Traditional boating at the foot of the Southern Alps
The Tenryukyo Valley, located between the Southern and Central Alps of Nagano, offers a unique and breathtaking experience for boating enthusiasts. With its stunning natural beauty and serene surroundings, it is the perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful and adventurous getaway. Whether you are an experienced boater or a novice looking to try something new, the Tenryukyo Valley has something to offer for everyone.
One of the main attractions of the Tenryukyo Valley is its beautiful river, the Tenryu River. The river flows from Nagano’s Lake Suwa, winding its way through the Ina Valley at the foot of the Southern Alps before eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean. Along its course, the river has carved out two magnificent gorges, known as the Garyu Gorge and the Tenryu Gorge. These gorges are a testament to the power and beauty of nature, with their rugged cliffs, jagged rock formations, and lush woodland scenery.
Boating along the Tenryu River is a popular activity in the area, and there are several options to choose from. One of the most exciting experiences is the Tenryu Funa-kudari, a thrilling 35-minute ride downstream through the northern Garyu Gorge. As you navigate the river, you will encounter rapids, boulders, and towering cliffs, all while enjoying the breathtaking scenery. The expert guides who accompany you on the journey ensure your safety and provide interesting insights into the history and nature of the area.
For those looking for a longer boating experience, the Tenryu Gorge trip is a must-try. Lasting for about 50 minutes, the Tenryu Rhine Kudari takes you on a leisurely cruise along the gorge. As you glide along the emerald-green river, the guides will point out various landmarks and rock formations, some of which have unique names. You will also have the opportunity to witness a demonstration of traditional net fishing techniques at a designated stop along the way. The tour concludes near Karakasa Station, allowing you to continue your exploration of the area.
The boating tours in the Tenryukyo Valley are available year-round, each season offering its own unique beauty and charm. In spring, you can witness the fresh greenery and blooming cherry trees, creating a picturesque scene along the river. Summer brings vibrant flora and relief from the heat, as the cool waters of the Tenryu River provide a refreshing escape. Autumn is perhaps the most captivating time to visit, with the river adorned in fiery reds and golden hues, contrasting against the lush greenery. Even in winter, when the valley is covered in snow, you can still enjoy the boating experience. The boats are equipped with kotatsu, a traditional quilt-covered device that provides warmth, ensuring your comfort throughout the ride.
To reach the Tenryukyo Valley, there are several transportation options available. If you are coming from Tokyo, you can take the Shinkansen to Toyohashi, which takes approximately two hours and 30 minutes. From there, you can transfer to the local Iida Line, which will take you to Ina-Yawata Station, the gateway to the Garyu Gorge. For those wishing to explore the Tenryu Gorge, you can continue your journey on the Shinkansen to Toyohashi, and then take a three-hour train ride to Tenryukyo Station. Both the Garyu Gorge and the Tenryu Gorge are easily accessible from their respective train stations, and boats are available for hire near the stations.
Aside from boating, the Tenryukyo Valley offers a range of other activities and attractions. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the canyon near Tenryukyo Station, which offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The area is also known for its vibrant autumn colors, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers. The Tenryukyo Onsen, located near Tenryukyo Station, provides a relaxing and rejuvenating experience with its hot spring baths. After a day of boating or hiking, soaking in the warm waters is the perfect way to unwind and recharge.
In conclusion, the Tenryukyo Valley in Nagano is a paradise for boating enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Its picturesque river, breathtaking gorges, and lush surroundings make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable experience. Whether you choose to embark on a thrilling ride through the Garyu Gorge or enjoy a leisurely cruise along the Tenryu Gorge, you are sure to be captivated by the beauty and tranquility of this unique location. So pack your bags, grab your oars, and get ready to embark on a boating adventure at the foot of the magnificent Southern Alps.
Address And Maps Location:
Tatsue, Iida-shi, Nagano-ken