Leisurely Boat Ride Down the River through the Geibikei Gorge, One of Japan’s Best 100 Landscapes
Geibikei Gorge, located in Iwate, Tohoku region, is surrounded by soaring cliffs around 100 meters high. The beauty of Geibikei’s scenery changes each season, and many tourists visit the area throughout the year. Why not relax here amid the impressive landscape, which is designated as one of the best 100 landscapes of Japan?
Luxurious and relaxing boat cruise
It only takes 30 minutes by car to Geibikei from Hiraizumi, which is a popular tourist spot listed as a World Heritage Site. Don’t forget to purchase a ticket at the boat pier before boarding! Each boat is large enough to carry several groups together, so you can enjoy conversation with other passengers. You can also charter a private boat if you have a large group.
The boat is steered by a skillful boatman with just a single pole. The Geibikei Gorge River Cruise lasts 90 minutes, down the river through a 2-km gorge and then returning upstream at Miyoshigaoka back to the boat pier.
The landscape with 100 meter-high cliffs is dramatic. There are plenty of photogenic locations, which will keep you busy taking photos.
Make friends with fish and ducks
Before boarding the boat, you can buy food for the fish and ducks. If you look closely into the river, you may see schools of fish.
As the water is very clear, you can easily see many fish swimming with the current. As you travel downriver, you will also see many ducks and carp gathering in search of food whenever a boat passes by. A dynamic landscape of sheer cliffs with various creatures in the river running through the gorge. This relaxing environment set deep in nature will add to your stay in Japan.
Try your luck during the boat ride
When you reach the halfway point of the ride at Miyoshigaoka, the boat stops for around 20 minutes, giving you time to walk further into the gorge. The magnificent landscape is a great place to walk around.
Just take a short walk from the pier, and you will find a small stand selling undama (fortune stones) at 100 yen for 5 stones.
Try throwing them into the hole in the rock on the opposite shore. If a stone goes into the hole, your wishes may come true. It’s not as easy as you think!
Take careful aim at the hole and … throw!
If you succeed, do the high-fives!
Enjoy the boat ride and boatmen’s folk songs
Boatmen steer the boat deftly by plunging a single pole into the bottom of the river. If you’re brave, you can also try steering the boat during the cruise. It’s not easy to control such a large boat, but it’s fun to try. The boatmen are very friendly and create a relaxing atmosphere during the cruise by singing beautiful folk songs traditionally sung by the Geibikei boatmen. They will also slow down the boat sometimes to let you enjoy the impressive scenery. The changing scenery of the Geibikei Gorge throughout the year is amazing. The lush greenery in spring and summer gives way to stunning multi-colored foliage in autumn, and finally to a winter wonderland covered in snow. Geibikei Gorge River Cruise offers a special relaxing experience deep in nature.