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“Magnificent natural attraction”
Review of Takachiho Gorge

Takachiho Gorge
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
64 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Magnificent natural attraction”
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Three things to do before you head to Takachiho Gorge:

- Check the weather forecast (clear weather is what you are looking for)
- Arrange to get there early (we drove)
- When you get there, and if you decide to row the boat (well worth the experience), book the boat first, then have a wander around

Takachiho Gorge (Takachiho Kyo if you are using the GPS to get there) is simply stunning. The drive there was a sensory experience in itself. We stopped several times to take pictures of the spectacular mountain vistas, the tunnels leading through the mountain, and the bridges.

Unfortunately, we missed out on a spot in the bottom car park, which meant we had to park on the top and hike down a long series of steps before reaching the Gorge. It is about a 15-20 minute hike down, and you get some wonderful glimpses of the Gorge and landscapes along the way, BUT, it is the hiking back up later that really saps your energy (especially on a hot day).

The Gorge itself is beautiful, and I suggest making a beeline for the boat bookings once you get there before doing anything else. We didn't do this, and ended up waiting for two hours (with not much to do) before getting on a boat. Rowing the boat in the Gorge was worth the wait though. You get a completely different perspective of the Gorge, and a chance to get up close to the waterfall and aquamarine waters. It is stunning, and plenty of fun.

Once you've done the boat booking, you can have a wander around and take in the beauty of the gorge from above. To be honest, there isn't much to see or do there. There are two somen restaurants, where the wait staff send bundles of somen down a bamboo chute filled with running water and you catch them with your chopsticks (fun, but I wonder how hygienic this is?!), and another restaurant where you can fish for your fish which they then cook up for you. There are then two obligatory omiyage stores, a soft serve stand, and a freshwater aquarium which we decided not to visit.

I would highly recommend visiting though. It was the highlight of our time in Kyushu. Just book the boat first!

Visited May 2014
6 Thank Caryn N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
101 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Worth a Visit”
Reviewed 17 June 2014

It is a tourist attraction with many tourists even on a weekday. Parking available at 400 yen per day. Do come early . We reached around 10am and it was almost full. Ask for a map , English available from the car park attendant. Row the boat for max 3 people for 2000 yen . It wasn't easy at first and 30 mins passed rather quickly . The rock formation is unusual . Lots of staircases up and down for the walk along the gorge where you get different views. Walk right to the end and you will see 3 bridges . Few restaurants available near the car park . We saw 2 "catch your flowing noodles" bar after we had lunch . They are slightly further away from the car park. Seemed like fun at 500 yen per person. Noodles flow down the bamboo and you catch them with your chopsticks and dip the noodles in a dipping sauce. There is a fresh water aquarium there too . It is very very small , not really worth a visit . We did unfortunately .

Visited June 2014
2 Thank Pris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Very scenic, but catch it in good weather”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

I visited Takachiho Gorge by rental car from Kumamoto city. It takes two hours to get there from Kumamoto. I highly recommend renting a car as you will have very limited time if taking public transport and it is not much more expensive, especially if you can spit costs with other people.

I visited the gorge on a day when it rained heavily for over 6 hours. This is not the best kind of weather to experience the gorge. I'd like to revisit again some day and try the rowboat (expensive at 2000 yen/30min).

Away from the the gorge, the Amano Yasukawara cave near the Amano Iwato Shrine is well worth a visit to see the shrine inside a cave and thousands of stacked rocks. This is only possible if you have your own transport (or hire a cab...).

Visited April 2014
4 Thank Julius P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
750 reviews
293 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 285 helpful votes
“A Nice little hike”
Reviewed 7 April 2014

Takachiho Gorge – nice little hike along trail with many steps to negotiate along the Gokase River. This gorge was formed from the erosion of the Mount Aso plateau. We had lunch at a nice restaurant at the end of the trail. Challenged walkers were put on minibuses to meet the group. The entire group rode the minibuses back up to the top bus parking lot.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank DYA717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Long walk back!”
Reviewed 3 February 2014

We arrived at Takachiho by public bus and walked all the way to the gorge in mid-late Dec. Tip: on arriving at the bus centre, cross the street to the Visitor Centre and get a map. The Visitor Centre is not very obvious from the bus centre - look slightly to your left and across the road. Then ask for directions - the map from the visitor centre is not drawn to scale. Keep asking for directions along the way - in 20 minutes we made 4 wrong turns and ended up outside of town! But we found a nice hotel restaurant along one of the "wrong" roads!

The gorge itself is wonderful. There was light snow the day we were there (www.accuweather.com was accurate!) but it melted very quickly. It was cold walking there and cold while in the gorge. There was only one intrepid boat in the river. But the gorge was still lovely, green water, lovely Manai waterfall.

Another tip: keep looking backwards at the gorge as you walk along the riverside. The views are different; we saw small springs that looked prettier when looked at from a different angle, a different colour.

Words can't describe the gorge - it's absolutely magical; and worth the long bus ride from Kumamoto. Try to allow at least 3 hours if you're walking to and from the gorge because getting there and back will take an hour, if you don't get lost. The gorge itself - 2 hours if you want a quick view. If you want to really appreciate it, spend the day there!

Walking back to the bus centre - it's a long way uphill. If you're rushing for time, you'll feel the strain because you're climbing continuously uphill on a steep hill for about 30 min. Get a cab or take breaks!

Visited December 2013
5 Thank Philanopsis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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