The Shimanto River (四万十川, Shimanto-gawa) is the premier river in Kochi Prefecture. The 196-kilometer journey it winds on from the western Shikoku mountains to the Pacific Ocean is the longest of any river in Shikoku, and its catchment area of 2270km2 is the second largest in Japan. Renowned for being Japan’s last pristine river, it is common even to this day to witness fisherman using traditional methods not seen elsewhere to catch some 94 wild species of fish, the most of any river in Japan. To prevent being washed away during times of flood, bridges spanning the river from its headwaters to its mouth have no rail guards, serving as crossings for local residents and standing as charming features dotting the Shimanto River. Further downstream, watersports such as canoeing and kayaking can be enjoyed, while a tramcar or a tour boat is available to take in the surrounding landscape.
(沈下橋, Chinkabashi), just one type of bridge which crosses the Shimanto River
Possessing excellent purity of water and fresh streams, the Shimanto River has long been a prominent location in Japan for the practice of netting fish. Beyond being abundant in fish and seafood such as eel, prawn, trout, freshwater goby and crab, and being known as an important source of green laver production, the Shimanto River has sustained the livelihoods of many a local people and fisherman for centuries.
By public transportation
Take the Tosa Kuroshio Railway to Nakamura Station, or get off at Ekawasaki Station on the JR Shikoku Yodo Line.
Address: Shimanto City, Kochi Prefecture
Airport: Kochi Airport