Mogami River is famous throughout Japan for its appearance in the poem “Samidare wo/atsumete hayashi/Mogamigawa” by the great Haiku master Basho Matsuo. Basho composed this lively poem during a boat journey down the rapids, portraying the rapid flow of the Mogami River following the long seasonal rains. The Mogami River is one of Japan’s three fastest-flowing rivers however the popular boat tours are leisurely cruises while going through some rapids.
The river fascinates visitors with a range of seasonal highlights on show throughout the year. The vibrant pink flowers of wild cherry blossoms are delightful in early May. Refreshing breezes can be enjoyed when the verdant summer greens are at their best from late May to early June. From late October to late November the views of the surrounding mountains dotted with trees of warm autumnal colours reflected on the water are fantastic. While the snowy winter scenes from late December to February create an elegant and simple beauty reminiscent of traditional Japanese ink brush paintings. Special Kotatsu boat tours are available during winter in which visitors can enjoy the magnificent views from the boat while warming themselves in an on-board Kotatsu (a low heated table covered with a quilt) and enjoying a cup of hot sake!
In addition to the amazing views, the boatmen’s traditional singing and friendly talk in the local dialect add a particular charm to the tour. Visitors might even be lucky enough to find some boatmen singing for passengers in their own languages. Bento lunch-boxes are available including local specialties such as Imoni hot pot and salt-grilled Ayu fish, known as “the Queen of the Freshwater Fish” (prior reservations are required). Enjoy both the river’s scenic beauty and a local delicacy while on board!