The Nishizawa Keikoku (kJ) is one of the most beautiful valleys of the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, a park which covers more than 1250 square kilometers of forested mountains, hills, gorges and some rural towns in the prefectures of Yamanashi, Saitama, Nagano and Tokyo.

A hiking trail leads up the narrow Nishizawa Valley along a picturesque mountain stream and past several waterfalls. After about 90 minutes, you reach the valley's highlight, the Nanatsugama-Godan-no-Taki, a beautiful five tiered waterfall. A separate, more leveled trail leads back from the waterfall to the bus stop.

The trail through the valley is steep at times, and sturdy shoes are recommended. A visit to the Nishizawa Keikoku is particularly beautiful during the autumn leaves season, which usually reaches its peak in late October and early November.


The trailhead to the Nishizawa Gorge is a one hour bus ride from Enzan or Yamanashishi Station along the JR Chuo Line. Both stations can be reached from Tokyo's Shinjuku Station by limited express train in about 90 minutes (around 4000 yen one way) or by local trains in about 2.5 hours (around 2000 yen, at least one transfer required along the way). All trains are covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR Tokyo Wide Pass and JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass.

Buses from Enzan Station (Rw) to the trailhead (kJ) operate only on weekends from May to September and daily during Golden Week and the autumn color season from October to late November. There are four buses per day, and the one way fare is 1030 yen. In contrast, buses from Yamanashishi Station (Rsw) operate daily and throughout the year. There are 3-4 buses per day, and the one way fare is 900 yen.