Hi,I’m Keiko from Osaka!
The Hozukawa River starts in the central part of Tanba Kouchi, where it flows through the mountains from Sonobe to Kameoka city.
It then flows through the mountains again for 16 kilometers where it reaches the beautiful scenery of Arashiyama, and finally meets the Kamogawa river to flow into each other.
Hozugawa River Cruise is one of the best way to enjoy seasonal beauty of Arashiyama.
I was there two years ago and I enjoyed the pleasant boat ride.
I’m happy to share with you my experience of Hozugawa River Cruise in Arashiyama,Kyoto!
Local Guide:Hozugawa River Cruise Review!Enjoy seasonal beauty of ArashiyamaAfter I had taken the Arashiyama Romantic Train from the Torokko Kameoka Station,there was a bus that took me to the pier, and the bus ride was about 15 minutes.
Local Guide:Arashiyama romantic train Review & Helpful tips!
River Cruise tickets were available at the boat boarding area or at the Hozukawa Kudari corner located in Saga Station.
As I purchased my ticket, I was given a number and asked to wait until the boat number was called.
After 40 minutes later, my boat number was called.
I was excited about this 2-hour boat cruise tour.
The boat started at a slow space, allowing passengers to relax,take some pictures of Hozugawa river and Arashiyama.
The lively character of the boatmen had also quite a reputation, as they were also the tour guides of the cruise.
There were three boatmen in my boat .
Usually, there are 3 boatmen that takes us on the cruise but depending on the water level and current, the number varies from 3 to 5 boatmen.
The river cruise itself also varies from 1 to 2 hours but watching the beautiful landscape made it feel like a short trip.
You can also carry on food and drinks on the boat.
The boatmen were funny, made me laugh many times.But they could speak only Japanese.
I wish they could speak English so that foreign tourists understand their interesting guide.
The weather was fine,I saw some deep forests,rocks, cliffs, pier and fish jump out of the water.
I also saw the passengers enjoying on the Arashiyama Romantic Train.
I waved at them thinking I was there few hours ago.
It was very peaceful relaxing cruise, I fully enjoyed the seasonable scenery of Arashiyama.
As I enjoyed the peaceful ride,suddenly the boat speeded up, and went through rapids among large rocks.
The passengers were cheering as water splashed in all directions.
It was very exciting,I enjoyed this mild thrill ride!
At the end of the journey,a food boat approached to us,selling some snacks and rice balls and fried octopus.
They were cooking the grilles squid in front of my eyes. It looked quite yummy:)
After the food boat disappeared, we arrived at Arashiyama.
The word Kawakudari(river cruise) originates long ago when resources and commodities were transported using the water flow of the river.
Before trucks and trains, materials including wood, grain, and charcoal were transported through the river.
However, Hozukawa did not only serve as a way of transportation, but it also entertained people with its beautiful scenery.
In 1895, the river cruise of Hozukawa became popular, entertaining tourists from all over Japan.
Because the Hozukawa river flows through the mountains, the landscape changes from season to season.
I think Hozugawa river cruise is one of the best way to experience the different seasons of Arashiyama, from the Autumn leaves of November-December, to the snow of winter, and the newly-budding greenery of May.
In April,cherry blossom trees greets tourists with a flurry of falling cherry blossoms.
You may also see some mountain cherry trees, the more ‘wild’ cousin of the sumiyoshi cherry tree that you will find throughout the city.
The greens of the mountains and the limpid stream refreshes us in the summer.
The best season is in autumn.
In the beginning of November the leaves start to change the colors,and the golden age is from the end of November to the beginning of December.
Autumnal tints of yellow and gold, is one of the greatest views in Kyoto.
In the winter, mountains are covered with white snow, known to be a marvelous view.(Although I don’t recommend you to go cruising in the winter, it’s too cold!)
You can enjoy both the beautiful scenery and the rapid current of the Hozukawa River while on the 2 hour cruise.
One thing you must not forget, bringing a jacket or something to keep you warm is compulsory, especially if you are planning to go during the cold season.
I highly recommend to take Arashiyama Romantic Train to the Hozukawa Pier, which is a 25 minute ride from Saga Station to Kameoka Station.
Arashiyama Romantic Train runs through the Hozukawa Canyon and the view is especially beautiful during autumn when the mountains turn their colors to orange and yellow.
Even after the River Cruise, you can enjoy taking a stroll from Togetsukyo area, which is the end point of the cruise, to Saga Station or Arashiyama Station.
Famous tourist spots such as Tenryuji, Chikurin no Michi, and Nonomiya Shrine are some of the places you can visit whilst walking back to the station.
How to purchase the tickets?Reservations are available, but only from 10 people.
If the group number is less than ten, you have to purchase the day tickets.
You can purchase the tickets on the 2nd floor of the boat house where the boat departures.
You can also purchase the set tickets for Arashiyama Romantic Train + the Hozugawa-kudari River Boat Ride in advance at Saga Torokko Station.
This set tickets have no discount.
Hozugawa River Cruise InformationAddress: 2 Shimo Nakashima, Hozumachi, Kameoka city, Kyoto
Location: 8 minute walk from JR Kameoka Station, or 15 minute bus ride from Trolley Kameoka Station,From Kyoto station,take JR station to JR Kameoka station
Price: Adult 4,100 yen Child (4-12 years old) 2,700 yen Chartered Boat 82,000 yen per boat
Time: 9:00~15:30 (one boat every hour, seating capacity 24)
If you’re looking for English speaking tour guides in Arashiyama,please visit:Voyagin
Click here for related information:
Local Guide:Arashiyama romantic train Review & Helpful tips!
Local Guide:Arashiyama in Kyoto Japan!The best walking course
Local tells Top 5 best Ryokans in Arashiyama,Kyoto!Luxury Inn with a great view
Hi Keiko San!
Thank you for such a detailed write up on the Hozugawa Cruise Ride. I would like to know if the bus station to go to the cruise pier is far from Kameoka Torokko Station? I am worried I may missed the bus stop.
Thank you for your inquiry.
It wasn’t difficult at all.I didn’t know where the bus stop is.
But I just followed the other people,and I got to the bus stop.
You can also take the carriage if you like.
I hope you enjoy Hozugawa river cruise!