2015.11.24
Yamaguchi

Chomonkyo Gorge: A Delightful, Easy Walk, Great for Forest-Bathing!

 

Surrounded by deep forest, Chomonkyo Gorge comprises of a clear stream, monoliths and strangely shaped stones all in perfect harmony.
With a total length of 12 km, the canyon is located in the central part of Yamaguchi prefecture. In addition to having been designated as a place of scenic beauty, it has also been selected among Japan’s top 100 famous views and top 100 forests for forest bathing.
Set along Abugawa River, the clear stream flowing through the gorge includes a walking trail with a total length of 5.5 km. As the entrance to the trail is located around 5-minutes walk from Chomonkyo Roadside Station by National Route 9, and is also close to JR Chomonkyo station on the Yamaguchi line, it is easily accessible.

 

 

The first part of the trail is relatively flat with little ups and downs.
With the background murmuring of the stream, you can enjoy some refreshing forest bathing.

 

 

Every now and then along the course there are stairs and slopes that allow visitors to descend down to the water.
(*Please note that there are places where the rocks are slippery, and you will need to mind your step.)

 

 

There are also some places where the rocks push out towards the trail, and you will need to crouch…
Though the midway section of the course also has some ups and downs, in places where the going gets tougher, handrails and fences have been set up to assist.

 

 

Located around 2km from the trail entrance, this is Kayagabuchi (“Kayaga stream pool”).
As a large rock pushes out from the opposite shore, at this point the stream pool makes a curve.

This is Funairi. It’s located around 2.5km from the trail entrance.
At this point the river becomes a calm stream, and just as the name ‘Funairi’ suggests (‘Enter boats’), it’s wide enough to anchor a boat.

 

This is Otanibuchi. Characterized by huge rugged rocks on both sides of the river, it’s located around 3km from the entrance.
As you can see, you can experience beautiful canyon scenery at every turn along the route.
If you continue on from Otanibuchi for another 500m, you will find a resting area called Suzuka-chaya. Tables and chairs have been set up, and you can enjoy different kinds of meals starting with sweet fish dishes.
Beyond the resting area past Momijibashi Bridge, the course continues on for another 2km until the trail ends at Ryugubuchi.
This area is known for its beautiful autumn foliage, but if you visit for example during the summer, you may also turn around at Suzuka-chaya.
An easy walk for beginners, the forest-bathing course is very refreshing! And as it’s just off a major national route, as well as near a train station, Chomonkyo gorge is also easy to access.

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Chomonkyo Gorge

Location: 1526-5 Atoshinome, Yamaguchi city, Yamaguchi prefecture
http://www.oidemase.or.jp/tourism-information/spots/10111 (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka

 

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Hironobu Matsuoka

Hironobu Matsuoka

Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.

http://www.healing-japan.tv/

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