A lovely valley where you can enjoy natural beauty all throughout the seasons
The man-made lake of the Ena Valley was created from the construction of Oi Dam in the Taisho Era which dammed up the Kiso River. In 1920, the world-famous geographer Shigetaka Shiga named the valley which is attractive for its various scenes throughout the seasons: the cherry blossoms of spring, the new fresh leaves of summer, the fall colors and the congregation of many water fowl in the winter. Many lovers of literature and culture have come to love the area which is one of the foremost places of scenic beauty in the Chubu region. The valley is also famous for its many strangely-shaped rocks. Pleasure boats cruising the valley come and go from the dock in the area of souvenir shops, and sheer precipices and rocks in the form of sheer cliffs which remind one of the rapids that had existed before the dam was built and other shapes can be viewed.
Many highlights to be enjoyed along the lakeshore such as cherry blossoms and natural monuments
Located on the narrow peninsula protruding within Ena Valley is Sazanami Park. It is a famous place for flower viewing with about 200 cherry trees blossoming in spring and a nature trail. During cherry blossom season, the area is illuminated at night from sunset to 10pm at night. The entire park area seems to float upon the lake surface during the evening so that an elegant but simple world can be enjoyed. Even outside of cherry blossom season, the area can be enjoyed during the four seasons. Blossoms of rhododendron and wisteria, and the maples of autumn adorn the lake shore. What also must not be forgotten in a tour is Kasaiwa (Umbrella Rock) which has been nationally designated as a Natural Monument. Its name refers to its umbrella-like shape which was created due to its weathering from rain and wind. It is well worth seeing as an unusual rock which cannot be witnessed anywhere else in Japan.
Enjoy a leisurely soak while enjoying the magnificent landscape of the Ena Valley
Ena Valley is also well known for its excellent onsen. There are 3 examples of accommodations along the lake shore which have baths completed so that you can get that picturesque view of the valley landscape throughout the seasons. You can also enjoy that bath during a day trip without needing to stay the night. The onsen at the Enakyo Grand Hotel and the Enakyo International Hotel have chloride springs which are said to resemble those at Arima Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture. With the high salinity despite the onsen being in the mountains, these hot springs are very unusual in Japan. Kanpo-no-Yado Ena is a mineral spring which draws its water from the Ena Valley source spring and has the trait of odorless water that is silky to the touch. To enjoy 2 types of onsen in one area is a big attraction for Ena Valley.