This Kyoto landmark, Arashiyama’s Togetsukyo Bridge, crosses the Hozugawa/Katsuragawa River on the west side of Kyoto in the popular tourist area of Arashiyama and Saga. I realized I was not too far away from Arashiyama while running errands earlier in the day and on a whim, I decided to pedal on over.
There is a lot more to do here than I had time for during this late afternoon and early evening of exploration. Arashiyama is quite scenic and peaceful; I will be returning for sure.
There are some rapids upstream on the Hozugawa River which is later renamed the Katsura River at this point, but from the photos I’ve seen it looks like the occasional rapids are only class 2, maybe one class 3.
Incidentally, this river is also confusingly called Oigawa upstream of the bridge, but I have read too many conflicting accounts of the proper use of that name to feel confidant in explaining when to use Oigawa at this point. When I sort through all the misinformation, I will share more about it.
Hozugawa is used in connection with the boat trips and is the only river name you need to remember if you are considering taking that trip.
Rides in hard shelled boats are available to take passengers down the river from Kameoka to the takeout at the Togetsukyo Bridge. Typically the boat passengers are visitors who just took the Sagano Scenic Train up to Kameoka.
The river trip is marketed as an exciting adventure, but I think it is a trip to be taken more for the scenery and not for the rapids, unless you have a low adrenaline threshold. In that case, you may find the boat ride to be thrilling as well as beautiful.
As I mentioned in the podcast, I’ll probably wait until I have a nice girl to go with me before I take the boat ride back down, but you might find me taking the inexpensive train ride up to Kameoka for a day of exploration and then back down again at some point in the not too distant future.
I doubt anyone would object if you brought your own kayak or raft and attempted to paddle down into Arashiyama, but I wouldn’t make a special effort to bring my kayak here.
If you happen to be visiting Gifu Prefecture on the other hand, or Shikoku…
There will be much more to come on this website and in the podcast in the future regarding whitewater kayaking and rafting opportunities in Japan.
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