Region
Chubu
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Kofu
Population
888,170

Shosenkyo Gorge

Take a scenic walk in Yamanashi and spot some awesome rock formations. Is that one shaped like a cat…?

Shosenkyo Gorge, known in Japanese as Mitake Shosenkyo, is an incredibly scenic spot in Yamanashi Prefecture. The narrow gorge is lined with interestingly shaped rocks and cliffs with a comfortable four-kilometer long hiking trail.

Located about a 30-minute bus ride north of Kofu City, the Shosenkyo area encompasses not only the gorge with its rock formations but also the surrounding mountains.

Though the gorge is beautiful in all seasons, it is especially impressive during the autumn months.

Breathtaking views and hiking

Shosenkyo Gorge

On a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji from the Panorama Platform.

The best way to explore the area is to take the Shosenkyo Ropeway on the upper, northern end of the gorge.

At the top of the ropeway is the Panorama Dai (Panorama Platform) offering breathtaking 360-degree views of Mount Fuji and the Southern Japanese Alps. You’ll even spot the expansive Chichibu Mountains in the distance. There is also a beautiful little shrine called Yakumo Shrine known for bringing luck in marriage.

Shosenkyo Gorge

Photo by: Johannes Schonherr Up, up, and away.

Next, start hiking toward Shosenkyo Gorge from the ropeway ground station. You will first pass through a small village with stores selling colorful crystals found in the area, some of them quite large.

While you’re in the village, try the local mitake soba. We highly recommend the kinoko soba which comes with a large helping of wild mushrooms!

Explore Yamanashi

View of Mt Fuji Yamanashi Prefecture
After you’ve had your fill, enter the actual Shosenkyo hiking path just south of the village. You will first encounter the Sengataki waterfall where pristine water from the Arakawa River crashes down 30 meters into a clear pool right next to the hiking path.

This isn’t the same Arakawa River flowing through Saitama and Tokyo, it’s a rather short river in Yamanashi Prefecture bearing the same name!

About those rocks…

Shosenkyo Gorge

The Ishimon is a great photo spot.

Cross the bridge over the river and immerse yourself in the world of the curious Shosenkyo rocks. Towering to your right is the Kakuenpo, a steep rock which monks were said to have meditated on.

Duck through Ishimon, a stone gate formed by two rocks extending from the cliffside and a riverside boulder. There is a tiny space where the rocks meet just big enough to put your hands in between the two colossal pieces of stone. People leave coins inside the crevices here for good luck.

Shosenkyo Gorge

The towering Kakuenpo.

Further ahead, the tall cliffs give way to a wooded valley. From there, you’ll see the strangely shaped rocks down by the riverbed rather than towering over your head.

Spot the neko ishi (cat rock), saru ishi (monkey rock), and rakuda ishi (camel rock). With a little imagination, you will discover that the rocks look exactly like what they have been named after. Figuring that out and discussing it with hiking partners is a great game.

Trivia

View of Mt Fuji Yamanashi Prefecture

Explore Yamanashi

Pack a prized Yamanashi piece of fruit in your camping bag and head for the hills.

More

How To Get There

Address

Takanaricho, Kofu, Yamanashi 400-1214, Japan

By train

The closest station is Kofu Station, from there you can take a bus to Shosenkyo Gorge.
From Tokyo, take the Limited Express Azusa from Shinjuku to Kofu Station.
From Yokohama, get on the Shonan-Shinjuku Line to Shinjuku then hop on the Limited Express Azusa to Kofu

By bus

From Kofu Station, direct bus service to the Shosenkyo Guchi (Nagatoro-bashi) stop at the lower, southern end of the gorge is available all year.

From April 1 to Nov. 30, that same bus will continue on to the Green Line bus stop close to about the middle of the Shosenkyo hiking trail and on to Shosenkyo Taki Ue, the terminal stop close to the Shosenkyo Ropeway.

From Dec. 1 to March 31, the direct bus from Kofu Station will terminate at Shosenkyo Guchi. A community bus service is provided to get visitors to the Green Line stop and to the Shosenkyo Taki Ue stop.

You can find the bus schedule depending on the season at the Shosenkyo Travel Association website in English.


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