Doro-kyo Gorge: The Valley Where Your Voice Echoes in Three Prefectures

Doro-kyo Gorge: The Valley Where Your Voice Echoes in Three Prefectures

On the last Sunday of this year’s autumn, I took the advantage of the nice weather and drove to a very unique place of Mie Prefecture: Doro-kyo Gorge. Also known as Dorohatcho, this is a breathtaking valley that finds itself a well-deserved place in the list of Japan’s Special Places of Scenic Beauty.

Written by Mutlu Sayar

Doro-kyo Gorge is famed for being the valley where three prefectures meet. Mie Prefecture has borders with both Wakayama and Nara prefectures here.

When I arrived at Doro-kyo Gorge, the beautiful sound of the flow of the Kitayama-gawa River took me under its spell and pulled me to itself. I was even more amazed when I saw the emerald green stream of the river, flowing between the cliffs.

I descended down to the banks of the river. When I reached the water, I was hearing nothing else but the sound, or with a more accurate term, the “voice” of the river. It was as if the Kitayama-gawa River was talking. I crouched down, touched the water, turned my head and lent an ear to listen to what it was saying. That was when my eyes caught the vision of the bridge, hanging between the cliffs, high above the river.

It took several minutes for me to climb up there. This suspension bridge is called Yamabiko Bridge which connects Mie Prefecture to Nara Prefecture. With its 83 meters of length, 25 meters of height, wire-fenced narrow walkway, swinging and shaking with my steps, I felt so excited to cross this bridge on foot.

from the other two prefectures. Actually, this is why the bridge is called Yamabiko Bridge, which means the Echo Bridge.

After crossing once, I couldn’t help it but kept crossing over several times as if it was an attraction in a theme park. Most probably, I might be the only foreign resident of Japan who left and returned to Mie Prefecture the most in 20 minutes. I don’t know if you could challenge me on the count, but I know you will feel the same excitement even if you cross Yamabiko Bridge only once. And don’t forget to shout out to hear your echo.

In order to get some rest, I drove my car along the Kitayama-gawa River and after several minutes, I arrived at Hotel Seiryuso where I immersed myself into the refreshing onsen. This hotel’s onsen is on the second floor and has an open-air bath with stunning view of the Kitayama-gawa River.

I could see a couple of young maple and cherry trees on the bank. Leaves on the maple trees were already wearing their reddish autumn colors but interestingly the cherry trees had some blossoms on their branches as if it was spring. I felt like I was living in two seasons of Mie together.

After relaxing in the onsen, I also had my lunch in Seiryuso. The restaurant has a large selection of meals that are prepared with Mie Prefecture’s local ingredients, such as Kumano Jidori, a luxurious brand of chicken that are raised in the Kumano region. And I ordered an herbal hot pot of Kumano Jidori. I have been living in Japan for over six years, I have visited over twenty different countries, I ate countless times and many types of chicken dishes, but I never knew a chicken meat could ever reveal such a delightful taste. I highly recommend you eat Kumano Jidori in your next visit to Mie!

One of the facilities of Seiryuso is a trolley station. This area has a history of silver mining about 1,200 years ago. This trolley is still working, and now it connects the hotel to Yunokuchi Onsen Hot Springs. With Kumano Yumeguri Tegata, a daily pass sold at Seiryuso, you can take a trip by trolley between Seiryuso and Yunokuchi Onsen and enjoy the baths of both as many times as you like. 。

It is also possible to ride on a rail-mountain bike on the same rail where the trolly passes by. A reservation is required for this ride and I decided to make one for the next time I come with my children.

Check here to find out more about the trolley ride and Yunokuchi Onsen:

Doro-kyo Gorge is a part of the Yoshino-Kumano National Park, so I could stop by several scenic spots of Mie both on my way to Doro-kyo and on my way back home. Here I’m introducing some beautiful scenery around Doro-kyo.

Check here to find out more about Maruyama Senmaida:

Listed as one of the “100 best waterfalls in Japan,” Nunobiki-no-Taki Falls consists of four steps with a total height of 53 meters. I walked all the way down to the basin and enjoyed the lovely nature with autumn leaves around. Despite its height, the sound of the water was so soft and soothing.

Maruyama Senmaida is one of the “100 most scenic terraced rice fields of Japan.” When I visited, rice had been already harvested and the fields were waiting to be tilled.

Check here to find out more about Onigajyo:

When I got back home, I felt the pleasure of having spent another lovely day and once again I felt lucky for living in Mie Prefecture. I can’t wait to explore more in the seasons ahead of me.

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The information herein is as of November 2022

Mie Article

Nature/spectacular views/scenery Article