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Kakusenkei Gorge 鶴仙渓

Scenic gorge and walking trail cutting through Yamanaka Onsen

Kakusenkei Gorge is a stretch of the Daishoji River that runs through lush forest near the hot-spring village of Yamanaka Onsen. The 1.3-kilometer gorge runs from Korogi Bridge to Kurotani Bridge. Its peculiar rock formations form year-round scenic views that change with the seasons.

The best-known of these bridges is the Ayatori Bridge, a wine-red, S-shaped trestle bridge that winds across the river. Ayatori Bridge, or “Cat’s Cradle Bridge,” is so named for its resemblance to the children’s game. The bridge is illuminated in various colors each evening from April until the end of snow season. Near Ayatori Bridge is a cafe with seating on platforms built over the river (April–November).

The gorge’s waterside trail takes 15 minutes to traverse from end to end. Along the trail, take in views of waterfalls and deep water pools. The path and the Basho-do Hut, which commemorates the visit of famed haiku poet Matsuo Basho (1644–1694) to Yamanaka Onsen. A statue of the poet and the haiku he composed about the area surrounding Kakusenkei Gorge are on display within the hut.

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