When it comes to “kōyō,” Japanese for “autumn leaves,” Naruko Gorge is known as one of the most attractive spots in the Tohoku region. Strolling along the 2.5 km trail, you can enjoy the charming view of rocky mountains and trees. Among the abundant red leaves, you can spot the peculiarly-shaped rocks in the gorges. One of the best photo spots is the observation platform in front of the tourist center, where you can see the sharp contrast between the autumnal mountain and the Obukasawa Bridge.
Just a few minutes away, a small hot spring town acts as a good resting point. Claiming to have the best water quality in Japan, you will find the finest bathhouses and onsens where you can soak yourself in warm, steaming hot water after a long day. In addition, you can witness Japanese craftsmanship being practiced through the making of the local traditional wooden doll, “kokeshi.” The rustic feel of this historical town complements the golden color of fall, the sepia tones lending a sense of nostalgia, even if it is your first time here.