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!
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