River cruises at the popular Arashiyama tourist area resumed on Oct. 2 for the first time after powerful typhoon No. 18 ripped through mainland Japan in mid-September.
About 50 tourists joined a cruise down the Hozu River after a two-week suspension from Sept. 16 due to damage caused by the typhoon. The tourists got on four boats at the boarding point in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, at around 10 a.m. and enjoyed the 16-kilometer ride, despite driftwood from the typhoon still being visible along the riverbanks.
According to the joint business union for the Hozugawa River cruises, heavy rain flooded the cooperative office near the boarding point and washed away the arrival deck for the boats in Arashiyama. All the boat captains and staff had worked to repair the routes.
"We thought we wouldn't be able to go cruising on the river. It's good that they restarted the attraction," said Masahiro Watanabe, 44, who traveled from Osaka Prefecture with his wife.
"I'm so happy that we could restart the business," commented cooperative official Yoshio Fukui. "We hope more tourists visit as the Arashiyama scenery becomes even more beautiful when tree leaves change color," he added.
Meanwhile, a tour boat that passes near the symbolic Togetsukyo Bridge also resumed its operations on the same day. While tourists can now enjoy the usual sightseeing around the Arashiyama area, some hotels and shops are still closed due to damage caused by the typhoon.