One man has been confirmed dead and another is missing after a sightseeing boat capsized in the Hozu River in the city of Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, on Tuesday, Kyoto Prefectural Police have said.

According to the Hozu River pleasure boat association, the boat was carrying around 30 people and cruising down the river when it ran aground and capsized around noon.

Authorities rescued the man, who is the captain of the boat, in a state of cardiac arrest, but he was later confirmed dead, police said, adding that they are searching for another boat staffer. Passengers of the boat and two other staffers have been confirmed safe, they said.

The river boat cruise, on which participants can enjoy a scenic view of cherry blossoms in spring and other natural scenery throughout the year, is among Kyoto's popular tourist attractions and is enjoyed by some 300,000 tourists annually.

A visitor from China who was planning to ride on a boat told public broadcaster NHK that he was scared hearing the news about the accident.

A couple from the United States said they were looking forward to a tour after hearing about a beautiful view, but that they were shocked to learn about the capsizing, adding that they were praying for the safety of those involved.

The boat association announced on its website that all the river cruises for the day had been called off.