Arashiyama Bamboo Grove was on the agenda today. But instead of going directly there we went two train stops further to Kameoka Station. That was where we started our Hozugawa River boat cruise back into Kyoto. Most of it was a gentle ride through the lush green mountains. There were some rapids they warned you about. None of them were life threatening. The only risk you have was getting a bit wet. There are covers along the side to shield you from the waters. Though I didn’t hear about them till after the first splash. Wasn’t too bad. My jeans got a little wet but dried off by the end of the two hour trip.
What you should know is that mainly Japanese tourists do this. I say that because not too many people spoke English. Just the people at the center where you buy tickets. On the boat, it was sign language for boarding and equipment explanations. The water guard was the obvious part I missed. Over all, the crew was very nice and entertaining. They called out various points of interest. Even without understanding you could make things out. Like the rock that looked like a pig. The stairs that led up to the roads above. Or my favorite, the indigenous trees that surrounded us. Beautiful. It all had a calming effect. If I could nap while drifting down stream I would. Wish they had inner tubes. Wait scratch that. That’s my ‘murica side speaking.
One of the other highlights was that toward the end of the cruise, another boat rides up next to you offering you food and drinks. It’s like they knew there was a hungry animal on board. lol.
At the end of the ride, we disembarked before the Togetsukyo Bridge. A perfect place to start our walk into the dense bamboo forrest.
Verdict: If you want to add something relaxing and different to your day, then definitely do this.
If you told me we're boarding underneath an overpass I'd suspect some foolery. But this wasn't in the city nor was it anywhere remotely sketch. The walk to the area was a bit quiet. It helped when we saw some people heading in the same direction. Anyways, the waters were calm here. Best place to board. So happy we had a canopy on ours. I saw a couple without.
I was actually happy to be in the back. We had more room and an extra row to spread out on. The crew up front led the boat while one gave everyone a history of the river, in Japanese unfortunately.
When the boat crept up, the smell of the grill was intoxicating. It was a nice break out of our nature induced trance. Things were lively again as the grub exchange happened.
There's plenty to choose from. It comes with a bit of a mark up. What did you expect for boat side service.
I should have emphasized the day was one of those warm and hazy days. Even though we had a canopy, the air was still warm and muggy. So at the first sign of a cold beer I went for it. And as you'd expect, it was exactly what the doctor ordered! Oh, the grilled squid wasn't bad. You can probably skip it unless you're really hungry. There's so much good food in town.