Over millennia, Yoshii River has slowly eroded the granite plateau to create Okutsu Valley.
Located in northern Okayama prefecture, it has been designated as one of Japan’s places of scenic beauty.
While visitors can enjoy their heart’s fill of the valley’s beauty, what particularly caught my eye are these mysterious holes in the bedrock!
They’re called potholes!
As river currents make whirls in the water, piles of stones on the bottom of the river continue to rotate on the same spot for hundreds of thousands of years. Beginning as dents, little by little they slowly form holes, which grow bigger and bigger over time.
You can also walk beside the clear stream.
Located midway along the valley and offering some very refreshing forest bathing, an 800-meter trail leads downstream from Otsuri Onsen!
Moderate ups and downs pepper the route, but you can go down by the river.
While the current is gentle, the beautiful waterside area is filled with green.
Continuing along the river, you reach a pool.
A small waterfall flows off the top of the large boulder on the left side, and the pleasant sound of the water echoes in the surroundings!
Though there’s a slightly steep uphill climb, it’s a fun forest-bathing route where you can enjoy different aspects of the valley’s beauty!
The climax of the route is the rock bed area dotted with the potholes that I introduced earlier!
The current here is fast and the river’s impressive roar echoes throughout the surroundings.
The rapids are continuing to cut away the massive rock bed while flowing downstream! Seeing the white water close up has quite the impact.
Starting with the potholes, massive rocks, waterfalls and river pools, Okutsu Valley offers great beauty abundant with change.
While the valley is famous for its autumn foliage, it’s also popular as a spot where you can escape the summer heat and enjoy cool walks by the waterside.
How about a walk in this beautiful valley, filled with green?
Location: 16-2 Okutsu, Kagamino, Tomata district, Okayama prefecture
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: 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'.
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