Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sapporo's White Water Hassamu Action

9th August, 2010 - It was a hot hot day. And back home it would have made for perfect beach weather. Being in Sapporo, that's not so easy. We did however have one alternative. The river. Hassamu river to be precise. Now T-chan had taken L-kun to the river before for some respite from the hot sultry summer weather back in June, further up stream along Hassamu River. I'd never experienced it, so Otousan took L-kun and I to have to some white water action. Sporting some sandals from Otousan we set out to brave the cool waters from the Hokkaido high-lands... and I couldn't wait.

The river is fairly accessible all along the banks, but like beaches, everyone has their favourite spots. T-chans's family used to bring her and her brother here when they were children. I wish I had some photos of that time. We had originally gone to the same spot as the June visit, but there'd been some heavy summer rain and the river was running too strong up there. This place was apparently safer for L-kun.
View Sapporo Map in a larger map

The river wouldn't win any scenic beauty awards - then again - much the same could be said of most Japanese rivers, especially those running through cities. They tend to be quite manufactured / concreted waterways. I guess here in Australia we'd tend to be making these river-sides into well manicured parklands - but I always get the feeling that Japan's rich soil is just too fertile for much in the way of controlled gardening. We're not that far from the wilds after all...

And one of the things you notice is the water regulators and salmon ladders as they're known. Salmon spawning season's from late August to October, and I have experienced it once before. Alas, it was too early in the year now to see Salmon making their way up river. I can't imagine going for a swim in the river then. Just a little creepy.... just my luck to come across the Jaws of the Salmon world. You do however see plenty of children fishing in the river, though their looking for finger-sized fish. Not fish that could take your finger.

And yes, L-kun enjoyed his second trip to Hassamu river (though I think he had more fun with Mummy). Still, when it was this hot (around 36 degC, with high humidity), any water is a relief. I know a lot of people come down to the rivers for picnics. Next time we're in Sapporo during summer, we'll have to make a day of it.

Until then... L-kun, just sit back and let the cool river of life's relexation flow over you...

1 comment:

  1. We used to go swimming in the famous Nagara River in Gifu during the summer. Gifu is surrounded by mountains and miles away from the coast so no beach in sight. It was a good way to cool down during the hot summer, but the currents were really strong and I almost got swept away the first time I tried to swim across which wasn't the best move. Best to stick to the shallows me thinks :)