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A Gorgeous Fall Walk in Sandankyo Gorge

Hiroshima, Japan

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  • Start or End: I started and finished at the Sandankyo Bus Stop (Google Map Directions), which is the terminating stop of the Sandankyo Bus starting at Platform 7 of the Hiroshima Bus Center (Google Map Directions). The Sandankyo Bus operates as a local bus (slow) and an express bus (uses the expressways). For the timetable of the bus click here. You will see from the timetable that there are very few express buses, the first one which leaves the Hiroshima Bus Center at 8:18 am and arrives at Sandankyo at 9:33 am (1:15hr). I wanted to get in there early, so I tried the local bus which leaves at 6:10 am and arrives at 8:27 am. The bus actually got there at 8:50 am, so the trip took 2:45hr! Yes, that is a long bus trip, and I probably should have taken the express bus which arrived only 40 mins later. However, once the local bus was out of the city it was very scenic and it costs less (¥1270), so I am glad I did try the local bus. I took the 3:00 pm express bus back, which cost ¥1480 and is far less scenic (mostly tunnels).
  • Length: 15.5km (9.6mi) in about 5.5hr
  • Grade: Medium. It is hard to believe that such a spectacular gorge can be accessed via a concrete path! There are steep, slippery sections and much of the path is on the edge of a large vertical drop. The path is in excellent condition, providing access to those of reasonable fitness.
  • Date Walked: 15th of November 2019
  • Note: If you only want to take express buses to and from Sandankyo you will need to take the bus that arrives at 9:33 am and the bus that departs at 3:00 pm. That gives you 5.5 hours to explore the area. The path I took starts at the main entrance, passes through the most spectacular part of the gorge (Kurobuchi), passes the Mizunashi carpark to reach as far north as the Sandandaki waterfall, heads west to Nidandaki waterfall, returns to Mizunashi carpark, then returns via the same path through the most spectacular sections of the gorge to the main entrance. It took me 5.5 hours to complete this course (I probably take too many pictures!) and I didn’t even take the ¥500 boat to Nidandaki waterfall (there was a line-up, so I didn’t) or the ¥300 one-way boat trip at Kurobuchi (I wanted to take the path high in the cliffs). So, the moral of the story is, if you want to explore the main attractions of the area (and take the express buses) you will probably want to utilise the services of the infrequent shuttle bus, which means you do not need to do the Mizunashi carpark to the main entrance section twice. For more information on access and the shuttle bus please visit the Akiota Tourism Association website, specifically the hiking pdf document.

The Story

It took a while to get to Sandankyo Gorge via public transport, but the wait was worth it. A special walk with amazing autumn colour, waterfalls, towering cliffs, rapids, still pools and the most epic concrete path I have ever seen.

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Hello, I'm Marc and welcome to metrotrekker.

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