Touring leisurely down the river by boat and trolley train
The 8km long Oboke Gorge was created from a 200-million-year process of erosion of the sandstone by the swift currents of the Yoshino River. Along with the nearby unexplored Iya Valley, the area is a popular tourist spot. The gorge has such beautiful scenery that you wonder if that is indeed marble which is soaring overhead, and it has been nationally designated as part of a Natural Monument as a precious site of the country where you can understand the origins of the Japanese archipelago. The Oboke Gorge Excursion Cruise is the most popular tour where you can appreciate the beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring and the colors of the fall while going down the clear waters. The tour is open every day and you can participate in the cruise on that day for an up-close leisurely downstream trip of the dynamic beauty of the gorge which lasts 30 minutes (4km) for a round trip. Also, from the remote Tsubojiri Station along the JR line that passes between Kagawa Prefecture’s Kotohira and the Oboke Gorge, you can board the Mystery Trolley on the Dosan Line with its superb view on a 90-minute trip heading for Oboke. This train which proceeds slowly over many iron bridges and from where you can get marvelous views from along the Yoshino River provides a deeply atmospheric trip. Operation is limited in that there is only 1 train per day going up and down the line so checking the schedule in advance is necessary.
Feel the spectacle of Mother Nature! Japan’s dominant rafting spot
As well, rafting is recommended for those seeking a bit of action. Oboke is famous for being one of Japan’s major areas for rapids, and rafting and kayaking are dominant activities here. There are huge waves exceeding 3 meters and 2-meter drops amid all of the perfect scenery, providing full thrills. There are many rafting companies based here so there are plenty of courses for everyone from small kids to the elderly to enjoy such as 1-day, half-day and rapids courses. Advance reservations either by phone or Net are advised.