Take this full day private car tour of the Niyoda River area in Kochi - enjoy the clearest water in Japan!
The Niyodo River in Kochi is known for having the clearest water in all of Japan. It sparkles a stunning aquamarine on sunny days, enticing onlookers to want to swim in its crystal clear shimmering water. The peculiar blue of the water is known as "Niyodo blue", a term coined by nature photographer Nobuyuki Takahashi. The Niyodo area is popular with locals for bathing, fishing, boating, picnicing and camping. On this tour you will see a side of Japan that is completely different from the fast-paced, modern and grey world of Tokyo – you will see Japan’s nature at its very best.
① Hotel in Kochi city（9:00)
Meet the guide in the hotel lobby.
② Ino paper museum（9:25-10:25）
Ino-cho Paper Museum opened in 1985 with the purpose of promoting “Tosa Washi”, , a type of washi paper which has a history dating back over 1000 years and is highly valued for its thin yet durable nature. In fact, it is the thinnest and most finely made washi paper in the world. To make the most intricate patterns of 0.03mm thickness, it takes great skill. At the museum you can learn about the history and culture of washi, its raw materials and its tools. There are Washi making demonstrations where you can see how it is made, and you can even try making a simple craft like a postcard or a coaster.
③ Nakatsu George（11:15-12:15）
Nakatsu Gorge was formed over 300 million years ago as a result of the shifting tectonic plates and is regarded as a power spot in Shintoism. You will hike 2.3km along the gorge, with the pristine Niyodo blue water flowing peacefully alongside you. Along the way try spot all seven of the statues dedicated to the “Seven Gods of Fortune” – one of them is tricky! At the end of the trail the sun disappears and you enter a cool, misty area which feels almost magical. You will be looking out into a thundering waterfall - Uryu-no-Taki. At 20m high, there is a rope hanging above the falls — a mark of hallowed grounds in Shinto tradition. The rope is a divider between the sacred space where gods are enshrined and our world, the outside world.
④ Lunch at Yuno Mori（12:20-13:10）
At "Yunomori", which is right next to the Nakatsu Valley in the upper reaches of the Niyodo River, you can enjoy a Japanese-style lunch using authentic local ingredients. The Yunomori Bento is a particularly popular dish - it uses abundant vegetables all grown in the area using the water of the Niyodo River.
⑤ Blue Brew （13:20-13:50）
The owners of this recently opened craft beer facility learned their craft in the United States before moving to Kochi and deciding to brew their own beer using the delicious and fresh water of Niyodogawa Town. It is a unique craft beer retreat where you can sip on a cool craft beer while soaking in the view of the pristine Shikoku mountains and the Niyodo River.
⑥ Sawatari Green Tea Plantation（14:25-14:45）
Did you know that Kochi is full of green tea plantations? Some of them dot the mountainside in seemingly impossible places, houses nearby perilously balanced on the hillside. You will have the chance to take a walk around this green tea plantation which has a stunning view out onto the Niyodo River. The green tea hedges contrast stunningly with the blue water, making for the perfect photo! Hear about what life is like on a green tea plantation and learn how the tea is grown.
⑦ Cafe Asunaro（15:00-15:35）
This cafe and restaurant is part of the tea plantation, allowing visitors a wonderful view of the river while they rest. The café is run by Noriaki Kishimoto, a local tea farmer who wanted to expand Sawatari by bringing green tea to life through an assortment of dishes. All dishes use the Sawatari local green tea. You will outdoors on the terrace. Choices range from their popular green tea udon to the subtly sweet green tea waffles.
⑧ Hotel in Kochi city（17:00）
Return to your hotel.
・Explore the Niyodo River area in a private car with your English speaking guide
・Marvel at the shockingly blue water of the clearest river in Japan
・See a local green tea plantation and learn about how they grow the tea
・Try local craft beer made from the Niyodo blue water
・Try your hand at making traditional washi paper at the Ino Paper Museum
・The whole tour will be conducted by private car
・The tour is operated on Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun
・Please contact us if you have a larger group and we can arrange multiple cars
This price is per group (car), not per person.
|8 hours (approx.)
|Hours of availability
9:00am - 17:00pm
・Food and drink
Your hotel in Kochi City
H. Sapochak（The United state of America）★★★★
A good way to spend the day outside in Kochi
Thematically this is a great tour and it affords you the chance to see the nature that Kochi can offer visitors. Even while driving to each location you are able to enjoy the views of small farms and villages-it is all very quaint and lovely. Exploring the Nakatsu gorge is also a very lovely experience. I would recommend this for sure.
This day tour was a great way to take in the scenery of the mountains and the Niyodo river. The river is crystal clear and the hike takes you right into the heart of the gorge. The drive through the tea plantations is high up in the mountains is stunning. This area is famous for it's tea so make sure to bring some home with you. We also stopped at beer brewery which was very unique and we did a tasting of different flavors. The tour guide was very informative and lots of local knowledge about the history of the area and had many interesting stories from history.
See a lot in a short amount of time
This tour is great for those that want to get out of the city and into the countryside which for me, is where the real heart and soul of Japan is. It's a great tour for a group of people that contain a few generations. The paper museum surprised me the most. Who would have thought paper could be so interesting. The Gorge we went to was like entering another world. It was so beautiful. The water is just so blue. I would love to return in summer and at the very least put my feet in it. Green tea isn't really my thing but we were taken to a gorgeous location and given a bit of the history of why Kochi is a secret spot for high quality green tea. We went on a windy day so we sat inside as we ate our ridiculously delicious waffles at the green tea restaurant. Sitting outside would also be so beautiful. The teahouse overlooks the Niyodo river and a beautiful valley. Having a private driver and tour guide made this experience SO stress-free and of course it meant we could all indulge in a little tasting at Blue Brew Beer Brewery. This is in the middle of nowhere and possibly impossible to find if doing a self-drive trip. It's like a secret gem that only the locals know of. I'm so glad we stopped here.