Dakigaeri Gorge is a popular place of natural beauty surrounded in summer by verdant greens and in autumn by colourful foliage in stunning contrast with the magical turquoise blue stream running through the river valley. Long ago the mountain path along the gorge was so steep and narrow that people had to embrace each other as they passed. This gave rise to the gorge’s name “Dakigaeri”, meaning “to embrace someone and turn around”.
The best time to view verdant summer greens is from mid-June to late August while autumn leaves are at their best from early October to early November. The gorge is especially popular during the Dakigaeri Autumn Leave Festival, attracting visitors with traditional folk entertainment and tea ceremonies.
The 1.5-kilometre trail along the stream is an easy 30-minute walk. A few minutes’ walk from Dakigaeri Shrine is the famous Kaminoiwa Bridge. The red bridge stands in beautiful contrast with the emerald green water below. Further along the trail towards Seigan Bridge huge rocks can be seen rising out of the river. Seigan Bridge is a popular scenic location for photos of the cobalt blue water running below the cliff faces rising sharply from the river valley. Going on further through a series of hand-dug rock tunnels, visitors will reach the terminus of the trail, Mikaeri Waterfall. The elegant waterfall is suitably named (Mikaeri means “a look back”), so be sure to take a backward glance at it before returning back along the trail.
Other popular attractions including the Kakunodate Samurai District and Lake Tazawa are nearby giving visitors plenty to see and do in this unique location!
*Please note that the trail is closed due to snow from late November to late April each year.