One of the most entertaining things I’ve ever done in Inuyama is shooting the Nihon Rhine Rapids on the Kiso river. When I discovered it in Golden Week I was so enthusiastic that I was back on another boat no less than 2 weeks later, and it’s not cheap! It’s a relaxing way to experience Inuyama’s beautiful valley scenery and it’s especially refreshing when it’s superhot like it is during the Japanese summer. So the boat ride was a must-do on my little Inuyama list, so after dropping off our bags at the hotel we met up with Maiko and Masa again at Inuyama Yuen station, who are two Inuyama locals but have never tried shooting the rapids before.
Shooting the rapids sounds dreadfully frightening, but don’t worry it’s just a fancy name for sitting in a wooden boat being steered over the relatively mild Kiso River by some Japanese men with funny hats. The ride itself is thrilling and the view from the boat is breathtaking, but the all the waiting that precedes the boat fun can be downright boring. First you have to wait at the office at the riverbank near Inuyama Yuen station for some bus to pick you up. The bus ride itself is crowded (most of us actually sat on little stools covering the aisle path, pulled out from the regular seats) and long. The bus takes you to the starting point of the tour, where you can buy your ¥3400 tickets and wait again until they call your name and it’s time to board the wooden boat. Good thing that we were a big group with lots of catching up and getting to know to do.
And then our time finally came, they called out ‘Louana-san’ which my mom found very entertaining, and we all made our way to our wooden ride back to Inuyama. I’ve really been looking forward to taking my family here, but it wasn’t as perfect as I had imagined because of believe it or not the weather. I was expecting the typical Japanese summer heat, which makes you really appreciate the coolness of the river water splashing everywhere when riding the wilder parts of the Kiso river. The bright sunlight that enables you to really admire the river’s beautifully green and clean water, the bushy scenery, and the weirdly shaped rocks and. But the weather today was disappointingly gloomy.
In the end it even started to rain which made the boat guys cut the ride short, which meant no river view of Inuyama Castle and not hearing the end-of-trip music which for some strange reason is the same as the Dutch national anthem, and I wanted the other Dutchies to hear, just because it’s so weird. Overall, I think they enjoyed it, but they weren’t nearly as impressed as I was during my initial trip over the river when it was hot and sunny in Golden Week.