Glide across the crystal-clear waters of Azumino
In Matsumoto's neighboring city, Azumino, you can go rafting on the pristine waters that flow through the area. My half-day tour (the one-hour short course) with Wonder Egg took me along the Yorozuigawa River to the Saigawa River. We stopped off at places like the Daio Wasabi Farm and were able to walk along the banks of the river a bit during our break.
The instructor was an easy-going guy with rafting experience both in Japan and abroad. He knew rafting inside and out and was especially knowledgeable about the surrounding area. He carefully went over the steps of our journey and offered elaborate safety demonstrations. He was kind enough to prepare something cold to drink along with local fruit and salted potatoes (surprisingly satisfying after the morning’s rowing). He also prepares items from his garden when they’re available.
If you want to see more of the Nagano Outdoors, but can’t make it to places like Hakuba, or if you’re looking for a more laid-back rafting experience, this is the ideal way to spend time on the water. If you like, you can even bring your dog along with you!
The closest station to Wonder Egg is Hakuyacho, and they will even come pick you up. You can also get off at Hotaka Station and make your way over to the base camp by rental bicycle.