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White Water Rafting in Asahi Town


Hi everyone! It is Jess here. I’m a Coordinator for International Relations at Yamagata Prefectural Government. I work with Kato-san in the International Human Resources Division. I came to Yamagata Prefecture in April 2022, so I am still learning the ropes and getting used to living in Japan.

I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a thrill-seeker, but recently I found myself craving a little bit of excitement. Life in Yamagata is so easy-going and effortless, sometimes it feels like I am floating through the days here enclosed in my own warm little bubble. So, last week I decided to break that leisurely pace, and do something a little crazy.

Asahi Town (although to call it a town is a bit of a stretch) is around a 40 minute drive from Yamagata City, and despite its tiny population of 7000 residents, it’s absolutely overflowing with things to do. The challenge that my friends and I decided to undertake this time around was white water rafting at Rustica Outdoors.

Initially, I was a little anxious as I’m not the strongest swimmer, but our lovely instructor Nobu soon put my mind at ease. We sailed for hours down the river, playing games, swimming, and even diving off tall rocks into the river.

Overall, we all had a total blast, and I could not recommend this experience enough! The weather was absolutely perfect, warm enough that the water was only slightly chilly, and the sun was warm on our backs as we fought against the current. Furthermore, not only was the rafting itself incredibly exhilarating- after we had had our fun, we were provided tickets to a local hot spring, Ringo no Onsen. It was totally unexpected, but without a doubt a welcome surprise. We soothed our sore muscles, and felt the minerals soaking into our skin, rejuvenating us after a long and exciting day.

Sitting in the onsen, I thought about the power of water. How it can be so fast, so powerful, a few centimeters enough to carry a boat filled with people at breakneck speed. But then, surrounding me in the hot spring, it felt stiller than the air above it. I feel that Yamagata brings out these kinds of thoughts in me a lot. It is truly a special place, and I have been treasuring every second of my time here. I hope that you all experience Yamagata for yourself one day!




朝日町は山形市から車で40分ほどの場所にあり、人口は7000人程の小さな町ですが、やることはたくさんあります。今回、友人たちと一緒に挑戦することにしたのは、朝日町のRustica Outdoors での急流ラフティングでした。




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