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Nakatsu Gorge

The dramatic rocky scenery of this ancient gorge has captured the imagination of Japan for centuries.

One of the most impressive natural sites along the beautiful Nakatsu River is the gorge which shares its name. Geologists place the age of the gorge somewhere around 300 million years, and it’s been sacred to humans for millennia. Shintoists regard it as an important spiritual power spot, but no matter your faith you’ll surely be able to feel its magnificence from the dramatic scenery alone!

If you want to enjoy the gorge and surrounding area in full, then you should explore it as part of the hiking trail which runs for 2.3km along the river. You’ll be treated to gigantic ancient boulders, carved statues of gods granting you safe passage, and at the end a beautiful 20 meter waterfall named Uryu-No-Taki. This walk is particularly nice in fall, when the whole place is decked out in the autumnal golds and auburns.

If you still have time to spare after completing the trek, then the Nakatsu River continues on to join with the Niyodo River — the crystal-clear jewel in Kochi’s crown. Continuing on here will provide even more adventure to fill as many days as you can spare.

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