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Yamanshi Report: Shosenkyo Gorge

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Yamanashi Journeys: Shosenkyo Gorge

By Jeffrey Fang (November, 2010)



After the hottest recorded summer in Japan for the last 113 years, the temperature in Kofu has slowly dropped down to about 10 - 20 degrees. On the streets, people have started to wear light jackets that mirrors the changing color of leaves that have slightly turned to reddish yellow. As autumn is now in full effect, along with it comes the various seasonal changes in behavior. These may include laziness and also a time to appreciate Autumnal food such as Salmon and mushrooms to name a couple.  



I was fortunate to have a chance to visit Shosenkyo Gorge, one of the most popular tourist spots in Yamanashi. Shosenkyo Gorge is located in north Kofu, about 30 minutes bus ride from the Kofu Station. It was voted the second most beautiful place in Japan after Mt. Fuji by the Yomiuri readers. At Shosenkyo, people can enjoy a pleasant and easy hike along a 4km trail, which leads to a beautiful waterfall, lofty cliffs, and lots of interestingly shaped rocks, which is a standout feature of Shosenkyo Gorge.  

From Shosenkyotakiue bus stop which is surrounded by souvenir shops, our hike began at the trail which started at the top and then made our way downward. Walking downward toward to the Tenjinmori bus stop it takes about a 10 minute walk to reach the Sengataki Waterfall which is 30 meters high and has very rich and plentiful amount of water. As I was standing there gazing at the marvel that flowed before me, the water cascading on the rocks had me wanting to caress it as it flowed. The purity of water is very special as it was selected as one of the Top 100 best quality water in Japan. The trail continues alongside the very crisp stream that weaves through the oddly placed and shaped rocks that sit lazily in the sunlight. I loved the way that the grey shades of the rocks seemed offset by the green shades given by the trees, the mixture of colors had awakened my senses once again. The jutting cliffs were also another interesting viewpoint. Kakuenbo Cliff is about 180 meters high, and its unique shape and atmosphere from how the trees surround and frame it makes it majestically impressive, and the most popular cliff in Shosenkyo. Overall, the atmosphere leaves you admiring the many features that the gorge has to offer, but also breathe in the natural air that makes the area so popular. Words alone cannot describe the beauty that lay before me, but to experience it in person is a whole new experience in itself. 


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Shosenkyo is currently holding two key calendar events, in which one is currently taking place and the other starts around November 10. The current event showcases the Sengataki Waterfall in a different light, so to speak. Local's light up the waterfall using lights creating a dreamlike atmosphere. It is both fulfilling and enlightening. The other event which will start around November 10th and last for 2 to 3 weeks eases you into the autumn season by granting you the opportunity to view the autumn foliage in Shosenkyo. Viewing seasonal changes hallmarks the beauty that is reflected by the natural features that Shosenkyo has to offer. Being there to see it, would be most beneficial!



Take bus from the Kofu Station South Exit Bus Terminal 3 (Towards Shosenkyotakiue )

Tenjinmori Bus stop (30 minutes, 570 yen), Shosenkyotakiue Bus Stop (60 minutes, 870 yen)


For more information, Please check the Shosenkyo Gorge Tourist Homepage.( External link )