Moriyama City held its 33rd annual Yasugawa Adventure Tournament on June 29, 2014. I did not know about the event, but as I was cycling down Yasugawa in the morning I saw dozens of hand-built rafts slowly floating down the river from just above the Shiga Route 48 bridge to a few hundred meters below the Japan Route 477 bridge.

The Moriyama City Fire Department monitored the event, but one of the volunteers, a man about my age, told me that they didn’t have much to do. He’d been worried as it had rained the previous night. The river can grow dramatically after a heavy rain, but today it was very shallow for this season.

The current was very slow. People walking along the riverbank easily kept pace with the rafts. Many of the people on the rafts were paddling, a few were rowing, and some were pushing their rafts as they waded. I heard a lot of talking and laughter, but near the finish line the participants looked pretty tired. About a dozen people were watching from the Japan Route 477 bridge, sometimes waving and shouting encouragement to those who were floating down the river below.

After I got home I found an announcement of the event. It shows the starting point on an embedded map: 第33回野洲川冒険大会~いかだくだり~参加者募集~-新庄大橋上流スタート-.

Published by Greg Peterson

Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Notre Dame University (1977-2020). Since 1980 I have lived in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, where I enjoy outdoor activities, especially photography, hiking, and cycling.

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