My first day in Kameoka I attended an all-day workshop on the Hozu River. The boatmen of the tour boat company have formed a volunteer group to revive the craft of ikada, or log rafts. These were built to transport logs down the white water Hozu River and deliver materials to Kyoto.
The group managed to find two men who had first-person knowledge of how these rafts were made and, more importantly, had the skills to navigate rafts downriver. The ikada group spent the morning making three log rafts and teaching students and other visitors.
The afternoon was spent running a short stretch of river with children on board. The group has run the full length of the river, and the video footage of their efforts is stunning.