#32 英語と写真でバーチャルツアー④~高知・四万十川~






Running from the high mountains down to the sea, the Shimanto River’s clear waters not only welcome visitors looking to experience unspoiled nature, but also are an essential part of preserving Shimanto-area traditions and food culture.

Running ~ sea,は分詞構文。look to do「~しようと思う」。Shimanto-areaのハイフンについては☞ブログ#14

From biking to canoeing, photography to sampling local cuisine, discover more about this secret gem.


The Shimanto is Japan’s last free-flowing crystal clear river.

free-flowing「淀みなく流れる」。crystal clearで1つの形容詞。

Starting from a source deep in the mountains, the river makes its way to the Pacific Ocean 196km away, twisting and turning in lush little canyons and drawing strength from tributary rivers, until it becomes the blue-green ribbon you see in the Shimanto River Valley area.

Starting ~ mountains,とtwisting ~ areaは分詞構文。lush「緑豊かな、肥沃な」。tributary「支流の」。直前にコンマのあるuntilは訳し下した方がよい。「ついには~」。the blue-green ribbon「青緑色の帯」とは、青緑色に輝く四万十川のこと。

One of the intriguing sights along the river is the chinkabashi bridges.



These stocky submersible bridges are designed without balustrades so that during floods debris like fallen trees simply flow over them.


Chinkabashi don't inhibit the flow of the river, making it less likely to burst its banks, and the bridge is also less prone to being washed away.

inhibit「妨げる」。making ~ banks,は分詞構文。be prone to ~「~しやすい」。

These bridges are an excellent example of how people in the Shimanto area try to live in harmony with the natural environment.

Chinkabashi may look cute, but they are vital for connecting the small villages dotted along the river.

There are 22 chinkabashi that cross the main river, and 26 more spanning the tributaries, so you are sure to come across (and actually cross!) a few during your visit.

26 more (chinkabashi)の省略。「それ(=本流に架かる22本の沈下橋)に加えてさらに26本の沈下橋」。spanは直前のcrossと同じ意味。同じ意味をわざわざ違う単語で表現している理由については☞ブログ#29の②。come across ~は熟語で「~を偶然見つける、~に出くわす」。a few (chinkabashi)の省略。

One of the best times to visit the Shimanto River is during the spring and summer, when the forest seems to glow with fresh greenery!


From mid-April to mid-May, hundreds of vibrant carp streamers called koinobori are hung across the river, while in early summer you can take a river boat tour to watch thousands of fireflies dancing in the air.




Flying koi nobori is a tradition all around Japan, an important part of Children's Day celebrations, a festival held on May 5th dedicated to praying for the success and health of all children.

dedicated for ~「~するための」はa festivalを修飾。prayとplayの違いに注意。

Carp are considered auspicious symbols of courage and strength, as they swim upstream against the current.


The custom of flying these streamers above a river (rather than from a pole or rooftop) began in the Shimanto river region almost 50 years ago.

A gym teacher overheard some young boys saying that as they got older, no one would fly the streamers for them anymore.


The gym teacher was deeply struck by this comment.


Along with other members of the community, he gathered 50 carp streamers and strung them up so they would fly above the river.

strungはstring「一直線につなげて吊るす」の過去形。up「高い場所に」。so (that)は「目的(~するように)」を表す熟語の接続詞。

This has turned into a yearly custom and popular attraction, and now around 500 koi nobori flutter in the wind to assure all children that no matter their age, the carp will “swim” proud and strong for them every year.

attraction「興味を引く物、呼び物」。flutter「はためく」。assure+人+that ~「人に~を保証(断言)する」。no matter their age (is)の省略。proud and strongは補語。The carp will swim.+The carp will be proud and strong.の下線部が合体したと考えるとよい。

*     *     *


While the river is beautiful and serene, it is also the lifeblood of the region, an essential part of the livelihood and culture of local residents.


