The Gorgeous Takachiho Gorge Guide

This is probably one of the best places in the world to row a boat! Japan’s Takachiho Gorge is stunning… but that’s not all. Takachiho is shrouded in legend and Kagura will explain it all with its traditional dance.

How to visit the Takachiho Gorge

What is it?

Takachiho Gorge is a beautiful part of Japan. You can gaze down into the gorge and watch the waterfalls and people rowing their boats. There’s also a very pretty 1km walk along the gorge, which leads to the famous Three Bridges.

Takachiho Gorge walk

Tell me more

Takachiho Gorge is a gorge with columnar formations and was formed by erosion from pyroclastic flows during ancient eruptions of Mt. Aso. It was designated a Japanese national treasure in 1934.

When should I go?

The gorge is illuminated with lights from mid-July to early September.

Japanese praying Mantis Takachiho Gorge

How much is it to rent a boat?

  • One boat is 2,000 Yen for 30 minutes
  • Each boat can take a max of three people
  • Opening hours are 8:30am – 16:30pm (but change depending on season)
  • Call 0982-73-1213 for the Takachiho Tourist Association if you need more info
Takachiho Gorge beautiful shot

How do I get around?

  • You can rent a car in front of the Takachiho Bus Centre. Prices are 4,300 Yen for three hours (not including tax).
  • Or you can rent a Takachiho cab for 10,800 Yen for three hours. You’ll find these at any tourism spots.
  • There is a car park by the gorge, which is free for motorbikes
Takachiho Gorge guide

What’s the legend about then?

The Takachiho Gorge and surrounding area is steeped in legend. It’s said that the Sun Goddess hid in a cave here, causing the world to be plunged into darkness. The other gods found her in the end and danced in front of the cave in order to lure her out and return light to the world….

Prayers at Takachiho Gorge

Kagura Dance

The Kagura Dance explains the above story of Tajikarao, Uzume, Totori and Goshintai. Every year from mid-November to early February, the dance is performed in every village. The one in Takachiho is on daily from 20:00-21:00 and costs 700 Yen per person. It was first performed 1000 years ago and has been handed down. There are lots of dances but only four are displayed at village halls.

Takachiho Gorge Kagura Dance guide

What else is there?

  • Freshwater Fish Aquarium – open 9-5
  • Kihachi’s Rock – A 200-ton rock which, according to legend, was thrown by Kihachi
  • Takachiho Shrine – It celebrates all the gods of Takachiho-go eighty-eight shrines.
  • Wedded Cedars – There’s a pair of huge cedar trees with entwined roots.
  • Takachiho Three-Stage Bridge (Takachiho Sandan-Bashi) – Three famous bridges overlap each other, the Shinbashi Bridge, Takachiho Bridge and Shinto Takachiho Bridge.
The three bridges at Takachiho Gorge

Where can I stay?

There is a really cool campsite about a five minute ride from the Gorge. It’s well worth staying there. Prices are about 1000 Yen. The coordinates are 32.695638, 131.299836

Takachiho Gorge campsite
Takachiho Gorge camping in Japan

Join a tour

If you don’t fancy getting yourself to Takachiho Gorge, we recommend booking onto this tour from Viator.  

Read more on motorcycle travel in Japan

Thanks for checking out our Motorcycle Travel in Japan Guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on motorcycling in Japan that we recommend you read next. 

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