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An Enchanting Trip Down the Beautiful Kinugawa River


Sail through the enchanting Nikko National Park with professional boatmen


Nikko is one of Japan's most famous tourist destinations, best known for its impressive shrines and temples. However, the city is also famous for its vast and breathtaking national park and hot springs. Just north of Nikko along the Tobu Kinugawa Line is Kinugawa Onsen, named for the Kinugawa River that flows past through the area.

The Kinugawa River Boat Tour is a way to experience the nature of Nikko National Park up close. Two professional boatmen guide the traditional vessel downstream as the river cuts and winds through the scenic gorge. You'll be in awe at the fascinating rock formations, created over the course of millennia, that tower over you as you pass. 

As you continue down the river, you’ll encounter some rapids which the boatmen will expertly navigate through. A plastic cover will also be provided to help keep you from getting wet, although you should be ready for a splash or two. Safety is their priority, and life jackets are provided to all passengers.



The tour is available from mid-April through mid-November, with the views changing strikingly with the seasons. The trip downstream takes 40 minutes, with a 30-minute return via their free shuttle bus (the bus ride itself is only 5-10 minutes). It's the perfect way to take in the natural splendor of the Kinugawa River.

Access: From Tokyo Station, take the Tohoku or Yamagata Shinkansen to Utsunomiya Station (about 50 minutes), then transfer to the local Nikko Line to Imaichi Station (about 35 minutes). Walk about 14 minutes to Shimo-Imaishi Station, then take the Tobu Kinugawa Line local train to Kinugawa Onsen Station (about 20 minutes) and walk about six minutes to Kinugawa Line Kudari.



National Parks of Japn Kinugawa River Boat Tour (Kinukougenkaihatsu)


1414 Kinugawa Onsen Ohara, Nikko-shi, Tochigi-ken


Approx. 40 minutes




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