The Hozu River Cruise, a tradition of 400 years
From the old times, the waters of the Hozu River were used to transport goods downstream to the large cities of Kyoto and Osaka, and Tanba wood was also transported via the river for Tenryu-ji Temple in Arashiyama and Osaka Castle within Osaka. In 1606, following the opening of canals, rice, wheat, coal and other materials from Tanba were also moved and the Hozu prospered as an important distribution route until the railroads came to being in the 1870s. Even so, due to the beauty of the ravine surrounding the river, the 400-year-old tradition of pleasure boats carrying tourists has continued up to the present day.
A 16km journey by boat to thoroughly enjoy nature through the paddling of boatmen
The Hozu River Cruise which spans 16km through a mountain ravine from Kameoka to Arashiyama gently goes down the river powered by boatmen’s oars, carrying on a 400-year tradition through a scenic route of beautiful nature throughout the four seasons. On the meandering Hozu, you can enjoy the wonderful landscapes that weave through the crags & strangely formed rocks carved by the eternal flow of water and the four seasons such as the cherry blossoms of spring, the fresh leaves of summer, the foliage of autumn and the snowscapes of winter. There are plenty of sights to see from the 2m-high Koayu Falls, the private fishing grounds of the lord of Tanba-Kameyama, Kaeru Iwa whose appearance resembles that of a frog, to the traces of rope when the boats pulled away. On average, the cruise takes about 90 minutes to complete but in times of high water, it can be as quick as 60 minutes or as long as 120 minutes when the water level is lower. Furthermore, downstream along Arashiyama, there are boats selling food and drink such as grilled squid, Mitarashi dumplings, alcoholic beverages and hot coffee which delight the tourists. Since the final destination is Togetsukyo Bridge at Arashiyama, an attractive point is that you can just continue on with a tour of Arashiyama. You can join the cruise on that day without making any reservations. There are 7 trips per day with 4 trips per day on heated boats during the winter as the cruise operates all year round.