Ryuokyo Gorge

The gorge shaped like a writhing dragon is a picturesque scene in Nikko National Park

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This gorge was created from the eruption of an undersea volcano 22 million years ago. It is a beautiful place with many different types of scenery, including waterfalls and marshes. It was selected as No. 5 of the nation’s Top 100 tourist destinations.
Ryuokyo, Fujiwara Nikko-shi, Tochigi
(0288) 76-4111

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The beauty of a gorge whose gigantic fantastically-shaped rocks evoke the image of a violent dragon

Ryuokyo is located between Kinugawa Onsen and Kawaji Onsen. A gorge whose volcanic rock was eroded over its 3 km, its steep exposed bedrock evokes a violent dragon.  Ryokyo is basically divided into 3 sections. The upstream Shiryu Ravine is notable for the purple rocks that flowed out during the early volcanic activity. The midstream Seiryu Ravine accumulated volcanic ash that changed the color of the rocks blue. And the downstream Hakuryu Ravine has rocks on either side of the stream that were formed from white volcanic rock. Visitors will never tire of the beauty of this gorge filled with changing scenery.

A level walking trail that is perfect for a stroll

The entrance to Ryuokyo starts from Hakuryu Ravine to the open-air bath at Kawaji Onsen over a distance of 6km on a gentle nature trail that takes 3 hours to cover, so that many people visit during the spring and fall seasons. There are 4 types of courses which include a 1.5-hour course that loops back from the most popular spot of Musasabi Bridge and a 3-hour course that goes beyond Ryuokyo to Kawaji Onsen. You will want to choose the course that best meets your stamina and time.

Scenic spots all over

There are picturesque spots such as Nijimi Bridge at the southern entrance for the courses where you can view a rainbow on a good day at Nijimi Falls, Goryuo Shrine where you can yell out to get your wish, and the rough Hakuryu Ravine. It’s almost like taking in the beauty of a Japanese painting. Musasabi Bridge has the most incredible panorama in Ryuokyo Gorge. Just on the borderline between Hakuryu and Seiryu Ravines, you can view the changes in scenery upstream and downstream. It’s also fun to take that stroll as you search for the nature-created art works such as Sokonashi Marsh where the nationally-designated Natural Monument of the forest tree green frog lives, the kame-ana potholes where rocks have fallen and shaped the ground through the actions of water, and the skunk cabbage wetlands.

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