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The Shimanto River is called the last clear river of Japan with its pure running waters and lush green natural environment. The river is the longest in Shikoku running 196 km and is left just the way it always has been with no artificial dams. The river is known for its remarkably high water quality and also as a famous place for river fishing with abundant amounts of fish like the Japanese ayu (sweetfish). One of the most intriguing attributes of the river are the 47 railing-less “chinka-bashi” bridges built throughout the Shimanto which become submerged during high floods. There are various activities to enjoy around the river like sightseeing cruises, tour buses, and a small trolley train.
- Nakamura, Shimanto-shi, Kochi
- Contact No.
- 7-minute walk from the Tosa Showa Station on the JR Yodo Line, or a 5-minute walk from the Tosa Taisho Station on the JR Yodo Line.
- Official Website
- Time Required
- Half a day
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
47 Chinka-Bashi (bridges) Spanning the Shimanto River
There are 47 chinka-bashi bridges that can found on the Shimanto River. In order to prevent floating away during high floods, these chinka-bashi bridges were built without railings. The classic view of the Shimanto River surely includes at least one of these bridges. The most famous of these scenes is the beautiful view from the riverside of the Iwama Chinka-bashi Bridge. One of the most popular bridges among travelers is the Sada Chinka-bashi Bridge which is the longest at just under 300m and is conveniently located close to town.
Hanbasen Cruise: Full Enjoyment while Relaxing on the Shimanto!
Enjoy a cruise towards the Sada Chinka-bashi Bridge on “senbasen” sailboats that were an indispensable part of life for the local people until around 1955. Along the way, land on sandbanks you wouldn't normally find and listen to the insightful guides for a cozy journey down the river.
One of the classic activities to be enjoyed on the Shimanto River is the canoe excursions. These are especially popular during spring and summer. No need to worry because there are even courses for beginners allowing anybody to get in touch with the river and feel refreshed! It’s also possible to take more serious canoe courses as well.
The Shimanto River is famed as the last clear river in Japan. Try floating atop the bumbling river and peek into the crystal clear waters with swimming goggles to see what’s going on underneath the surface. The river runs slowly allowing for many spots to jump in like the “Isaibara” which is popular among the local kids.