'Spirited Away: Chasing Whitewater and Culture in the Land of the Rising Sun'

My article about my time in Japan has now been made available online on SUP the Mag's website. I'm very proud of this piece.. Here's an excerpt from the article..click the Read More button below to read the whole article and to see more of Zach Mahone's stunning photography.

Photographer: Zach Mahone

Photographer: Zach Mahone

 

"SPIRITED AWAY

CHASING WHITEWATER AND CULTURE IN THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN

Words by Brittany Parker
Photos by Zach Mahone

Paddling the Mitake River on the main island of Japan brought the crew all back to zero. The tension built up in our bodies from missing our connecting flight and having to stay the night in Beijing dropped from our shoulders, moved through our hands and into the water. We had arrived, we were present.

Our first teacher was Masayuki “Yacu” Takahata, an adventure racer, turned raft racer, turned standup paddle competitor. The waters of the Mitake are his training grounds and he knows every eddy, rock and drop. We paused above a technical rapid I was trying to run clean. The currents met each other rather abruptly, making entry angle and paddle placement crucial for setting up the rest of the rapid.

“Every stroke is like I’m shaking hands with the river,” he said to me."

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