Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto. white water rafting. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

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!

 

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:

 

 

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. 

 

 

Now…

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.

 

Hozugawa river rafting - Kyoto station to Arashiyama train. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting - Kyoto station to Saga Arashiyama train. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

Then, you’ll get on that train!

 

Hozugawa river rafting - Kyoto station to Arashiyama train. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

You’ll ride it past Saga-Arashiyama until you reach Umahori.

 

Hozugawa river rafting - Kyoto station to Saga Arashiyama - Kameoka Umahori station JR train. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

This will be about a 30 minute train ride.

 

 

Short walk to meet your rafting tour guides

 

 

Short walk to the river

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - walking from umahori jr train station to kameoke torokko station (sagano scenic railway). Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - walking from umahori jr train station to kameoke torokko station (sagano scenic railway). Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - walking from umahori jr train station to kameoke torokko station (sagano scenic railway). Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - walking from umahori jr train station to kameoke torokko station (sagano scenic railway). Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - start at river. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - start at river. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

Safety training and rafting instructions at the river…

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - safety training and instructions for first timing rafting. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - safety training and instructions for first timing rafting. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - safety training and instructions for first timing rafting. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - safety training and instructions for first timing rafting. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - safety training and instructions for first timing rafting. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - safety training and instructions for first timing rafting. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

Practice session…

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - first time practice rafting at river. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

And then…

Off you go rafting!

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - starting time! Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

You’ll be on the river for about 2 hours, and there may be a break included.

 

 

Get off your raft near Hozukyo station

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - end point near Hozukyo torokko station (sagano scenic railway). Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

Walk to JR Hozukyo station

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - walk to hozukyo jr station. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - walking to hozukyo jr station. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - walk to hozukyo jr station. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

JR train back to Umahori!

This will be about a 5 minute ride.

 

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - walk to hozukyo jr station. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto - kyoto station to hozukyo jr station to umahori train. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

What to do after rafting?!

It’ll be a short walk to the Sagano scenic railway train station of Kameoka torokko station, so you can take the scenic tourist train back to Arashiyama!

 

Hozugawa river rafting in Arashiyama Kyoto - near Kameoka torokko station for sagano scenic railway train. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Hozugawa river rafting in Arashiyama Kyoto - then sagano scenic railway train. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

You can get off at Arashiyama torokko station if you want to explore the area a little bit more by foot.

 

Hozugawa river rafting in Arashiyama Kyoto - to Arashiyama torokko station for sagano scenic railway train. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

You can go to places like the Okochi Sanso Garden (and teahouse), bamboo forest, Tenryuji Temple, and the monkey park!

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.

 

Hozugawa river rafting tour in Arashiyama Kyoto. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

HAPPY HOZUGAWA RIVER RAFTING!

 

Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with Hozugawa river rafting!

 

 



More quick tips for planning your trip to Japan

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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 Kyoto
Search 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!

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The super fast train in Japan
In 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 Japan
Unfortunately, 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.

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