About Northern Kansai


Kameoka is blessed with an abundance of nature and is an area where history and traditional culture are kept alive.

Kameoka map

Kameoka is now much more accessible than before with the completion of the highways from northern and southern Kyoto. The city which boasts a rural landscape wrapped in the dense Tamba fog from the Hozugawa River and the city’s basin landform, is not only blessed with an abundance of nature, idyllic fields and agricultural produce, but is also an area where history and traditional culture are kept alive. The city is packed with reat tourist sites and experiences like the Hozugawa River Boat where you can experience an extremely thrilling boat ride downstream, the Sagano Romantic Train where you can enjoy the magnificent views of all four seasons along the Hozukyo Ravine, and the Yonohana Onsen area where you can enjoy the clear air and seasonal tastes unique to mountain villages. Furthermore, there are also many shrines and temples with “power spots” which are believed to contain spiritually rejuvenating properties.

Hozugawa River Boat Ride

A one of a kind river boat ride in Japan. Take a 16 kilometer, two-hour journey from Kemeoka to Arashiyama in Kyoto. Experience the excitement of the rapids and the ravine’s beauty throughout all the seasons.

Image of Hozugawa River Boat Ride Image of Hozugawa River Boat Ride
“Kawakudari”, riding down the river, originally began as a way to transport logs from the Tamba area to the old capital of Japan, Kyoto City. In addition to logs, also rice, wheat, firewood and charcoal were transported when a wealthy merchant Ryoi Suminokura, also called the “River Lord” in Kyoto, opened the ravine up for boat transports in 1606. Until the development of railways and roads the river played a vital role in the transportation. By around1945 rafting logs down the river had stopped.
The scenery along the river is beautiful year-round, in 1895 the ravine became a popular sightseeing spot and sightseeing riverboat rides were introduced. Today the Hozugawa River Boat Ride is world famous, attracting about 300,000 tourists yearly.

Sagano Romantic Train

“Sagano Romantic Train” is a small wagon-style rail car that use to carry cargo through areas where cars and standard sized trains couldn’t operate.

Image of Sagano Romantic Train Image of Sagano Romantic Train
This simple train moves along the river at a leisurely speed of 25 km/hr, giving passengers time to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the Hozugawa River. A 7.3 kilometer, 25 minute journey that lets you enjoy the ravines seasonal sights such as cherry blossoms in spring, lush green foliage in summer and crimson foliage in fall.
The train slows down at points of particular beauty, allowing you to take in the sights. Most of the areas Sagano Romantic Train pass can only be seen from the train. The open-air “The Rich” car No.5 has no glass windows and lets you feel the wind and natural aromas of the mountains and river, giving you a more intimate view and ride.

Yunohana Onsen Hot Springs

Yunohana Onsen, is a hot spring that rests in a quiet mountain area located about 7 kilometers from the center of Kyoto City. This ancient hot spring is rumored to have healed the battle wounds of warlords during Japan’s civil war era.

Image of Yunohana Onsen Hot Springs Image of Yunohana Onsen Hot Springs
Relax in a calming rustic atmosphere surrounding by clean air and colorful natural scenery that reflects in the soothing hot spring waters, an experience not found in the city. Yunohana Onsen is a popular destination for families and groups from around the country who are in search of a leisurely getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. The hot spring waters contain natural and weak levels of radium that are said to have the ability to ease neuralgia, muscle pain, joint pain, poor circulation, chronic digestive organ disease, gout, gallstones and chronic gynecological disorders. As well as promote health and recovery from fatigue.
Getting to Torokko Kameoka Station (Sagano Romantic Train)
By car

You can drive to Torokko Kameoka Station and there is parking located at the station. Parking is 500 yen and the lot is closed from January to February. You can rent a car from a major rental car company at any major train station or city. It is about 40 minutes from Kyoto City.

By train & local bus

You can also get to Torokko Kameoka Station from Kyoto Station by train. Take the JR San’in Main Line to Umahori Station. From there it is a 10 minute walk.

Getting to Hozugawa-kudari Boarding Site (Hozugawa River Boat Ride)
By car

If driving, you should drive to Kameoka Station. You can rent a car from a major rental car company at any major train station or city. It is about 40 minutes from Kyoto City. The parking lot is about a 2 minute drive from the station and is located along the river near the boarding area for the boats.

By train

You can also take the train from Kyoto Station to Kameoka Station, it is about a 28 minute train ride. From there it is a 10 minute walk to the river boat boarding area.