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【Wakayama/Mie/Nara】“Doro-kyou,” A Place to Remember2016.01.11

160111 ★瀞渓

Doro-kyou” is a 31 km long wild gorge in the “Kitayama-gawa River,” cross three prefectures, Wakayama, Mie, and Nara,  a tributary of the “Kumano-gawa River.” It clears cobalt blue waters that flow into the Pacific Ocean. The famous gorge is known for the stunning beauty of unusual rock formations, caves, and high cliffs. Located in “Yoshino-Kumamo National Park,” World Heritage Site, also famous for being the location of traditional religious pilgrimages to the shrine. The deep gorge valley was formed by corroding sandstone, (spanning over 1,000 years), which covered the slate rock. “Doro-kyou” has 3 unique gorge areas, “Shimo-Doro,” “Kami-Doro” and “Oku-Doro.” “Shimo” means down and “Kami” means up and “Oku” means deep.

Oku-Doro” is the deepest gorge where one can enjoy thrilling river rafting with an expert instructor or traditional rafting with a skilled craftsman who control the boat direction using a single pole. This area hosts many hot spas like “Kumano-gawa Onsen,” “Iruka Onsen” and “Yunokuchi Onsen.” “Shimo-Doro” is the lowest part of gorge, called “Doro-Hatchijo,” a 1.2-kilometer-long ravine that stretches from “Tamaokiguchi” to “Tado.” This part of the gorge is marked by sheer cliffs that rise on both sides offering scenic views of gigantic rocks, caves and jutting boulders that can be viewed by scenic riverboat or hovercraft. “Shimo-Doro” has great scenic beauty and is designated natural monument. The area contains many ancient temples and shrines that were used for reflection and educatio. That you can visit and see the fusion of 1,200 years of Shinto and Buddhist beliefs.

From Tokyo, take a Bullet train to Nagoya, then take the JR Kansai line, and Kese line to reach Shingu Station. Total trip time takes approximately 5 hours.

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