The snow melt from the three major peaks of Hakuba flows down the Matsukawa river until it merges with the Himekawa River and flows out to the Japan Sea.

On most days the water is crystal clear, if someone chilling. There are several bridges across the river and both offer stunning views up the river to the mountains in the distance. And are some of the most popular places for photographers and artists alike.

Running between Happo and Iwatake is the Hakuba Ohashi Bridge, while along route 148 to the east is Matsukawa Ohashi Bridge.

On the riverbanks in this area are lots of things to do.

Bush-walks, Camping, BBQs Skateboarding, Swimming, Fishing are all possible, and are popular with both locals and out of town visitors. You’ll often see large groups of local having an afternoon BBQ and chatting with consuming loads of food and drinks.

Keep an eye on the little ones, as the river is swift.

Dawn and Sunset are excellent times to take photos of the alps from the bridge. In the morning the sun rising extenuates the shadows of crevasses, and the evening sees the sun drop behind the alps and things cool down quickly.