磊々峡 / Rairaikyo Gorge
Small rocky gorge in Akiu Onsen
Photo by Robert Rodriguez
Photo by Amalin Afiqah Binti Mohd Pathi
Photo by Tohoku Sightseeing Organization
Photo by Roger Smith
When you are in Akiu, one of the easiest natural wonders to enjoy is Rairaikyo Gorge. It is free, easy to access, and never closes. The one-kilometer long nature trail hugging the wall of the gorge about twenty meters above the river is really wonderful. There are plenty of entrances and exits, so if you want to skip ahead or return to a favorite part of the trail you will definitely have no problem doing so. The trail is a single path along the gorge, not a loop trail. Walking the full length of the trail and back takes about forty to fifty minutes total. Enter this small gorge, and you’ll be greeted by rock formations, shady spots dotted with flowers, and a feeling of peace and adventure. There are many benches and tables, so bringing a lunch for a picnic with your loved one would be an excellent idea.
There are also many nice spots here and there where you can take nice photos. Perhaps the most popular is the Lover’s Sanctuary spot that aims to bring people closer together. The Lover’s Sanctuary spot is at Nozoki Bridge, near a heart-shaped hole that naturally formed in the canyon wall. It is often filled with water from the previous rain, so if you are lucky you can see your lover’s reflection in the heart. What a romantic view! Capture the love on camera from a vantage point on the bridge.
Rairaikyo Gorge is a magical walk with scenery that changes with the seasons. I personally recommend you come during the fall color season in autumn!
February 19, 2020
Biwahara, Yumoto, Akiu-machi, Taihaku-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi-ken 982-0241
ACCESS BY PUBLIC TRANSIT
From Sendai Station by city bus: About 50 minutes. At Sendai Station West Exit Bus Pool 8 (仙台駅西口バスプール８番のりば), board Akiu Line (秋保線) bus bound for Akiu Onsen (秋保温泉). Alight at Nozokibashi (のぞき橋) or Akiu Sato Center (秋保・里センター) bus stop. Rairaikyo Gorge is near the Nozokibashi bus stop. From the Akiu Sato Center bus stop, the gorge is a 3-minute walk. Abridged timetable here. (The Nozokibashi bus stop isn't listed on the abridged timetable, but it's one stop before Akiu Sato Center.)
From Sendai Station by Seibu Liner bus: About 40 minutes, followed by a 3-minute walk. From Sendai Station Bus Stop 63 (仙台駅63番のりば), board Akiu・Kawasaki Sendai Seibu Liner (秋保・川崎 仙台西部ライナー) bus bound for Kawasaki-machi (かわさきまち). Alight at Akiu Sato Center (秋保・里センター) bus stop. Timetable here.
From Ayashi Station: 15 minutes by bus. From Ayashi Station Bus Platform 2 (愛子駅２番乗り場), board a #83, 84, 85, 86, or 87 Akiu Homen Line (秋保方面線) bus bound for Uenohara (上ノ原), Nojiri (野尻町北) or Futakuchi (二口). Alight at Rairaikyo Iriguchi (磊々峡入口) bus stop. Bus map here, timetable here.
Always open, but unlit at night outside of fall color season and other special events
None, but may be inaccessible in the event of heavy snow
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