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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Rediscovering the charms of the Niyodo River! Shown to us by Mr. Yamaoka, an Ino Town Tourism Association volunteer

Kochi City Hall CIR Marisa

How to make the most of summertime nature, the Kochi way!
   Like last year, summer has come early to Kochi! Unlike my home country of Indonesia, Japan has four seasons, and the celebration of these seasons is an integral part of Japanese culture, with different things to look forward to as each one approaches. The ideal way to spend one’s summer is relaxing by the sea. However the situation is slightly different in Kochi, which is full of rich and beautiful nature. Of course relaxing by the sea here is equally as enjoyable as relaxing by the river, and in Ino Town there is the famous "Niyodo Blue" at the upper reaches of the Niyodo River, which of course is a beautiful attraction. But this time I would like to tell you about a different aspect of the river’s charm.
Receiving an explanation about the Niyodo River from our guide Mr. Yamaoka.

Stones glistening in the sun.
The alluring stones of the Niyodo River
   I think that most people who go to the Niyodo River are not really aware of the stones there. I also had never really noticed them. I thought that the stones were typical of most rivers and could be found anywhere. However, today, I found out that these stones have travelled downstream from the upper reaches of the Niyodo River across a period of 120 million years! Our guide was Mr. Yamaoka from the the Ino Town Tourism Association. He told us that the length of the Niyodo River from the headwaters to downstream is approximately 124 km, and the stones carried from the headwaters gather in Hakawa. The gathered stones have a variety of colors, shapes and patterns each with their own special features. However it’s hard to see the colors and patterns of the stones once they’ve dried, and so unfortunately their beauty goes unnoticed by many people who visit and just ignore them. Actually if you wet the stones they sparkle like treasure, and surprise you with their beauty. The shape of each stone has changed as they’ve bumped against other stones and their colors have also changed over time. One can only imagine the transition that they underwent to get the color and shape they have now, and how long it took them to travel from the headwaters to downstream.
Mr, Yamaoka, an Ino Town Tourism Association Volunteer.
Making our device for catching gori.
 
You can also go fishing!
   Aside from learning about stones, you can also go fishing in the river. On the day that we went we caught gori (freshwater goby). All you need to do is prepare a hook and string, and use stones from the river! For the bait you can use aquatic insect larvae, which hide under the stones. We were taught this method by Mr. Yamaoka. I was surprised to find out that we could do basic fishing using things found in the river. Anyone can do this activity, and it is perfect for families to bring children along to.
   "The Niyodo River isn’t just the beautiful and clear water, it’s also the greenery that surrounds it and the many colours and patterns on its stones which all combine to create a beautiful landscape." These words from Mr. Yamaoka left a strong impression on me, and I felt like I had discovered a new
aspect of the river’s charm. The beautiful scenery was calming and I felt like I could stay there forever.
We caught one!
Gori!
 

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