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Autumn Color Report 2015
Official autumn color reports by japan-guide.com

Where to see autumn leaves? - When do trees turn colors? - What trees turn colors?
Schedule of upcoming reports - Post your own report

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2015/11/19 - Kankakei Report
by raina

Older couple enjoying the view

Continuing my tour of valleys and gorges, I visited Kankakei Gorge located at the center of Shodoshima Island, the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea. Kankakei holds the reputation of being one of Japan's three most beautiful gorges and I was looking forward to seeing it. The autumn colors at the gorge were approaching peak especially along the ropeway and I expect it to improve further over the next few days. Those planning to visit over the coming long weekend should expect beautiful colors and bus tour groups.

I started early and took the ferry from Himeji Port in Himeji to Fukuda Port on Shodoshima. The ferry ride takes about 100 minutes and costs 1520 yen one way. Once on the island, there are a few options for getting around the island, bus, taxi or rental car. Buses to the gorge run every one to two hours from Kusakabe Port and it is advisable to check the timetable before heading off. While taxis are available on the island, it is best to book one ahead of time. It is also recommended to call ahead to check the availablity of rental cars especially during the autumn color season.

I decided to take the ropeway up to the top of Kankakei and walk down. While queuing for the ropeway, I somehow got mixed into some guided groups and ended up listening to explanations of the region. The ropeway ride only took six minutes, travelling a distance of 917 meters. Along the way, the ladies on the ropeway with me were moving around the cabin trying to get good views of the Seto Inland Sea and the valley below. The autumn colors along the way were absolutely gorgeous and I can imagine it to be even more stunning in good weather.

After arriving at the upper ropeway station, I checked out a few observatories and made my way down via the western hiking trail. Heavy rains from the day before made the walking path slick with wet leaves and some sections into mini streams, that meant no running down the hill to save time. While it was mostly green under the canopy, I could see from the colored leaves that covered most of the walking trail that they had taken one for the tree, and were blown off during the wind and rain.

The ropeway car fits about 40 people
View along the way
Proof that I was at Kankakei
You could buy small clay discs to throw through that metal hoop
Looking down at the upper station and the Seto Inland Sea from the slopes of Mikasayama
Practising his pirate lookout pose
An observatory near the upper station
Can you spot the gorge staff crouching precariously near the edge of a cliff?
Autumn leaves
I did not drive up this way, but I am sure the view must've been beautifu
Leaves collecting by the side of the road
Ropeway in motion
These two old men and I standing on a thin strip of rocks with not much separating us from the edge of the cliff
Amazing view from the edge, that's the Seto Inland Sea in the background
This rock is named sketchpad because the lines on the face kinda resemble sketches
View walking back down to the lower station
Leaves covering the hiking path
The ferry I took to Shodoshima and back

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List of Posts:
2015/12/09 - Tokyo Report
2015/12/04 - Kyoto Report
2015/12/03 - Tokyo Report
2015/12/01 - Kamakura Report
2015/11/27 - Tokyo Report
2015/11/27 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/27 - Nara Report
2015/11/26 - Osaka Report
2015/11/25 - Miyajima Report
2015/11/24 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/20 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/19 - Tokyo Report
2015/11/19 - Kankakei Report
2015/11/18 - Mount Mitake Report
2015/11/18 - Korankei Report
2015/11/17 - Fujigoko Report
2015/11/17 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/16 - Mount Takao Report
2015/11/13 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/12 - Tokyo Report
2015/11/11 - Hakone Report
2015/11/11 - Fukuroda Falls Report
2015/11/10 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/09 - Koyasan Report
2015/11/08 - Miyajima Report
2015/11/07 - Dazaifu Report
2015/11/06 - Fujigoko Report
2015/11/04 - Tokyo Report
2015/10/30 - Kyoto Report
2015/10/28 - Nikko Report
2015/10/26 - Bandai Report
2015/10/22 - Northern Alps Report
2015/10/21 - Northern Alps Report
2015/10/20 - Mount Fuji Report
2015/10/15 - Hachimantai Report
2015/10/15 - Nikko Report
2015/10/14 - Alpine Route Report
2015/10/14 - Towada Report
2015/10/13 - Hakkoda Report
2015/10/08 - Nasu Report
2015/10/06 - Nikko Report
2015/10/05 - Route 292 Report
2015/09/28 - Oze Report
2015/09/24 - Alpine Route Report
2015/09/17 - Daisetsuzan Report
2015/09/16 - Daisetsuzan Report

Tours and Experiences