Kikuchi Gorge in Kumamoto, Kyushu: Enjoy the beauty of nature in every season

Kikuchi Gorge

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Kikuchi Gorge in Kumamoto, Kyushu, throughout all four seasons. Discover vibrant autumn foliage, and serene winter landscapes. Plan your visit now to enjoy nature’s splendor year-round!

Basic Information about Kikuchi Gorge

Kikuchi Gorge, located in the city of Kikuchi within Kumamoto Prefecture, is a stunning natural site known for its lush greenery, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque scenery. It is part of the Aso-Kuju National Park and offers a refreshing retreat into nature, especially popular during the hot summer months.

Kikuchi Gorge spans approximately four kilometers along the Kikuchi River, featuring a series of waterfalls, rapids, and tranquil pools surrounded by dense forest. The gorge is particularly famous for its vibrant green foliage in the summer and colorful autumn leaves.

Spot to enjoy the beauty of nature in every season at Kikuchi Gorge

The rich ecosystem of Kikuchi Gorge supports a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it a great spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Spring of Kikuchi Gorge

The pale purple of the mountain wisteria stands out against the fresh green foliage, allowing visitors to enjoy a refreshing and vibrant landscape.

Summer of Kikuchi Gorge

Even in the height of summer, Kikuchi Valley, often referred to as a natural air conditioner, features a stunning landscape of green moss growing on the rocks.

Autumn of Kikuchi Gorge

The magnificent autumn foliage, where the leaves of maples and zelkova trees change from yellow to red, creates one of the finest valley landscapes in Japan.

Winter of Kikuchi Gorge

In winter, the silvery world that appears with the ice fog is truly enchanting.

Hot spring resorts near Kikuchi Gorge

Near Kikuchi Valley in Kumamoto Prefecture, there are several hot spring resorts (onsen towns) where visitors can relax and enjoy thermal baths.

Oguni Onsen

Oguni Onsen is located less than an hour’s drive from Kikuchi Valley.

Oguni Onsen is famous for its therapeutic hot spring waters, which are said to be effective in relieving muscle pain, nerve pain, and fatigue. The water is slightly alkaline, making it gentle on the skin.

The onsen town retains a charming, rustic atmosphere with traditional ryokan (Japanese inns) and bathhouses. Many of these establishments are family-run, offering a warm and welcoming experience.

Aso Onsen

Similarly, Aso Onsen is located less than an hour’s drive south of Kikuchi Valley.

Aso Onsen is renowned for its hot springs, which are heated by the geothermal activity of the nearby Mt. Aso, one of the largest active volcanoes in the world. The mineral-rich waters are known for their therapeutic properties, including relief from muscle aches and improved circulation.

Yamaga Onsen

Yamaga Onsen is located about an hour and a half away from Kikuchi Valley if you travel a little further.

Yamaga Onsen is another nearby hot spring town, well-known for its cultural heritage and elegant hot spring facilities. It also hosts the Yamaga Lantern Festival, which is a popular event. The onsen here is soft and smooth, making it a favorite among visitors.

Yamaga in Kumamoto, Kyushu is the best place to visit in Japan

Attraction around Kikuchi Gorge

Here are the landscapes and attractions you can enjoy at Kikuchi Gorge.


Among the numerous waterfalls, some standout ones include the Kakemaku Waterfall and the Reimei Waterfall, each contributing to the gorge’s enchanting atmosphere.

Walking Trails

The area offers well-maintained walking trails that allow visitors to explore and enjoy the natural beauty at their own pace. These trails are suitable for all ages and provide various vantage points to admire the gorge’s dramatic landscapes.

INAKAdventure recommends a travel style where you visit Kikuchi Gorge and then relax in an onsen. We can assist you with planning your trip, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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