Distance: 0km | ↓ GPX file
This is a two-day down-river trip, but I’m adding this extra day here because realistically, it took us the better part of a day getting from Sapporo to Pirika Dam, dropping the canoes off, getting the car to the end point, and busing back to the dam. I was impressed with the bus service from the Setana-kawajiri (瀬棚川尻) bus stop (here), there were buses heading for the dam at 5:47am, 6:21am, 7:53am, 9:31am, 11:35am, 2:24pm, 4:07pm, and 6:34pm. Important: you need to tell the driver you want to go to Pirika Onsen. If you don’t the bus won’t go there, as it is a bit of a detour.
Blog post: 2019 Shiribeshi-Toshibetsu River – Day 1
Accommodation: Pirika Dam Park (ピリカダム公園)
Onsen: Pirika Onsen (ピリカ温泉) | 400yen | 1.3km from accommodation
Distance: 19.5km | Gradient: 2.8mpk (14.78 FPM) | ↓ GPX file
In the blog post, I describe amazing pristine water, discussions with gold panners, some exciting swifts, a capsize, and unexpected weirs. All in all an exciting and at times very taxing first day on the water. We took a gamble today and opted to put in just below the Pirika Dam. This was a gamble because a few old guidebooks said there is very little water for 5km between the dam and the hydro outlet. As those guidebook promised, there was very little water. We spent five hours to cover 5km. Unless the dam is releasing more than 15m³/s, we’d recommend putting in at the Hanaishi Bridge instead.
Blog post: 2019 Shiribeshi-Toshibetsu River – Day 2
Accommodation: Nakasato Weir (中里頭首工)
Distance: 32km | Gradient: 1.4mpk (7.39 FPM) | ↓ GPX file
Today we made it to the sea. Immense bird life, a portage around a weir, some lining of shallow swifts, and an early retirement for one half of our entourage. Overall, we still suffered the effects of low water levels, but the final section below Imakane Town was really quite spectacular for its rich bird life.
Blog post: 2019 Shiribeshi-Toshibetsu River – Day 3
Onsen: Kitahiyama Onsen (北檜山温泉) | 450yen