Geibikei Gorge is an officially recognised national natural monument and is listed as one of the 100 greatest landscapes of Japan. A 2km stretch of limestone cliffs rises over 50m on either side of the Satetsu River.
River tours are available through the gorge guided by boatmen propelling their boats with bamboo poles, an experience unique in all of Japan. The boatmen’s traditional singing harmonises beautifully with murmuring streams and adds a particular charm to the tour. Pets are allowed to travel with you on board and passengers can also enjoy feeding the fish swimming elegantly by in the clear waters.
Before returning down the river passengers can get out of the boat at the turning point for a walk along the gorge. The walk features a rock known as the Lion’s Nose, from which the name Geibikei originated, and also a famous cavity in the cliff on the other side of the gorge. Visitors try their luck by throwing “lucky stones” into the cavity in order to make a wish come true!
An elegant tea ceremony is available on the boat while enjoying the seasonal beauty of Geibikei Gorge. Along with the popular springtime views of wisteria flowers, the verdant greens of summer and autumnal leaves attract tourists throughout the year. In winter passengers can enjoy graceful winter snow scenes along the gorge, often compared to Japanese ink brush paintings, while warming themselves in an on-board Kotatsu (a low heated table covered with a quilt) and enjoying a hot-pot meal. Morning tours are recommended when the gorge is especially popular during the autumn foliage viewing season.
Another beautiful gorge in the town of Genbikei is a 40-minute drive from here. Why not combine your visit to Geibikei with a trip to Genbikei and compare their beauty!