Wakayama: Sightseeing Boat Tour of Gorge Begins; Showcasing Steep Cliffs and Oddly Shaped Rocks

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A boat passes by cliffs and oddly shaped rocks on the Kitayama River.

SHINGU, Wakayama — A sightseeing boat tour of Dorokyo Gorge, a national scenic spot that straddles the three prefectures of Wakayama, Nara and Mie, has begun and will run until Nov. 30.

Dorokyo Gorge features steep cliffs and oddly shaped rocks that stretch along both banks of the Kitayama River, a tributary of the Kumano River.

The tours used to be operated by jet boats with a capacity of 48 passengers. However, the business shut down in January last year due to a significant decrease in the number of tourists amid the COVID-19 pandemic. New tours have started with two smaller vessels. About 4,400 people boarded the boats last year.

On the first day of this year’s tour on March 2, an opening ceremony was held at the boarding site in the Kumanogawa district of Shingu, Wakayama Prefecture, an enclave of the city surrounded by Nara and Mie prefectures. The first boat departed with five people on board, taking about 40 minutes to complete the about 9-kilometer round-trip.

There are six trips daily between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. No tours are offered on Mondays. Reservations are required. Each trip costs ¥3,000 for adults and ¥1,500 for children from 4 years old to elementary school age.