Hozu gorge is the gorge formed by Katsura River.
The start point is near central Kameoka city located to the west of Kyoto city, and the end point is Togetsukyo bridge in Arashiyama area.
The length of the gorge is about 16 km.
It is called "Hozukyo" in Japanese.
Originally this gorge was very narrow and rocky.
Ryoui Sukinokura (1554-1614) was a wealthy merchant in Kyoto, and he was thinking that he wanted to carry the products of Tanba region (the northwest region of current Kyoto Prefecture) through this gorge.
At last, he decided to construct a waterway in 1606, then he completed the difficult construction within just five months.
Since that, this waterway had been an important route connecting between Tanba and Kyoto.
After the railroad (San'in Line) was completed in 1899, the waterway had been no longer in use.
Instead, the cruising for sightseeing started in 1885, because this
gorge is near Arashiyama.
Several novelists wrote this cruising on their works, and the Princes of Romania and Britain as the state guests enjoyed the cruising in the 1920s.
Hozu gorge cruising is done by small boat with two boatmen. And the
boat is operated downstream.
So the start point is located about 0.5 km east of JR Kameoka station, and the end point is near Togetsukyo bridge in Arashiyama.
It takes about 2 hours. (The fare is 3,900 yen.)
Another popular transportation to enjoy this gorge is Sagano Scenic
It runs along the river, and we can enjoy the scenery of the gorge in the train.
Originally this line was a part of JR San'in Line. In 1989, the mail line around this gorge was changed to the new route passing through the tunnels.
Then the old scenic route became this sightseeing railroad.
The terminal stations are Torokko-Saga and Torokko-Kameoka, and there
are Torokko-Arashiyama and Torokko-Hozukyo stations between them.
It takes about 23-26 minutes. (Of course, the trains are operated in both directions.) The fare is 600 yen one-way.
Basically, reservations are required in advance.
When the train has seats available fortunately, you can get the seat on the day.
By JR San'in Line, from Kyoto station,
to Saga-Arashiyama, about 14 minutes by rapid train, about 18 minutes by rlocal train,
to Kameoka, about 23 minutes by rapid train, about 31 minutes by rlocal train.
Kyoto Imperial Palace