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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
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 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
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare 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
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving 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
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
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 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

Discover 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.

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. The roaring river is flanked by 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

The valley is gorgeous at other times of year, too. 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 the 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.