Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sandankyo : The Hidden Gem of Hiroshima

On our trip to Hiroshima, we had half a day to spend before we started our return journey. Having already visited Miyajima and Iwakuni, both popular day trips from Hiroshima, we were looking for something different to do. Sandankyo was the perfect choice for us- we just love being in the midst of nature.  
Sandan-kyo is a hidden gem in Hiroshima Prefecture. Most tourists wind up their Hiroshima trip with a visit to the city's attractions, Miyajima island and at the most a visit to Iwakuni's Kintai Kyo Bridge. Very few tourists end up visiting Sandan-kyo, a beautiful ravine that can be reached in an hour's drive from Hiroshima city. 

Sandan-kyo is a beautiful 16 km long gorge which is designated a National Scenic Beauty and is the only such gorge in the Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu Region. Only 5 gorges are designated as National Scenic Beauty in Japan. Sandankyo is part of the Nishi Chugoku Sanchi Quasi National Park.   
Sandankyo is located along the Shibakigawa River, a tributary of the Ota-gawa river. 
The area has a peaceful and refreshing atmosphere, surrounded by dense forests, steep rock walls and waterfalls. Visitors can walk through the gorge along the flowing river which at places passes through narrow gaps in the rocks. 
We started our walk from the Sandan-kyo front gate.
The Nagabuchi bridge is built over the Nagabuchi pool at the entrance of Sandankyo.
We walked past the Shimaidaki waterfall and Ishidoi on our way to the Kurobuchi pool. The Kurobuchi pool is known for its beautiful emerald green stream. 
Visitors have to ride the ferryboat to cross the river at Kurobuchi pool. Unfortunately, on the day of our visit, the boat rides were suspended in anticipation of rain. The other popular spots in Sandankyo Gorge are Sarutobi, Deai Bashi Bridge, Nidan no taki and Sandan no taki waterfalls. 

The Nidandaki waterfall is located in a secluded area and can be accessed only by boarding the Sarutobi boat which passes through a two meter wide gap between rocks. This boat ride was also not operating on the day of our visit ! The entire gorge walking course takes about 5 hours but visitors can choose one of the many walking courses. We walked from the main entrance to Kurobuchi pool in about 50 minutes.   
The gorge is a popular spot for viewing Autumn foliage. Overnight stay options are available at the Sandankyo Hotel. The hotel also has an onsen facility. 

On our way to Sandankyo we had passed by some beautiful terrace fields.

Website: http://www.sandankyo.co.jp/

Address: Hiroshima Prefecture 731-3813, Yamagata gun, Akiota cho, Yokogou, Sandan Kyo

Parking: Paid Parking available. 






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