Updated: May 21, 2022
Japan is not a country with rich historical temples or shrines, but its nature also attracts tourists. There are plenty of river cruises in Europe on deep wide water river or you can enjoy rafting in designated area in Europe but Japan is a place where you can enjoy river cruises on shallow but rapid water. These cruises are conducted by professional staffs who control the boats and explain the scenery on board.
Oboke gorge is located in western Tokushima prefecture in Shikoku island, along the Yoshino river. Yoshino river has a nickname "Shikoku Saburo", Saburo means classical name for boy who was born as the third son of the family(The first son is Ichiro; as like Ichiro Suzuki in MLB, second son is Jiro). This nickname was named due to Yoshino river is the one of the three most rapid stream rivers in Japan, and also floods were occurred in the past quite often.
River cruise at Oboke gorge has a long history, more than 120 year. Not only Japanese but also tourists from other Asian countries are now enjoying the cruises. Oboke gorge can be reached by JR Dosan line. The nearest station in Oboke, which all limited expresses Nampu and Shimanto stop. Nampu connects Okayama station in Honshu(station of Sanyo Shinkansen) and Kochi station. On the other hand, Shimanto connects Takamatsu station in Kagawa prefecture and Kochi station. These two limited expresses merge at Tadotsu station on Yosan line and run together till Kochi. Therefore if you travel from Honshu, take Nampu at Okayama. If you are coming from Takamatsu, take Shimanto. If you are coming from Matsuyama, take limited express Shiokaze or Ishiduchi to Tadotsu and change to Nampu/Shimanto. Then, if you are traveling from Tokushima city or Mima city where famous Udatsu district is located, take limited express Tsurugisan to Awa-Ikeda and change there to Nampu/Shimanto.
After enjoying Oboke gorge, you can also head to Koboke canyon or Iya valley too. By the way, Oboke literally means BIG WALK DANGER. Please be careful when walking in Oboke!