Fishermen in the Shimanto River Valley still use traditional fishing methods that are rare in other parts of Japan, such as hiburi fishing, a method using fire torches to scare sweetfish into fishermen's nets.

sweetfish「アユ」。hiburi fishing「火振り漁」とは、松明の火を振ることでアユを網に追い込む漁法のこと。



Some people catch eels and river prawns using the shibazuke fishing method, by making bundles of long leaves and submerging them in the river.

eel「ウナギ」。prawnは中形のエビ。小形のエビはshrimp、大形のものはlobster。shibazuke fishing method「柴漬け漁」とは、束ねた木の枝や笹を水中に沈めてから網の中に引き上げる漁法。


The clean, pure water of the Shimanto River makes it a treasure trove of delicious river fish, which feature prominently on local menus and are sought after by foodies around Japan.

treasure trove「宝庫」。fishは単複同形で、ここでは複数形。feature「主要な部分である」。foodie「食通、グルメ」。

Here are a few to keep an eye out for during your travels:

keep an eye out for ~「~を見逃さないように注意する」は、ブログ#30でoutの無いkeep an eye for ~の形で出会いました。outがあっても無くても意味は同じ。

■Japanese Mitten Crab (tsugani)


Season: September to November

These crabs look and taste similar to the expensive Chinese Mitten Crab.

similarはlookとtaste両方の補語になっていることに注意。Chinese Mitten Crabはいわゆる「上海ガニ」のこと。日本のものは「モクズガニ」と言われるようですが、地域で名称が違うようです。高知県では「ツガニ」と言います。

Thanks to living and hunting in clear water, the crabmeat has a rich flavor that pairs especially well with miso.

pair well with ~「~とよく合う」。misoはもちろん日本語の「味噌」が英語になったものです。

■Sweetfish (ayu)


Season: June to October

This river fish is called the “queen of the crystal river.”

These fish feed on the high-quality freshwater seaweed of the Shimanto River, giving them a clean, wild flavor.

freshwater「淡水、真水」。seaweed「藻」。wildはここでは「(養殖に対して)天然の」の意味。giving ~ flavorは分詞構文。

■Freshwater prawns (ebi)


Season: May to October

Shimanto River freshwater prawns are packed of flavor.

Try them boiled in the shell or quickly deep fried.

deep fry「たっぷりの油で揚げる」。甲羅を剝かないまま茹でるか、たっぷりの油でサッと揚げて食べるとおいしいようです。

■Eel (unagi)

Season: May to October

There is nothing like the taste of freshly caught wild eel, grilled over charcoal and coated with tasty sauce.

There is nothing like ~「~のようなものはない」→「~に勝るものはない」。freshly caught「獲れたての」。wildは上と同じく「(養殖に対して)天然の」。grill「焼き網の上で焼く」。charcoal「炭、木炭」。

Food lovers come from far and wide to try dishes made with Shimanto eels!

from far and wide「様々なところから、方々から」。

The Shimanto River is a prosperous tea-growing region, making both black and green varieties, and around the mid-stream region you will find tea fields shrouded in river mists.

tea-growingのteaとgrowingの意味関係については☞ブログ#14。「お茶が育つ」と誤読しないように。making ~ varieties,は分詞構文。shroud「包む、覆う」。四万十川流域はお茶の栽培も盛んなようです。お茶でblackと言えば「紅茶」のこと。ただし、わざわざblackを言うのは、ここのようにgreen(緑茶)と対比する時だけなので、「紅茶」と言いたい時はふつうは単にteaだけでよい。

Tea leaves from Shimanto make great souvenirs.

ここのmakeは「~になる(become)」という意味。She’ll make a good teacher.「彼女は良い先生になるでしょう」。

Chestnuts are another local specialty, with chestnut-paste-filled Japanese-style sweets, called kuri kinton, being particularly popular treats!

chestnut「栗」。真ん中のtはふつう発音しないことに注意。specialty「名物、特産品」。treatはふだんなかなか味わえない「珍味、おいしい食べ物」のこと。with ~ sweets ... being ~はいわゆる「付帯状況」。「栗きんとんと呼ばれる、ペースト状の栗が詰まった日本のスイーツは、特に人気のある珍味だ」。

Another must-try food is suji aonori, a type of freshwater seaweed found mainly in the waters around the Shimanto River estuary.


It's soft and full of flavor, and most often eaten as a crunchy tempura fritter.