A Boat Ride Into Geibikei Gorge

Geibikei Gorge is 2 kilometres long and is surrounded by cliffs over 50 metres tall. The only way to see Geibikei Gorge is by taking a 90 minute round-trip boat ride along Satetsu River which, as you’ll see, is one of the best things to do in Japan.

Kevin and I went early spring but the best time to visit would probably be during September and November for the colourful autumn leaves (but the scenery is beautiful all year round). Unfortunately it had been raining earlier in the day so our boat was covered with a roof which blocked a bit of our view (and my photos).

You can buy food before you leave

You can buy food before you leave

Fish food

Fish food

We bought a bag of fish food pellets before boarding — which was the best decision ever — and had so much fun throwing them into the water, waiting for little fish to gobble them up. I can’t remember how much it was but it would have been only ¥100 or less for a bag.

At the halfway point (before turning back around), we got off the boat and walked towards the ‘lion nose’ shaped rock. For ¥100, you can choose 5 ‘balls of luck’ (udama) to throw into a nearby hole for good luck. I missed all 5, but Kevin managed to get one in (after he bought 5 more). 

10 udama: destiny, longevity, fortune, connections, wishes, romance, love, bonds, income and assets

10 udama: destiny, longevity, fortune, connections, wishes, romance, love, bonds, income and assets


The boatman explains and points out things along the way — but all in Japanese. I love that because it means that it’s still somewhat of a hidden gem and it feels like an authentic way to discover Japan.

On the trip back, our boatman sang traditional folk songs which was such a serene way to end the trip. For only 1600 yen per person, I think this experience is worth every single cent. I’d highly recommend it to any nature lover who has a chance to visit. It is a little bit out of the way but not difficult to get to if you have a JR pass. There’s no need to reserve (unless you’re a group of 15), just turn up before the schedule times and buy your tickets on the spot.

I’d love to come back and experience it all again in Autumn (with hopefully a better understanding of Japanese).


Hours: Varies. See website for the timetable.

Address: 467 Nagasaka, Higashiyama Town, Ichinoseki City, Iwate Prefecture 029-0302

How to get there: 5 minute walk from JR Geibikei Station.
— We took a shinkansen from JR Sendai Station to JR Ichinoseki Station (32 minutes), then a train from JR Ichinoseki Station to JR Geibikei Station (29 minutes).

Cost: ¥1,600 per adult

Trip covered by JR Pass

Website: http://www.geibikei.co.jp/en/route/index.html


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photographer + lifestyle blogger

i love adventures of all sizes, capturing little moments, daily coffees and kind, wholesome human beings