Go on a Fun Rafting Day Trip in Western Tokyo and Enjoy Japan's Unspoiled Nature (50% Coupon Available!)

Looking for outdoor activities in Tokyo? One option is white water rafting! Join a tour that'll take you to Ome in western Tokyo, where you can try out rafting while indulging in the grand nature of Tokyo. This tour is our top recommendation, as it accepts families with children, can be completed in less than half a day, and will let you indulge in barbecue afterwards! As a bonus, there's a 50% off discount for the first 20 people who book a tour through the link included below. Keep reading to learn more about how you can have a grand time outdoors in the metropolis of Tokyo!

Ome

Travel Tips

* This article was made in collaboration with Voyagin.

About Ome and the Tama River

Tokyo may be known as a concrete jungle filled with skyscrapers and futuristic technologies, but the Greater Tokyo Area is actually home to a plethora of nature. If you keep heading west from the city center, you'll eventually stumble upon several rural towns that line the banks of the Tama River, a major river that offers scenic nature views all throughout the year. One of these towns is Ome, roughly 90 minutes away by train from central Tokyo. 

Autumn brings about particularly beautiful sights thanks to the leaves turning golden, but the Tama River, the gorge that surrounds it, and the towns that line the river's banks are visited by people all throughout the year for various outdoor activities such as rafting, picnicking, and fishing. While you'll find mostly locals milling about, recent years have brought in many more foreign tourists looking to explore a different side to Tokyo.

Our Top Recommendation for Things to Do in the Ome Area

If you're looking for something a bit more adventurous while in Tokyo, we highly recommend the White Water Rafting Tour on the Tama River in Ome, Tokyo, run by the internationally acclaimed tour and experience provider Voyagin.

With this tour, even if you don't have a lot of time to spare, you can explore a long section of the gorgeous Tama River in just three hours with their friendly English-speaking guides. They will provide all the equipment you'll need, including life jackets, so even families with children (6 years or older) can easily participate! With an extra fee, you can even indulge in a BBQ feast afterwards!

Keep reading if you want to see what our experience was like! If you'd rather go straight into all the tour details and how to book it, this is what you need to know:

Tour Times: 9 am - 12 pm or 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm (there are also full day options, and it runs every day of the week between March to December)
Prices: From 7,300 yen for the half-day options, From 13,000 yen for the full day options
→ Plus 2,500 yen for a BBQ set that serves 4 people
Includes: Wetsuit, water shoes, helmet, life jacket, English-speaking guide*, lunch (only if you pick the full day option), insurance

*Even if you aren't fluent in English, you can still go on this tour. The guide will do their best to accommodate you!

**50% OFF FOR THE FIRST 20 PEOPLE THAT BOOK THROUGH TSUNAGU JAPAN**
(coupon code: tsunagurafting2019)

Start Off Your Journey at the Rafting Winds Base

We got picked up from the South Exit of Futamatao Station by the company in charge of actually conducting the tour, Rafting Winds. Their base of operations was just a 15-minute walk from the train station, and was decorated in a funky style that reminds one of a tropical resort.

All tour participants are required to wear safety gear like a wetsuit, helmet, and life jacket.

These are provided free of charge and come in a wide range of sizes, including ones that would fit children.

Tour participants can change into these wetsuits inside the provided changing rooms, which are separated by gender. These changing rooms have cubbies for you to store your clothing while you're out rafting.

The changing rooms also have lockers for any valuables you may have.

Experience a Dynamic Rafting Adventure

Before we got on the boat, we were taught the basics of rafting, including how to hold the paddle, how to row using the paddle, what to do in case someone goes overboard, and so on.

Once we actually got onto a boat, the guide made us test our newly acquired skills to ensure that we knew enough to safely paddle through the river. Even if you're a first-timer like two of us were, their detailed and easy-to-understand instructions made it easy to pick up and do!

While the gentle parts of the river were great for taking in the scenery, it was the rough, turbulent waters that really made it fun. Occasionally it felt like we would tip over, but timely instruction from the guide prevented that from happening.

All throughout the journey, we kept coming across gorgeous scene after scene, including views of traditional Japanese buildings through the dense forests.

Thanks to the rich ecosystem in the gorge, we also spotted the occasional fish swimming along the river with us.

We took a couple of breaks throughout the journey to play games like jumping on and sliding off the rafts we were riding. It's a lot trickier to do than it sounds!

Near the end, we even got to jump off a 4m cliff. Even if you're terrified of heights, we highly recommend you try it at least once. Contrary to how it may look, it doesn't hurt at all!

Right afterwards, we got the chance to ride a kayak until the end point of the journey. Even though you're riding through the same gorge, because of how low to the water the kayak is compared to the rubber raft, it'll feel like a completely new experience!

Take a Breather at the Base Before Heading Home

We went to go take a shower right after we got back. Luckily, they had two outdoor shower stalls - again, separated by gender - with giant crates for us to throw our wetsuit in.

Basic amenities like combs and a hair dryer were provided in the changing rooms, so dealing with our hair wasn't a big issue.

Once we finished changing and stepped outside into the resting area, we were shocked to find pictures that the guides took of us being displayed on a projector screen! These images can be downloaded online for free using the QR code on the name card they give you.

In the same corner, we found various trinkets from Nepal on sale. Many of the guides are Nepalese and will regale you with white water rafting and mountaineering tales in Nepal. Why not purchase one of them as a souvenir of your exciting trip?

If you're the type that likes to end a day of exercising and fun with a good, refreshing drink, Rafting Winds has got you covered. You can purchase a variety of drinks, including ice cold beer, so indulge in a drink or two! Alternatively, if you ordered the additional BBQ option, this is where you'll get to dig into it.

We were too tired to move, so we took the liberty of sprawling out around the resting area. There were plenty of wooden benches around, as well as a sturdy hammock to relax in.

While we got one of the tour guides to drive us back to the train station, you are expected to make your own way back there. There is a bus that can take you from right in front of the base to the train station. All you have to do is ask the guide for the schedule. Or, if you still have energy to walk, you can get to the station in 15 minutes!

Book Your Own Exciting Rafting Trip with Voyagin!

Get out of central Tokyo and head west! Even if you have only half a day to dedicate to a particular activity, you'll get to see a side to Tokyo that most people have never seen before. Unspoiled nature, clean air, friendly locals, and lots of fun in the water await you with this rafting tour!

Tour Times: 9 am - 12 pm or 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm (there are also full day options, and it runs every day of the week between March to December)
Prices: From 7,300 yen for the half-day options, From 13,000 yen for the full day options
→ Add 2,500 yen for a BBQ set that serves 4 people
Includes: Wetsuit, water shoes, helmet, life jacket, English-speaking guide*, lunch (only if you pick the full day option), insurance

**50% OFF FOR THE FIRST 20 PEOPLE THAT BOOK THROUGH TSUNAGU JAPAN**
(coupon code: tsunagurafting2019)

 

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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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