bag I got proved to be reliable, and I was glad to be able to capture the stunning scenery of the trip.

Even though it was mid-August, the river water was cool and refreshing to walk in.

The trek was relatively flat with a few rocks here and there to scramble over. Two spots along the journey were deep enough to enjoy a full-body dip.

The water was high and fast at some of the crossings so we held hands and braced each other as we crossed.

The way the light reflected off the river was mesmerizing. It felt like being in the middle of a movie!

The canyon was formed over 90,000 years ago following eruptions from Mt. Aso. The pyroclastic flow from the eruptions covered the river, and in the thousands of years that followed, the canyon was carved out little by little. Today, remarkable views of the river surrounded by towering rock walls can be enjoyed.

After a few hours of walking, we made it to the end. What a trip! I was exhausted and excited to change out of my wet shoes.

Afterward, our group headed to the lodge, Lamp Bungoohno to relax and enjoy a BBQ dinner.

The space was a renovated school that had a spacious tatami room for our large group. There were also bunk-style beds for smaller parties in a different room. The bath was small but felt great to soak in.

Being in the middle of nowhere, I was surprised by how many other guests were at the place. It was a good place to stay overnight though, so I recommend it to those traveling in the area.

Before returning to Hakata, we visited the nearby scenic spot, Harajiri Falls for a view of the arc-shaped waterfall and wooden suspension bridge. We also had a quick ice cream break at the snack stall inside.

It was a successful trip and I had a great time exploring another one of Kyushu’s lesser-known nature spots. Looking forward to the next adventure!

Want to read more about other adventures in Kyushu? Check out these posts!

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