A valley to be enjoyed all throughout the year
Located in one corner of Aso-Kuju National Park, Kikuchi Valley is situated at an altitude of 500m-800m in the northwestern sector of the outer rim of the Aso crater as it covers a huge restful forest of about 1193ha. It is a valley that spans 4km. In addition, it has made many Top 100 lists in Japan including those for forests, waterfalls and springs as well as the Top 100 lists for Kumamoto Prefecture in terms of forest landscapes and nature. The forest revealing the flowing streams from the head of the Kikuchi River and the expressions of all 4 seasons has been used in many commercials. The area has also been dubbed as a natural air conditioner so that visitors can enjoy average temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius during the summer. Kikuchi Valley is also known as a fine place to see the changing of the leaves in autumn which brings a lot of tourists.
2 easy nature trails
There are 2 nature trails starting along the stream by the entrance with the Iyashi (Healing) Course which takes 30 minutes to cover the 1km round-trip and the Minus Ion Mankitsu (Full Enjoyment) Course which takes about 1 hour to cover 2km round-trip. Waterfalls of varying sizes can be observed such as the curtain-like Kakemaku-no-Taki Falls, the most attractive waterfall of the valley Reimei-no-Taki Falls, Momijigase Falls which is especially pretty in the autumn, and Ryugabuchi/Tengu-taki Falls whose view from the bridge is something out of a painting, so that you can enjoy a variety of scenes. The trails can be easily navigated so that you can fully enjoy the fresh air and beautiful landscape while walking along the river. There are few ups and downs on the trails, and even children and seniors can enjoy themselves since visitors can take part in water activities during the summer. Furthermore, at Yacho-no-Mori (Wild Bird Forest), more than 50 species of wild birds can be observed so that it is a popular site for birdwatching. There is also a souvenir shop selling local goods and a restaurant right by the entrance.