1-Day Tour: 'Tokimata Hastuuma Hadaka Matsuri' & 'Tenryu Funakudari' River Boat Experience
09:45 - 15:40
1-Day Tour: 'Tokimata Hastuuma Hadaka Matsuri' & 'Tenryu Funakudari' River Boat Experience
Taking place each March, this special event tour takes you to the heart of the Tenryu Riverlands to join one of Japan’s most memorable festivals, the ‘Tokimata Hatsuuma Hadaka Matsuri’. Starting with a traditional ‘Ternyu Funakudari’ riverboat experience, you’ll move along the traditional river road to join the festival parade before watching participants enter the river with their floats. Including lunch and afternoon visit to Kikusui Sake Brewery, this fun and engaging tour is sure to be a highlight of your travels in Japan!
- Join the fun of the ‘Tokimata Hatsuuma Hadaka Matsuri’ – one of Central Japan’s most memorable festivals
- Enjoy the thrill and tradition of a ‘Tenryu Funakudari’ riverboat experience as move along the river road to the festival grounds
- Visit the region’s largest and most famous ‘sake’ brewery, Kikusui for a guided tasting
- Including lunch and all led by a local, English-speaking guide
Want to add accommodation to your tour booking? We can do that for you – see below for details.
The tour begins at Iida Station at 09:45, where your guide will collect all guests and board the tour bus to head toward Tenryu River and the launching point for the Funakudari riverboats. For centuries, the Tenryu River served as a water road to the coast, stretching over 200km to the Pacific Ocean and in doing so, offering an alternate route into the mountainous heart of Japan. River boats moved along the length of the river in transporting people and goods into this otherwise remote region; a tradition you’ll experience for yourself by enjoying a 45 minute Tenryu Funakudari cruise along the river.
Launching from Benten Port around 10;30, the longboat will be guided along the river through gentle waters and more exciting rapids, as you move toward the festival point and enjoy a glimpse of the activity, industry and life that once moved along the river. Arriving at the Tokimata Port around 11:15, you will disembark the boat and head to a nearby restaurant for an early lunch. Once done, it’s onto Chouseki-ji Temple to join the fun and festivities of ‘Tokimata Hatsuuma Hadaka Matsuri’.
Taking place each March, the festival sees both men and women dressed in traditional ‘sarashi’ carry traditional ‘mikoshi’ and other festival floats including horses, sake barrels and rice bales from Choseki-ji Temple into the cold water of the Tenryu River. The festival heralds the coming of spring and is held each year in prayer for a bountiful harvest and is an act of purification in its own right, as participants immerse themselves in the river which gives life to the surrounding region.
You will accompany the festival participants as they parade the floats from the temple to the river, from where you’ll have an excellent viewpoint to watch them enter the river itself while capturing what promise to be some of your most treasured photographs from your travels in Japan.
At the festival’s conclusion your guide will have you board the tour bus for the journey back to Iida Station but first stopping at the region’s most famous sake brewery, Kikusui. Established in the 19th century, Kikusui is the region’s largest and most famous sake brewery, Kikusui has a long history of producing some of southern Nagano’s best ‘sake’.
Arriving around 14:50, you’ll be treated to a short sake tasting with guided explanations of the processes involved – an indulgent and enjoyable way to round-out the day before heading onto Iida Station, where the tour is schedule to conclude at 15:40*.
*the tour end time is scheduled to fit with Limited Express ‘Inaji’ service departing Iida Station at 15:58 and arriving at Toyohashi Station at 18:31. Toyohashi Station is a stop on the Tokaido Shinkansen line running to Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka – making your onward journey to those and other cities easy to navigate.
Overlooking Tenryu Gorge, ‘Ryukyoutei’ is ‘onsen’ (natural hot spring) hotel with great views of the river. The hotel offers Japanese-style rooms featuring ‘tatami’ matting and on-floor ‘futon’ bedding. All rooms include Japanese furnishings such as low tables and chairs along with a private bathroom. The hotel’s restaurant overlooks the gorge and serves a traditional menu for dinner and breakfast. Ryukyoutei’s natural hot spring is also available for use by guests and though showing its age, the baths offer a sense of relaxation at the end of the day. Should you wish us to, we can add accommodation at Ryukyoutei to your tour booking. Simply contact us in advance to request a quote and we’ll get back to you.
|Meetup at the entrance of Iida Station and board the tour bus for the short journey to Tokimata Port on the Tenryu River.
|Transported from Tokimata Port to Benten Port for your ‘Tenryu Funakudari’ river boat experience.
|Board the river boat and depart Benten Port for you 45 minute river experience.
|Arrive at Tokimata Port and head to a nearby restaurant for lunch before heading-on to join the festival.
|Arrive at Chosen-ji Temple to join the festival parade as it moves toward the river, and once there, enjoy watching the full festival from the riverbank.
|Depart the festival grounds by bus and head to Kikusai Sake Brewery.
|Arrive at Kikusai and enjoy a short, guided ‘sake’ tasting experience before reboarding the bus to return to Iida Station.
|Tour concludes at Iida Station.
This tour operates from the following meetup point:
1 / IIDA STATION @ 09:45
The meetup point is at the entrance of Iida Station. It is a small station with only one entrance / exit so you should have no problem finding it. Please be there in advance of the tour departure time of 09:45.
