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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Nature

Yoro Valley 養老渓谷

Uncover Yoro-Keikoku Valley—one of Chiba’s best kept hiking secrets

The Yoro-Keikoku Valley and the Yoro River is an untouched pocket of Chiba just waiting to be explored. Walking paths throughout the park allow you to enjoy its natural beauty and soak up the stunning seasonal colors.

Don't Miss

  • The Yoro-Keikoku Valley—a mecca for hikers and nature lovers
  • Awamata no Taki—Chiba's biggest waterfall
  • The area’s mysterious black hot springs

How to Get There

The Yoro-Keikoku Valley is just south of the center of the Chiba peninsula and is accessible by train or car.

Yoro-Keikoku Station is on the Kominato Line. To get there by train, take the Keiyo Line from Tokyo to Soga. Change at Soga to the Uchibo Line and change to the Kominato Line at Goi Station. You can also reach the park by driving the Aqua Line to Kisarazu.

The Yoro-Keikoku Valley, a hiking haven

The Yoro River winds through the center of the Boso Peninsula, south of the Kominato Railway to the Pacific Ocean, creating the lush and rugged Yoro-Keikoku Valley. Around the roaring river are steep hills covered in dense forest. Although close to both Tokyo and Chiba, the valley is a lesser known Chiba Prefecture attraction.

The entrance to the valley is Yoro-Keikoku Station on the Kominato Railway Line. From there, the valley stretches six kilometers to the south, ending at Otaki, home of one of Chiba's most famous castles.

The beauty of the valley in fall

The best time to visit the valley is during the fall when the autumn leaves are brilliant red, yellow, and gold. The colorful leaves create a canopy over the valley and its roaring river. The momiji (Japanese maple trees) are in abundance here and a fall festival is hosted in celebration of them.

Four seasons of brilliant color all year round

Yet the valley is gorgeous at other times of year. During the spring, it's an excellent place to enjoy the blooming cherry blossoms and azaleas. Summer offers swimming, hiking, and other activities around the river. In winter, icicles hang from the rocks.

Visit Chiba's biggest waterfall

The park is best known for its waterfalls, including Awamata no Taki, Chiba's biggest waterfall. From a height of 30 meters, its water cascades down a fascinating collection of stair-like rocks.

Walking trails at Yoro-Keikoku valley

The park's walking trails make it a mecca for hikers. One particularly popular trail extends just under two kilometers right along the banks of the Yoro River.

Some rocks form steps where you can cross the river. Part of the trail passes right by the park's most famous waterfall. This course takes about three hours but there are many shorter hiking courses as well. The park presents a variety of trails of all lengths and levels of difficulty.

The hidden temple

At one part of the river is Shusse Kannon Temple, a small temple built during the 12th century that ancient Japanese military commanders prayed at for success in battle. The temple is at a scenic spot with lush foliage on its grounds, including plum trees that bloom with purple flowers in February.

Crossing the scenic Kannon bridge

To get to the temple, you have to cross Kannon Bridge. The bridge is the same vermillion color that you see at temples and shrines and offers views of the river and the steep tree-covered hills on either side.

Go further by soaking in the area’s black hot springs

Near Yoro-Keikoku Station are resorts with Japanese-style ryokan and hot springs. The hot springs here are unique kuroyu, or black hot springs. The surprisingly dark color is caused by organic plant material in the soil.