I didn’t go rafting on the Hozugawa River, but I did come across people who were going river rafting a few times when I was near the river.
So here’s a bit of a visual in case you’re thinking about going rafting when you’re in Kyoto!
Based on the schedule of this rafting tour, I would say this part of your day would look something like this!
- Take JR train from Kyoto station to Umahori station (near Kameoka scenic train station)
- Short walk to meet your rafting tour guides
- Short walk to the river
- Safety instructions at the river
- Off you go rafting!
- Go rafting down the Hozugawa river to near Hozukyo station
- JR train back to Umahori to end your tour!
If you’re looking for more to do on your return to Arashiyama after your river rafting experience, here’s what I did for my one day in Arashiyama and Sagano:
- JR train to Kameoka station to take the Sagano scenic railway (with a side trip to Hozugawa River)
- Sagano scenic railway to Arashiyama torokko station
- Visit to Okochi Sanso Garden and teahouse
- Walk through Arashiyama bamboo forest
- Visit to Tenryuji Temple
- Visit to Arashiyama monkey park
When is the best time for rafting in Kyoto?
Rafting tours on the Hozugawa River are offered from April to November.
But the best time to get out on the river is the summer because it can mean a better chance for higher water levels on the river.
And that means it can make for better rapids for that white water rafting experience!
The summer can also make for warmer temperatures which might be more ideal if you don’t want cold water splashing on you!
But even if you go rafting when the temperatures are cooler, you can be provided a wetsuit to protect you from the cold temperatures.
And for something a little less strenuous as a river activity in Kyoto, there’s also the Hozugawa river boat ride so someone can do the rowing for you.
Here’s a bit of what your day might look like rafting on the Hozugawa River!
JR train from Kyoto station to Umahori station
This particular rafting tour has its base near Umahori, so that’s where this sample schedule will start out.
It’ll be pretty easy to get to Umahori from Kyoto station.
You’ll look for the train that’s going towards Saga-Arashiyama.
Then, you’ll get on that train!
You’ll ride it past Saga-Arashiyama until you reach Umahori.
This will be about a 30 minute train ride.
Short walk to meet your rafting tour guides
Short walk to the river
Safety training and rafting instructions at the river…
Off you go rafting!
You’ll be on the river for about 2 hours, and there may be a break included.
Get off your raft near Hozukyo station
Walk to JR Hozukyo station
JR train back to Umahori!
This will be about a 5 minute ride.
What to do after rafting?!
You can get off at Arashiyama torokko station if you want to explore the area a little bit more by foot.
Or, if you’re ready to head back to Kyoto station, you can get off at the Saga torokko station, which is right next to the Saga-Arashiyama JR train station. From there, it will be about a 20 minute train ride back to Kyoto station.
HAPPY HOZUGAWA RIVER RAFTING!
Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with Hozugawa river rafting!
- Day 1: Top tourist spots with one day bus pass
- Day 2: Fushimi Inari shrine hike through 1,000 torii gates
- Day 3: Philosopher’s Path walk
- Day 4: Arashiyama and Sagano
- Day 5: Kurama Kibune Ohara with one day pass
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
For more on planning your trip to Kyoto, see the 1-day, 2-day, and 5-day Kyoto itineraries. If you'll be in Kyoto in the spring, also see the 1-day cherry blossom photo walk.
Hotels in KyotoSearch for deals on Kyoto hotels here.
For hostels across Japan, try this top backpacker's hostel chain.
Kyoto can also be a good place to stay at a Japanese-style ryokan, like this one. Or if you're on more of a budget, try this one.
Also use the map below to see more hotels in Kyoto!
Shoes for JapanFor summer travel, hiking sandals can be perfect for walking around cities and for many of the short day hikes! See travel sandals like these for women and these for men.
Japan is a mountain country so be sure to get in some hikes!
See trail running shoes too (for women - for men) for other solid hikes including climbing Mt Fuji.
Speaking of hiking, I love this daypack.
The super fast train in JapanIn general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it.
See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.
See an example of traveling by the fast train from Tokyo to Kyoto.
Natural disasters in JapanUnfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.
My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon.
See how much insurance costs for your trip.
Best travel guides for JapanIf you're at step 1 in your planning process, have a look at this Discover Japan book.
For "books" that won't take up space in your suitcase, see the best PDF guides.
See more of the best books for Japan trip planning.
Cheap(er) flights to JapanI used this website to find the cheapest flight and to book my recent flight to Japan.
Sometimes it makes sense to book direct - my preferred way!
But this booking site will search a combination of airlines, including those who aren't partner airlines, which means that they can help you find cheaper flights by booking individual flights for you as part of one flight itinerary. This can be especially helpful if you're not flying out of a major hub with direct flights to Japan.
I've missed a flight booked through them and it was taken care of with hotel and new flight.
See more tips for finding cheap flights to Japan.