- Transport to / from all listed destinations
- English-speaking guide
- Tenryu Funakudari river boat experience
- Attendance at ‘Tokimata Hatsuuma Hadaka Matsuri’
- Guided ‘sake’ tasting at Kikusui Sake Brewery
- Transport costs before or after the tour
- Additional food, snacks & drinks
- Accommodation (unless requested)
- The minimum age for participation in this tour is 6 years. This is a group tour, meaning that other guests may be joining on the day.
- This tour involves limited walking and is suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness. While you will not participate in the festival by entering the river, you will accompany the festival on-foot from the temple to the river.
- Due to the nature of this tour, it is not wheelchair accessible and may not be appropriate for mobility-impaired guests. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake, please contact us prior to booking to discuss.
- The riverboat is conducted by a local operator, ‘Tenryu Funakudari’. During rafting, that company is responsible for the activity. Your guide will accompany you for rafting but please listen to and follow the direction the riverboat staff at all times. It takes around 45 minutes and the boat is open to the public so may be crowded.
- During the riverboat experience, you are required to wear at life jacket and water may splash in the boat. There are protective plastic sheets on the side of the boat that staff might ask you to hold at times. Please make sure to dress warmly for this activity and be aware you may get a little wet (but nothing too dramatic).
- Should the weather be poor and we are advised that it is not safe to undertake rafting, we will contact you prior to the tour to discuss options including the possibility of an alternative activity.
- This tour is insured however all participants are still required to have travel insurance that covers river boating. Please check to your policy to confirm that rafting is covered prior to booking the tour.
- Lunch will be arranged at a local restaurant. If you have specific dietary requirements, please let us know at the time of your booking and we’ll contact the restaurant to confirm if they can cater to you.
- The legal drinking age in Japan is 20. Persons under this age are welcome to join the tour however they cannot participate in tasting of alcoholic beverages. At Kikusui, non-alcoholic options will also be provided to all guests. Please note, the schedule does not allow enough time for a full tour of the brewery and includes a guided tasting only.
- I’d like to head to Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, etc. directly after the tour. How is it to do that?
- The tour is scheduled to end at Iida Station at 15:40. The Limited Express ‘Inaji’ service departs Iida at 15:58 and arrives at Toyohashi Station at 18:31. Toyohashi Station is a stop on the Tokaido Shinkansen line running to Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka. Once at Toyohashi, you’ll have no problem connecting to a service to those and other cities. Services depart frequently.
- I’m planning to stay in the Tenryukyo Gorge / Tenryukyo Station area. Can I still join the tour?
- Yes. If you would like to join the tour from the Tenryukyo Gorge / Tenryukyo Station area, simply take the local service departing the station at 09:14 and arriving at Iida Station at 09:40. A one-way journey costs JPY240. After the tour, the Limited Express ‘Inaji’ service departs Iida Station at 15:58 and arrives at Tenryukyo Station at 16:13 – costing JPY1330 one-way – or alternatively, a local service departs Iida Station at 16:18 and arrives at Tenryukyo Station at 16:44 – JPY240 one-way.
- Is this tour wheelchair accessible?
- Due to the nature of this tour, it is not wheelchair accessible. It might also be inappropriate for guests who are mobility-impaired. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in the tour, please contact us prior to booking to discuss.
- Do I participate in the festival?
- While at the festival, you will accompany the parade from the temple to the river with your guide. Once at the river, you will be able to watch the participants enter the river carrying the floats however you will not do so yourself.
- While at Kikusui, will I tour the brewery?
- Due to time restrictions, the schedule doesn’t allow adequate time for a full tour of the brewery. You will however enjoy a short but informative presentation about the brewing process followed by a guided sake tasting.
- What happens during the ‘Tenryu Funakudari’ river boat?
- The river boat experience takes around 45 minutes in which time you will sit in a traditional wooden long boat that is guided down the river by experienced staff. This requires you to sit in the boat on a cushion and wear a life jacket at all times. Staff will guide you how to board and disembark the boat safely before also directing you where to sit. They may also ask you to hold a plastic sheet at times to avoid getting splashed when going through rapids. The experience is fun and varies been fast-moving but calm water and rapids. It is suitable for guests of all ages.
- I have a specific dietary requirement / allergy. Can this be accommodated?
- If you have a dietary requirement and/or allergy, please tell us at time of booking and we will speak with the lunch restaurant to enquire whether they can cater to your needs.
- Can I add accommodation to my booking?
- Yes. We can include accommodation at 'Ryukyoutei', a traditional hot spring hotel overlooking Tenryukyo Gorge. The hotel offers Japanese-style rooms featuring ‘tatami’ matting and on-floor ‘futon’ bedding. All rooms include Japanese furnishings such as low tables and chairs along with a private bathroom. The hotel’s restaurant overlooks the gorge and serves a traditional menu for dinner and breakfast. The hotel's 'onsen' (natural hot spring) is available for use by hotel guests only. If you are interested in adding accommodation at Ryukyoutei to your booking, please contact us to discuss.
(Travel Agency License No: Nagano 2-562)
Snow Monkey Resorts Tours
Nagano City Kurita 1015-7, NK Copo 202, Nagano, 380-0921 Japan
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara
09:45 - 15:40