Wander Into the Green
While the Kaga City area has three historic hot spring towns, Yamanaka Onsen has always been loved by many for its enchanting landscape created by mountain and river. A short walk from its town centre, Kakusenkei Gorge is a lush green area that enjoys the clear flow of the Daishoji River, graceful waterfalls and soothing bird calls. The river is crossed by three bridges. Korogi Bridge, built in the most traditional way using only cypress wood, perfectly complements the surrounding natural scenery. The strikingly modern Ayatori Bridge was designed by TESHIGAHARA Hiroshi (1927-2001), a famous ikebana master and an avant-garde film director. Kurotani Bridge is a stone arch bridge that conjures up romantic images of the 20th century. The 1.3km-long footpath along the banks of the river connects these bridges. The start point of the footpath is Korogi Bridge, the furthest upstream of the three bridges. Passing cedar groves, sparkling waterfalls and luminous clearings, the path offers splendid views at every season. You’ll find Kakusenkei Kawadoko along the way, a pop-up riverside cafe near Ayatori Bridge. Operating on clear days, this charming cafe with simple tatami seating and bright red parasols is the perfect place to stop by to relax. From here it’s a 500 m walk to Kurotani Bridge, the end of the wonderful footpath. The famous haiku poet MATSUO Basho (1644-1694) of the 17th Century once visited Yamanaka Onsen and praised the picturesque gorge. Located close to the bridge, a rustic hut (Basho-do) contains a small statue of Basho inside.