Untapped Kumamoto

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矢谷渓谷(Yatani gorge)

The heat of this summer was just so crazy and extreme everywhere around the world.


Even at the usual summer, I always find it so difficult to survive.


My favorite thing in summer is staying in my room which is nicely air-conditioned and watching a movie or just relaxing.


But to introduce somewhere attractive in Kumamoto to you, I’d decided to get out of my comfort zone and go out for a day trip with my good friends.


This time, I’d decided to visit Yamaga-city.


Personally, Yamaga-city seemed to be a little less attractive to me before(sorry for the people who live in Yamaga!!).


But I have to make it clear that the more I searched about Yamaga, the more I got interested in it and couldn’t wait to visit there.


Yamaga is located in the northern part of Kumamoto and it takes about an hour from the centre of Kumamoto-city by car.


Yamaga is very famous for 山鹿灯籠(Yamaga tourou).


Source : 山鹿探訪なび  https://yamaga-tanbou.jp/about/toromatsuri/


It is a summer festival held in the middle of August and 1,000 women join traditional dancing with the music ‘よへほ節(Yoheho bushi)’, wearing yukata and special handmade paper lanterns on their head.


Source : 山鹿探訪なび  https://yamaga-tanbou.jp/about/toromatsuri/


I haven’t joined it till now but it must be so stunning and beautiful.


Also, Yamaga is famous for the good quality of hot spring.
People visit there to heal and relax themselves.


The plan for a day trip I made was like this:


1. Going to 矢谷渓谷(Yatani gorge)
2. Visiting 日輪寺(Nichirinji temple)
3. Having lunch at 手打ちそば たか木(Teuchi soba Takaki)
4. Admiring 不動岩(Fudou rock)
5. Visiting 一本松公園(Ipponmatsu park)
6. Joining きくち夏祭り(Kikuchi summer festival)


It seems like I packed so many places in one day!




Because of the crazy heat, we decided to leave Kumamoto-city early.


I picked two of my friends and we left Kumamoto-city at 6 am.


To be honest, I felt a little regret to leave that early since I was so sleepy at first, but after seeing the beautiful blue sky and freshly green mountains, the feeling just went away and I was into enjoying driving and talking to my friends.


On the way to Yatani gorge, we dropped by the spot where we could see beautiful layers of mountains.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


There was no one but us and I just enjoyed fresh air and my eyes were so refreshed by the colors of many types of green.


There, I learned how to express the difference of green, like lime green, olive green, sap green and emerald from my friend.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


We arrived at Yatani gorge before 8am.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


We entered into the place and enjoyed the beautiful sceanary.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Yatani gorge is famous for camping and doing BBQ so we saw people gradually waking up and getting outside from the tent.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


I liked this wooden table and bench which are surrounded by the trees and I felt like I was in a dream(not because I was sleepy!).


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


It was like a exploration in the woods.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


When we reached to the main river, there was no one but us again and we had a great time taking photos and playing in water.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


The water was so cold but it was so clear and refreshing.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Wild nature remained there.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


It was interesting to observe trees and leaves of many shapes.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


After 9 am, some families started to come to the river with their picnic props.


After a while, we decided to take a stroll to another spots of Yatani gorge.


As soon as we climbed up leaving the river base, we realized the difference of temperature.


While we were close to the river, it was nicely cool and refreshing but the temperature at the top was just like the summer we are having in the city!


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


We didn’t go but there is a water slider so it’d be a good attraction to children.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


If you want to get out of the heat in the city, Yatani gorge would be the perfect place to go!


And the good thing there is it’s less crowded than Kikuchi gorge(check the previous article ➡︎ http://untappedkumamoto.com/2018/06/16/菊池渓谷-kikuchi-keikoku-1-day-trip-kikuchi-city-part-2/).


In autumn, you’ll admire the beautiful combination of Yatani gorge and 紅葉(Kouyou means leaves turned into red and yellow).


Visit Yatani gorge at anytime you want and  it’ll give you a wonderful experiences.

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

【Information and links】


矢谷渓谷(Yatani keikoku, Yatani gorge)


Official website(in English) : 


Address : 2005-2, Kikuka-machi Yatani, Yamaga-city, Kumamoto-prefecture


Tel : 0968-48-9156

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テーマの著者 Anders Norén
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