I stumbled across this gorge while looking for places to go in Niigata. Apparently it’s one of the top three gorges in the country!
It’s famous for the interesting formations that magma from an ancient eruption made as it cooled.
There used to be a walking path through the gorge, but there were too many landslides. So naturally…
they decided to dig a 750m tunnel through the cliffs with viewpoints looking out into the gorge.
There are four viewpoints, each with a different art installation. The tunnel in between is lit by different colored lights, and there are displays of stuffed animals and information on the gorge in between as well.
The last viewpoint is by far the most popular. There’s a shallow pool of water on the floor that perfectly reflects the roof and the gorge beyond. Expect lots of people here, and, if you’re lucky, there will be a line to take pictures. Otherwise you’ll have to deal with lots of people in your shots.
When I left, there was a line of cars waiting to park, along with a couple tour buses. Just missed the crowd!
Supposedly there is a 7 hour, one-way hike through the gorge (a bus service can take you from one end to the other). I found a little bit of information on it online but nothing too specific. Hopefully I’ll be able to check it out next year!
Admission: ￥600 for adults, ￥300 for children
Length: 750m one way
Closed: January-March due to snow
Notes: Parts of the tunnel have a slight incline, but otherwise it’s a flat, easy walk. It’s a bit chilly in the tunnel, so plan accordingly.