One of the 100 Landscapes of Japan・Scenic Beauty / Boat rides down Geibi Gorge

Brimming with beauty

This is the real landscape of Japan

Geibi Gorge

Geibi Gorge is a gorge in Iwate Prefecture in Japan’s Tohoku region, where visitors have been coming for over 100 years to ride the boats and absorb the beauty of each season. The boatmen and women use a pole to push the boat along, and it is the only place in Japan where boat rides go both up and down the river without using a motor. Here you can soak up the changing seasonal beauty of Japan with all of your senses.

Spring

The "Lone Cherry blossom of Geibi Gorge" blooms in late-April,
while the best time to see the purple wisteria flowers against the bare cliff face is the middle of May.
(Cherry blossom viewing season: late April—early May; wisteria viewing season: mid-May)

Summer

Summer brings rich greenery along the rocky walls of the gorge, and fish follow the boats along the river. If it rains, you might find yourself drifting through a romantic mist.

Autumn

Autumn colors paint the entire gorge in brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red from mid October to early November, creating breathtaking views.

Winter

Boat rides operate all year round—you can even enjoy a winter cruise.
Only in winter can you enjoy our famous "Kinagashi Nabe" hotpot, seated at a cozy, heated kotatsu-style table as you float along the river through a snowy wonderland.

Dining on the river

At Geibi Gorge we are equally proud of our stunning scenery and our delicious food. Kick back and enjoy the ride with some ayu (sweetfish), skewered and slowly grilled around hot coals, or a lunch box packed with colorful Japanese cuisine. In winter you can keep warm with our on-board hotpot.
* Eating and drinking are permitted on the boats

Make a wish

Why not make a wish and try your luck? At the turnaround point of the ride, there is a giant cliff called Daigeibi-gan. It’s said that if you can throw one of the “undama” or lucky stones into the hole in the cliff, your wish will come true. A total of 10 different undama are available, carved with different Chinese characters including destiny, longevity and fortune. Which ones will you throw and try your luck at?

Undama (lucky stones)

There are 10 undama: destiny, longevity, fortune, connections, wishes, romance, love, bonds, income, and assets. You can buy five for 100 yen and try your arm.

Boatman's Song

The famous "Geibi Oiwake” sung by the boatmen and women of Geibi Gorge is a kind of Japanese folk song. They perform this song with their impressive singing voices while steering the boat towards the end of the journey. A feeling of tranquility fills the air as the song echoes off the beautiful walls of of the gorge.

The boatmen build the boats

The boats that glide through Geibi Gorge are hand-built by three of the gorge’s boatmen. They carefully construct these boats out of Japanese cedar, taking about a month to complete a boat. Traditionally these boats were used to transport horses, and they retain the characteristic flat, wide prows from those days. Iwate Prefecture was known as a horse-breeding area, and the people who lived alongside the horses handed these boat-building techniques down through the generations.