Down the river we go
Kameoka Travel Blog› entry 13 of 15 › view all entries
The next day we resolved to do something a little different. The indispensable Bible that is the LP had suggested taking a train from Kyoto to Kameoka, and then take a boat ride down the rive Hozu River and back to the city. This seemed very sensible and, almost most importantly, required little physicality after the Nara park heroics of the day before. Having attached my friend's iPhone to his person in a permanent way we set off.
The train to Kameoka was a slower, local train and allowed the sight hungry tourist to glimpse more than a blur commonly experienced on the shinkansen. The trackcut through the countryside, crossing the river a couple of times if memory serves, and rather excitingly went through a tunnel under the mountain.
Upon arrival at Kameoka, a small modern station kinda in the middle of nowhere, we purchased a bento box from a handy shop and enjoyed it as we tried to work out where to go. Signs were not in a plentiful supply - at least not ones for kanmji illiterate muppets.
Striking out in the only conceivable direction (which made what could have been a tedious debate much shorter, if not less tedious) we headed towards what we hoped was the river. We were in luck.
The Hozu river trip is a two hour cruise that encompasses rapids, rocks, shrines, monkeys and some vigorous polling by surprisingly fit Japanese septegenarians.
There are many delights to be seen on the river, I'd list them all but I don't think I can really remember. I spent the journey gawping at the scenery, and enjoying the wildlife.
As we approached Kyoto, and the end of the ride, another boat laden with food and drink pulled alongside. We managed two negotiate a couple of beers - could this be any more perfect?
Suddenly it was all over. Two hours had evaporated in no time at all and we found ourselves in Arishiyama, a part of Kyoto filled with more famed and stunning (wait for it) temples. Reluctantly leaving our bobbing craft we dragged ourselves back to dry land. Full of beer, and fresh river air we staged our final assault on the sights of Japan's most scenic city.