Image: FAQ

FAQ

I’ve never done rafting before. Can I join the rafting tour?

Of course you can. The tour is open to any first timers as well as those who have plenty of rafting experience. Before you get into the river, there will be detailed instructions given by the guides. These should cover the basics for paddling and all the necessary safety drills that are needed for the tour.

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Can I join the tour even though I can’t swim?

Any participants for river sports such as rafting or canyoning, will be equipped with life jackets. This means you should still be able to float along the river even if you cannot swim. In fact, there will be plenty of clients like you, who are not very competent at swimming. So no need to worry, and come and join the fun.

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If signing up as a group, can we ride on the same boat?

For those who book as a group, if possible, you should all be able to be arranged onto the same boat. However, in the case that the water is low, and there are a large number of participants in a group, we will sometimes need to separate the group into multiple boats. Even though being in separate boats, the same booking group will still be able to go onto the water at the same time.

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How many people can fit in a boat?

In most cases, a boat can take up to 6 or 7 passengers, which includes one guide. During the summer while the water level is low, we usually reduce the number of passengers on board in order to ensure smooth runs on the river. Therefore, depending on the river condition of the day, our guides will make adjustments and determine the maximum capacity of the passengers on board. Our goal is to provide the best river tour in Hokkaido, and great outdoor experience for our clients.

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Can I choose which river to raft on?

HOA runs rafting tours on several different rivers in Hokkaido. Such as the Saru River and the Mukawa River in Hidaka area, the Chubetu River in Asahikawa area, and the springtime only course on the Toyohira River in Sapporo area. Since these areas are all quite far apart, it will be useful to first decide which area you would like to go before you select the rivers.

The Saru River and Mukawa River are both in Hidaka area. If you specifically wish to go on one rather than the other, please let us know while you are booking your tour. Nevertheless, due to the water level of the river, there are cases that you may not be able to raft on the river of your desire. Usually we take you on the river with the better condition on the day. It usually will not go wrong, if you leave the decision to the river experts.

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In the case of rain, will the tour be cancelled?

For any river related activities such as rafting and canyonning, if the water level does not exceed the standard for tour cancellation, the tour will still be on despite the rain. As for bridge swing, in the case of small rain, it will still be carried out, so if needed, please prepare your own raincoat.

If the tour needs to be cancelled due to the weather or the water level, we will contact you before the activity. In this case, there won’t be a cancellation fee.

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In the case of tour cancellation due to bad weather, when will I be informed?

In the case of tour cancellation due to bad weather condition, or water level, if possible, we will try and inform you the day before the tour. However, in the case of extreme weather that causes the water level to change overnight, we will inform you early in the morning, on the day of the tour.

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Will I be able to use the bathroom during the tour?

Basically you won’t be able to use the bathroom once you leave the HOA base. The tour usually takes about 2 to 2.5 hours. So we recommend you to use the bathroom before you put on the gears and leave for the tour.

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With the dry suit on, will the inside clothing still get wet?

Despite the dry suit is made of waterproof material, depending on each individual’s size and the way you wear the suit, some water will still get in inevitably. Especially if you feel like to dove in to the river for a splash or take a swim in the river, you will 100% get wet. Therefore, please be sure to put on clothes that are light and easily dry underneath the dry suit.

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Can I use contact lenses during the tour?

There are risks to lose your contacts if you open your eyes in the water while swimming in the river or diving into the water. Therefore, HOA does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of contact lenses. We will recommend that you use disposal contact lenses if you have any concerns.

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Can I sign up even just by myself?

Most of our tours require 2 or more participants, for the Toyohira rafting tour, it requires 4 or more. However, for a single participant, if there are other clients signing up for the same activity, we will be able to accept your booking. Please contact us to find out more information.

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Can I take a shower after the tour? Is there any hot spring (onsen) nearby?

Unfortunately, HOA base does not equipped with shower facilities. However, the Hidaka Kogenso hot spring (Saru Onsen) is only 10 minutes away from our base. The discount tickets for the hot spring facilities are also available in the base. If you would like to use the hot spring afterward, please feel free to ask any of the staffs.

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What is the age restriction for seniors?

Depending on each individual’s physical strength and health condition, there is no restriction on this particular matter. If you do have concerns on your own health condition, please consult us when you book the tour.

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Can people with disability take part in the activities?

It depends on the level of the disability. As long as we are able to assist and support the participant, we will be able to accept the reservation. In such case, we will make alternatives such as increasing the number of guides on board or changing the river course. Please note, since preparation for assistance is needed, if there is no information that requests for extra supports received before the tour, we may have to turn down the reservation. Please be sure to consult us in advance.

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Do you have large-size equipments?

We provide sizes up to US size XXL for all of our equipments. It is the shape of your body rather than the weights that determines whether the equipments fit you or not. If you have any concern, please consult us in advance.

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Can I bring my own waterproof camera?

Please note, HOA does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of any forms of video equipments. Since you will not be able to hold the equipment in your hand during the tour, and there is no compartment to place it within the boat, to avoid any damages to your camera, we suggest that you apply any safety measure that’s necessary before the tour.

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How early should I be at the meeting place?

The meeting time for the morning tour is at 9:00, and for the afternoon tour is at 12:30(13:00 for the Chubetsu River course). Please arrive at the meeting time.

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Can I be late for the tour?

In most cases, there are other clients who will be joining in the same activity. Therefore, in order to avoid letting others wait for you, please be sure that you are on time for the tour. In the case that you cannot make it on time, your tour may be cancelled. And since it is cancelled on the day of the tour, cancellation fee will incur in this case.

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Is there any shuttle service?

Unfortunately, there is no standard shuttle service from HOA base. However, for those who travel to Hidaka town center by public transport, there will be a shuttle service that takes you to our base. Furthermore, if the booking is for four people or more, you will be eligible for a free shuttle service from JR Shimukappu station to HOA base. If you require a shuttle service, please let us know while you are booking for the tour.

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Can I credit card?

Unfortunately, we do not accept credit cards. All payments must be made by cash.

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Are there any restaurants or shops near the base?

The closest restaurants and convenient stores are in Hidaka town center, which is about 10-minute drive from HOA base. For those who are taking part in the afternoon tour, since the meeting time is at 12:30, and it won’t be finished till around 15:30 – 16:00, we will recommend that you finish lunch before the tour.

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Can the lunch plan be included in the half-day tour?

Unfortunately, our lunch plans are only included in the one-day course.

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Can I see the bridge swing before deciding to do it or not?

It is possible. However, it depends on the reservation of the day. There may be cases that we are unable to accept your request due to the number of the participants on the day.

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Are bridge swing and bungee jump the same things?

No, they are not the same. For bungee jump, a bungee cord, which is a huge rope that is made of rubber is used, while a climbing rope is applied in bridge swing. Also, for bridge swing, rather than bouncing up and down at the point of tension, you will swing out like a pendulum, and fly side-to-side like a Tarzan.

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For the one-day course with two different activities, which activity will take part first?

This depends on the overall reservation of the day. The arrangement of the activities will be made by HOA.

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