Getting Around Hozugawa

A Snack Boat on Hozugawa
A Hozugawa Snack Boat

保津川 Hozugawa or Hozu River is a rocky river that weaves through 保津峡 Hozukyo Ravine in Kyoto. The mountains along the riverbank are known for their seasonal colors from cherry blossoms to fall foliage. There are several ways to enjoy them without hiking.

Sagano Scenic Railway
Sagano Scenic Railway

The “fastest” way to take in the scenery is by taking 嵯峨野トロッコ列車 Sagano Torokko Ressha. The Japanese name literally means Sagano Truck Train – after the freight hauling train cars that once ran on that route. But its official English name is Sagano Romantic Train. It runs through Hozukyo Ravine between Saga Torokko Station and Kameoka Torokko Station at a gentle speed of 25 kilometer per hour.

Kameoka is where you'll find horse-drawn wagons that will take you to the Hozugawa River Boat Ride.


保津川下り Hozugawa River Boat Ride takes you from Kameoka Torokko Station back to Arashiyama Torokko Station. The boats are each operated by two boatmen with bamboo sticks and orbs. The bamboo sticks are used to navigate the boats as they pass through rocky riverbed. The boatmen are also tour guides. Besides pointing out oddly shaped rocks, one of our boatmen also claimed that he could speak to ducks and call them over. He turned to some ducks swimming on the river and said “Come on! Come on!” (Duck in Japanese is かも kamo.)

Hozugawa River Boat Ride
Hozugawa River Boat Ride

Hozugawa River Boat
Hozugawa River Boat

Towards the end of the river cruise, there’s a snack boat! It sells everything from green tea to grilled squid!

Hozugawa Snack Boat
Hozugawa Snack Boat

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