The Niyodo River is one of the three major rivers of Shikoku, which also include the Shimanto and Yoshino Rivers. It rises in the mountains of central Shikoku in Ehime, where it’s called the Omogo River. It runs southeastward through Kōchi and flows into the Pacific at Tosa city. There are many things to see and do along the river.
This long river is known as one of the purest and clearest in Japan, and its clean water gives it a beautiful turquoise blue colour. The local people take care to ensure that it stays this way. Its colour is attributed to the lime-rich geology of Mt. Ishizuchi where the Niyodo River rises, which filters out organic matter, leaving the water highly transparent.
One of the evocative sights along the Niyodogawa are the ‘chinkabashi’, simple, flat-topped concrete bridges without balustrades, built at riverbank level. These are fully submerged when the river is in full spate, and their small profile is designed to enable the bridge to withstand any amount of floodwater. Warnings are painted on them urging you not to jump off into the river. These signs conveniently indicate the best places for jumping. If you do jump, be sure to prepare adequately for the shock of plunging into cold water. People die every year, mostly from heart attacks.
The quiet roads beside the Niyodo River are ideal for cycling, and at the Qraud facility beside the river, you can hire bicycles. You can also hire canoes and rafts for a trip down the river itself. Along the river there are pleasant eateries serving local food and sake.
Significant waves form at the mouth of the river where it flows into the Pacific Ocean, and this spot is popular with surfers year round. A long bridge crosses the river at its mouth. From December to March of the following year, huts are set up around the river mouth for eel fishing. The huts are used for the work of sorting the small eels from other fish.
Name in Japanese: 仁淀川
Address: Niyodo River, Kochi Prefecture