Naruko Gorge is located in north-western Miyagi Prefecture and considered as one of the Tohoku Region's most scenic gorges. Around late October to early November, the gorge transforms into one of the region's most popular autumn color spots.
The leaves cover the 100 metre deep gorge with stunning orange and gold colours, so this has become one of Japan’s best places to see the Autumn leaves.
The Naruko Gorge stretches for about 2 kilometers east to west. Narukokyo Resthouse is the best area for autumn leaf viewing located towards the western end of the gorge. The view of the Ofukazawa Bridge can also be enjoyed from the observation deck next to the resthouse.
There is also a walking trail which is called the Naruko Gorge Walking Trail that is the best way to the see the gorge. Another trail, Ofukazawa Walking Trail that leads into a forested side valley and remains crowded during the fall season.
Towards the eastern end of the gorge stands the Japan Kokeshi Museum which exhibits a large number of kokeshi dolls from the various prefectures of the Tohoku Regiom. Visitors of the museum can also watch an artisan make the dolls or purchase them at the museum shop.
The closest train stations to the Naruko Gorge are Nakayamadaira Onsen (to the west) and Naruko Onsen (to the east), with both being 2km away.
The gorge is open to the public everyday. If you are planning to visit the nearby museum, Japan Kokeshi Museum, it opens 8:30 to 17:00 and 9:00 to 16:00 in December. It is closed during January to March. Admission fee is 320 Yen.
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