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Learn about a river’s life

by Eriko Arita

Classes in canoeing, fishing and other outdoor activities will be held in Ibaraki Prefecture May 29 and 30. Kawa asobi kyoshitsu (Class for playing on a river) is organized by canoeist Tomosuke Noda, who has written many books about his experiences canoeing on rivers around the world.

In order to conserve rivers or restore them to health, Noda believes it is important that more people have a chance to enjoy them and learn about their wildlife and ecology. With that aim, he first organized this annual event in Ibaraki last year, for both adults and children.

During the classes, on the Kuji River in the town of Daigomachi, participants will be able to canoe and fish — and also learn how to make smoked fish and cook chicken in a Dutch oven, and take part in a handicrafts workshop using bamboo from the riverside. In the evening, Noda will give a talk and also play harmonica.

People who join the two-day event — participation fee, ¥2,500 for adults, ¥1,500 for high school students and free for younger children — can stay in their own tents at the campsite near the river, or share rooms in bungalows at the campsite. Accommodation costs ¥1,200 per person to stay in a tent, or ¥2,000 for those in bungalows. Some of the programs cost a few hundred extra yen.

The campsite, named Camp Mura Yanase, is 36 km along R118 from the Naka Interchange on the Joban Expressway. By train, take the JR Suigun Line from JR Mito Station (an hour to Kamiogawa Station). The campsite is a 12-min. walk from the station. The event is from 1 p.m. on May 29 until 2 p.m. on May 30. For more details, visit kawa-asobi.com/ or call (03) 5281-0062.