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Naruko: Peak Colors

This week has seen a considerable drop in temperatures across the country, paving the way for the autumn colors to descend into the lower elevations of eastern and western Japan. For the next couple of weeks, however, a trip to northern Japan or into higher elevations is still required to see the seasonal spectacle at its peak.

Today, I made a trip northwards to the Naruko Gorge, a famous autumn color spot in the Tohoku Region. The colors around the gorge have slightly passed the peak of their seasonal beauty, but were still very close to the peak and certainly worth the trip. They should remain pretty a few more days to come.

I took the train to Nakayamadaira Onsen Station from where it is a 30 minute walk to the gorge
A hot spring source at Nakayamadaira Onsen, one of five hot spring towns in the area
Beautiful colors along the walk from Nakayamadaira Onsen Station to Naruko Gorge
Approaching the gorge
A first observation deck overlooking the gorge
Colors near the Narukokyo Resthouse
The Ofukuzawa Bridge viewed from the Narukokyo Resthouse
A steep trail leads from the Narukokyo Resthouse to the bottom of the gorge
The bottom of the gorge
The trail used to continue through the entire gorge, but was partially destroyed in an earthquake eleven years ago
Beautiful colors along the trail
Lots of people gather on the Ofukuzawa Bridge whenever a train passes through the gorge
Waiting for the train
The wait pays off
This is how the scenery looks from the train
Elegant evergreens among the autumn colors
The gorge and the Narukokyo Resthouse, viewed from the Ofukuzawa Bridge
The nearby town of Naruko Onsen
The town has been renown for its high-quality hot spring water for over 1000 years
Naruko Onsen's waters are wonderfully sulfuric