【Press Release】Cycling and Rowing by the Maruyama River
The Maruyama River is the main river in the northern Hyogo region, 68 kilometers running up through Toyooka, cutting through mountains, and emptying into the Sea of Japan. In 2012, the Lower Maruyama River and the surrounding rice paddies became registered with the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. The Maruyama River serves as an important part of Toyooka’s nature, wildlife, and tourism. It feeds into the Otani River, which is the canal that runs through Kinosaki Onsen. The canal provides a picturesque atmosphere as guests stroll through town in their yukata.
Visitors to Kinosaki Onsen can easily bike north along the Maruyama River and reach Kehi Beach and the Tsuiyama Fishing Port before heading up the hill to Marine World. They can also bike in the other direction towards the Hachigoro Wetlands and Genbudo Caves. They consist of 5 caves made of columnar joints that formed over 1.6 million years ago after the magma from a volcanic eruption cooled, contracted, and formed vertical cracks. These curvaceous columns have a distinctive polygonal shape and a honeycomb pattern. The river also helps maintain the lives of the wild Oriental White Storks, the symbolic bird of Toyooka City. Since they feed on many small animals, their ideal habitat is rice paddies and rivers. With the help of the Lower Maruyama River and surrounding rice paddies, work has been done to preserve and create this type of optimal wetland environment.
The Maruyama River also provides a great location for boating, rowing, and watching boating regattas. Every year in July or August there is a Maruyama River Kinosaki Boat Festival & Regatta.
Next year, two rowing teams will train for the Tokyo 2020 Games in Toyooka on the Maruyama River! One is a team from Germany called Sxulls, and is currently the world’s top-ranked boat team. They will stay in Kinosaki from July 3rd to July 19th, 2020 and have a final camp training on the Maruyama River in Toyooka just before participating in the Tokyo 2020 Games! You can see KINOSAKI ONSEN printed on the German team’s uniforms as well as on their boat and oars. A team from Switzerland has also just decided to train there, from July 9th to July 19th, 2020.
They have chosen to stay here because of the relaxing and traditional onsen town Kinosaki, as well as the wonderful Maruyama River. The river which runs through the middle of the city is very suitable for rowing training because the gradient of the river is very gentle, with an incline of only 1 meter per 10 kilometers. Due to this, Japan’s national rowing team will come here for their camp training as well. All three teams will be great representatives for Toyooka City, Kinosaki Onsen, and the Maruyama River.