There are just two rivers in Niigata prefecture where you can enjoy a guided whitewater rafting trip, and one is right here in Shitada. Local rafting guide IRC Rafting brings groups of paddlers down the Igarashi River on exciting—but very safe—rafting adventures. Experience is not necessary; paddlers of almost all ages and fitness levels can join. Tours are available from spring through autumn. Reservations can be made in Japanese at 0256-53-8000. Take a look at IRC’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ikarashigawa/
From mid-April to late September, Shitada’s clear, rolling Igarashi River is the site for river rafting—one of the only places possible in all of Niigata. There’s lots of excitement in bouncing along the rapids, but this is also a safe, carefully-guided experience that’s great for beginners and children as well. After the thrilling, roller-coaster-like sections are gentle, leisurely-flowing parts of the river where you can really take in the natural beauty of Shitada. Enjoy the thrills then simply chill under the big Shitada sky.
This convenient, woody building right on the Igarashi River is the base for rafting activities. It also provides accommodations, and facilities for advanced paddlers.
Whether a pleasant cruise through the fields on one of the town’s e-bikes (rentals available), or long-distance road touring through the distinctive rural landscapes and beautiful mountains, Shitada is great on two wheels.
There are tons of trails to enjoy in the area, even up to the top of the landmark Yagigahana rock. The spring Mt. Awa Skyrace, with snow still on the trail, is one of the most distinctive competitive trail runs in all of Japan.