Tamagawa at Mitake in Tokyo Municipal District
Season: Year around although can be low in winter.
Scenery: Roads along both sides of the river are lined with homes and businesses. The river is popular with day trippers from Tokyo who will be out having family picnics when the weather is nice. The bedrock canyon and large boulders below Mitake Bridge are beautiful and it's very scenic for someplace so close to downtown Tokyo but you won't mistake this for a wilderness run.
Local Outfitters: Gravity Kayak School and Tour and Canoe Bar
Hazards: One hazard to be aware of lower down on the run is the concrete tetrapod weir (near Hinatawada station). The typhoon floods are known to move the tetrapods around creating some dangerous boat-pinning situations. There have been at least a couple fatalities so use caution as you approach these man-made structures. The typhoons can create incredible flows on this river so use caution as the river can rise quite rapidly.
Additional Information: Mitake Canoe Page, includes a chat board

Logistics: Mapple 66 G9. From Tokyo head west towards the City of Ome and the Okutamagawa area. Mitake is less than 10 kilometers west of Ome City. By train, the Ome-sen parallels the river. Most paddlers put-in near a foot bridge approximately 500 m upstream of the Mitake Bridge (the bridge is about 100 meters towards the river from the Mitake Train Station). There is a parking area at the put-in on river right with restrooms and a trail down to the river. Many paddlers spend their day in the rapids below Mitake Bridge (the best ones on the rivers), but you can continue downstream and enjoy additional class II whitewater for approximately 10 km. Shuttle and additional access points are along river right. Area Map.

The Mitake Gorge on the Tamagawa River is the closest whitewater to downtown Tokyo (video clip, 3.6 MB). While the lower reach of this river which runs along the southern border of the city limits is cluttered with urban debris, the clear water upstream runs through a scenic forested rural landscape. It’s hard to imagine you are less than two hours from downtown Tokyo. This is the traditional training ground for many of Japan’s most talented paddlers, home to several area university paddling clubs, and the site of competitive slalom racing. Aside from the internet message boards, it’s one of the best places to wander about in search of paddling partners if you’re new to Japan. The run is a dam release from Okutamagawa Reservoir and flows are generally boatable throughout most of the year, although the water can be a little low in winter. Most of the action here is clustered around Mitake train station. From the station it's a short walk to a bridge that spans the best section of whitewater—a class III boulder garden popular for slalom practice and instruction. Walking paths along the river provide a good vantage point for spectators and a convenient portage trail for those doing multiple runs of the section of rapids near the train station. Unfortunately the river is also popular with ayu fishermen and conflicts with paddlers are a common occurrence.

From the put-in the river flows down to the Mitake Bridge and as you pass underneath the best rapids await on the downstream side of the bridge. This class III section continues for another 500 m before gradually tapering off to class II. Paddlers either carry back up to run this class III section multiple times (many spend the entire day practicing slalom gates or just playing in the rapids here), or paddle the full 10 km run.

The rest of the run is class II with several short boulder gardens interspersed with gravel bars. The run ends at a popular rodeo hole (video clip, 2.8 MB).

Rapids below Mitake Bridge

Mitake slalom race

rodeo hole at the take-out