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“Breathtaking Misty River”

Kinugawa River Boat
Ranked #1 of 11 Tours in Nikko
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage
Reviewed 18 August 2013

The departure point is an easy ten minute walk from Kinugawa Onsen Station towards your right, just behind the Kanaya Hotel. There are enough signboards to lead you there after crossing the road.

Plan your time properly as there are only 2 departures every hour. The timetable is found at the Japanese url: http://www.linekudari.com/index.htm. Advisable to reserve tickets in advance too during peak season.

We descended some huge steps to the rocky riverbank. The guide handed us raincoats as it was drizzling. Everyone took turns to step into the boat and sat down on cushions. The guide spoke only in Japanese and since we didn't understand anything, we just did what other Japanese did.

The scenery is breathtaking, especially when the river stream got misty. Feels very magical. Air is fresh and cool. Sometimes the river is calm and sometimes there are rapids and everyone will lift the plastic sheets at the sides of the boat every time we run through one. Pretty exciting ride. There is no chance of getting wet at all.

At the arrival point, there are some stores selling snacks and drinks. We tried the sea-salted smelt fish. Must-try! Everyone waited for the shuttle back to Kinugawa Onsen Station but we took a different route by taking a bus to Edo Wonderland. The lady at the smelt fish store was so helpful. She spoke good English and pointed to us the bus-stop and helped us checked the arrival time. The bus-stop had no shelter and it started to drizzle quite a bit. She crossed the road and bought us an umbrella which a previous customer left behind. We had some problems communicating with the Bus Captain and again, the lady crossed the road and helped us.

The 40 minute river cruise ride is not to be missed!

2  Thank llydzzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 97 reviews

Reviewed 18 July 2013

We got our tickets, they were around 2000 yen each, and descended the stairs the riverbank where about 5 large boats and over a hundred Japanese were waiting for us.
I was travelling with friends who could speak Japanese, which was lucky because this tour does not really cater for other languages. They have a few picture signs to give clues what to do, but that is about it.
Took off our shoes, put them into a plastic bag they gave us all, and got into the boat and sat down.
There were two staff on each boat, one at the front and one at the back. There was constant narration and commentary as we went, but it was all in Japanese, so apart from a few important bits that my friends translated, I didnt have a clue what they were saying.
The scenery is amazing, the river runs down between two gorges, with all kinds of rock formations, waterfalls, bridges and forests on each side. Plus every so often there are some rapids, where the boat goes quite fast and its a bit exciting. There are great pieces of plastic sheeting attached to the sides of the boat, and each time we approached a rapid, the staff told us to grab it and lift it up to protect some splashing. In this way, we didnt really get wet at all.
At the end, you disembark the rafts a few km away from the starting, must climb a few stairs and wait for buses to take you back to the town. At the top there are several shops and kiosks selling snacks, drinks and souvenirs. We waited about 15 minutes when suddenly a FLEET of buses arrived to whisk us all away. I believe they let us wait around there for that time in order to let us spend some money. This IS Japan, so they are usually SO punctual and organised.
It would have probably been more enjoyable had I understood what was being said, but even as it was, this was a unique experience and some breathtaking scenery along the way.

1  Thank Ilikethai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2012

This is quite an enjoyable 30-40 minute boat ride down the Kinugawa river. You go through some mild rapids, and there's some chance of getting wet, but nothing too scary. The gorge scenery, however is quite nice, and if you speak any Japanese, the guide at the front of the boat can be quite entertaining. If you're in Kinugawa, this is one attraction that is definitely worth doing.

If you're more adventurous, there is also a white water rafting excursion that starts from the same place for ¥7500/person. It looked fun, but we didn't try it.

3  Thank Asterix135
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2009

White-water rafting it isn’t! It is a pleasant 30min trip down a river taking in some great scenery. The boat has about 30 people and you sit on the floor or kneel down, so you need to take your shoes off. If you go peak season definitely book before you go or else you will probably have a 2 or 3 hour wait.
Fee:2500yen

2  Thank Tabasco-san
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 November 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

1  Thank reiko-obaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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