Exploring Hiroshima

Vol.06 Miyama-kyo Gorge (Higashi-Hiroshima City)
The beautiful harmony of rich nature with uniquely shaped rocks and autumn colored leaves

One of the top five autumn color spots in Hiroshima

One of the top five autumn color spots in Hiroshima

Miyama-kyo Gorge is located in Chikurinji Yokurayama Prefectural Natural Park in Higashi-Hiroshima City. There are a number of uniquely shaped rocks such as Meoto Iwa (married couple rocks) and Saru Iwa (monkey rock) in the gorge with a total length of 4 kilometers along the Mukunashi River. During the autumn season, brilliant red and yellow leaves add a touch of color to these rocky cliffs.

From Meoto Iwa Observatory Park located in a sandbank of Mukunashi River, you can enjoy panoramic views of the beautiful gorge and the autumn colors of the mountains. Many maple and ginkgo trees are also planted around the park, which was constructed as a water park. It serves as one of the best photography locations that closely overlooks the Meoto Iwa rocks surrounded by beautiful autumn leaves. The park is the perfect place to have a picnic lunch with your family in days with gentle weather, or to let your children play in the water in summertime.

To visit the Miyama-kyo Gorge, you can get off at the Kochi Station, which is about 20 minutes by train (bound for Mihara) from the famous sake brewery district of Saijo, take a bus for 5 minutes, and walk about 10 minutes. During this autumn season, it might be a good idea to stop by and explore the gorge as well, while visiting the sake breweries in the Saijo district.

Access:
5 minutes by bus from JR Sanyo Main Line, Kochi Station and 20 minutes on foot.
About 20 minutes by car from Sanyo Expressway Kochi IC.

The breathtaking Meoto Iwa (married couple rocks) at the Meoto Iwa Observatory Park

The breathtaking Meoto Iwa (married couple rocks) at the Meoto Iwa Observatory Park

The sight of the autumn colored leaves of Meoto Iwa Observatory Park is a must-see as well.

The sight of the autumn colored leaves of Meoto Iwa Observatory Park is a must-see as well.
Recommended spots for autumn leaves!

Sandan-kyo Ravine (Akiota-cho)

Sandan-kyo Ravine has been nationally designated as the only special place of scenic beauty in western Japan. With a total length of 16 kilometers, the ravine has a variety of rich natural forms including Mitsudaki Falls, Sandandaki Falls, Nidandaki Falls, Kurobuchi (Black Abyss), and Sarutobi (Monkey Jump). The clear river flowing between the towering ravine and the autumn colors reflected on the water surface are truly mystical. It might be good to take a ferryboat and immerse yourself in the yugen (subtle and profound) world.

Access:
By car: From Chugoku Expressway, take the Togouchi IC to the front entrance of Sandan-kyo (approx. 10 mins.)
By public transportation: By highway bus from Hiroshima Bus Center (approx. 1 hr. 15 mins.)

Sandan-kyo Ravine

There are performances throughout the year

There are performances throughout the year

Buttsu-ji Temple (Mihara City)

Buttsu-ji Temple, the headquarters of the Buttsu-ji branch of the Rinzai sect (a sect of Buddhism in Japan), is known for its beautiful autumn leaves in Hiroshima. During the peak season, the beautiful scenery of the autumn leaves, especially covered with the path toward the temple, draws myriads of visitors and tourists.

Access:
By car: About 15 minutes from Sanyo Expressway Mihara-Kui IC
By public transportation: About 40 minutes by bus bound for “Buttsu-ji” from Mihara Station or about 30 minutes by bus bound for “Buttsu-ji” from Hongo Station.

Within the grounds and toward the temple, there are sceneries everywhere you just can't resist taking a picture of.

Within the grounds and toward the temple, there are sceneries everywhere you just can't resist taking a picture of.

Miyajima Momijidani Park (Hatsukaichi City)

The park is located along the Momijidani River flowing at the foot of the reiho (sacred mountain), Mt. Misen. In the fall, about 700 trees with fiery-colored leaves are particularly beautiful. The scenery of scarlet Iroha maple trees and "Momiji Bridge" is also very popular as a photography spot.

Access:
10 minutes by car from Sanyo Expressway Ono IC to “Miyajima-guchi Pier.” About 10 minutes by ferry from Miyajima-guchi Pier to Miyajima Pier and about 20 minutes on foot.

Within the grounds and toward the temple, there are sceneries everywhere you just can't resist taking a picture of.

Within the grounds and toward the temple, there are sceneries everywhere you just can't resist taking a picture of.

Around Kintai-kyo Bridge and Mimijidani Park (Iwakuni City)

The park is located just a 5-minute walk from the famous tourist spot "Kintai-kyo Bridge" in Yamaguchi Prefecture. When crossing the Kintai-kyo Bridge, you’ll find the "Kikko Park," and as you go further, there is the entrance of Momijidani Park. In mid-November, this path is lined with about 1,000 colorful autumnal trees such as maple trees. Since they move away little by little from the color-changing season, you can enjoy the perfect gradation of green, yellow, orange, and red-colored leaves.

At the park, you can discover not only the splendor of autumn leaves, but also the charm of various historical sites. This area has originally had many shrines and temples, even called "Teraya," since the Edo period (1603 - 1868). Because the properties of the shrines and temples were made into parks, there are many cultural and historical highlights around the area. “Yoko-ji” with the dry landscape garden and “Tosen-ji” with garyubai (a plum tree shaped in a form resembling a lying dragon) still remain today. The scenery of the autumn leaves in front of the shrines and temples as the backdrop never shows the same view, giving new excitement each step of the walk.

Access:
20 mins by bus from JR Sanyo Line Iwakuni Station. Get off at Kintai-kyo Bus Stop.
20 mins by bus from JR Sanyo Shinkansen Shin-Iwakuni Station. Get off at Kintai-kyo Bus Stop.
10 mins from Iwakuni IC via Sanyo Expressway
Around Kintai-kyo Bridge and Mimijidani Park

You’ll be fascinated by the color contrast between scarlet maple leaves and golden ginkgo leaves.

You’ll be fascinated by the color contrast between scarlet maple leaves and golden ginkgo leaves.

Yoko-ji Garden which was designated as a place of scenic beauty of Iwakuni City in 1999

Yoko-ji Garden which was designated as a place of scenic beauty of Iwakuni City in 1999

For the latest information on the autumn leaves of Hiroshima, please visit here (only available in Japanese)



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