Kihoku Is the Best Destination for Nature-Tripping in Japan

Revel in Mother Nature's beauty.

Trying out new things is always an adventure. If you’re someone who loves cities, why don’t you go nature-tripping on your next vacay for a change? Kihoku, a town located in the Mie Prefecture, is the perfect place to start.

While this is one of Japan’s rainy areas, it’s also the richest in terms of greenery, as mountains and forests make up 90 percent of the town. Here’s a list of what you can see and do in the area:

Take a relaxing dip in the Choshi River.
The clear stream has soothing water and huge rocks upstream. You can see the shimmer of the water around the estuary where seawater mixes into the river.

Choshi River
Kihoku, Kitamuro District, Mie Prefecture
Contact: +8159-746-3555 (Kihokucho Sightseeing Information Center)
Open daily

Next up is the Senjojiki Kawakami, a deep abyss located at the fishing bridge upstream. On a warm sunny day, you can witness the bright green water sparkle when the sunlight hits its surface.

Then there’s Ningara Buchi, a part of the Choshi River where you can do water activities. Since the water is clear, fish like satsukimasu salmon and sweetfish can easily be spotted. Keep in mind not to touch them though!

Tanemaki Gonbe no Sato is a Japanese park that can serve as a parking area for when there are water activities.

For those who like water slides, fun awaits at Saruma Buchi. This three-meter waterfall is a great place to enjoy sliding into the water with your friends! While you’re there, be sure to wear a life vest and helmet at all times for your safety.

If you’re into water games, there’s a wide area called Hirao where you can hang out. It’s conveniently located near the parking lot and restroom, too! Just a note though: Although the river flow is moderate, you still need to be mindful of deep spots.

To cap off your trip, swing by Senjojiki, a large monolith on the side of a wide and deep puddle, which is like a pool slide. Take some photos while you’re there!

Tip: The best time to visit Choshi River is between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when sunlight brings out the colors of the water.

Explore stores at Michinoeki Miyama.
Michinoeki Miyama
1439-3 Aiga, Kihoku, Kitamuro District, Mie Prefecture
Contact: +8159-732-1661
Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; August 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Before heading to your next stop, drop by Michinoeki Miyama to grab a bite at any of the restaurants. The place has a big touchscreen panel at the information center where you can get helpful data on weather and driving directions.

Myoga ginger is used to make the Oshi Zushi (¥390) colorful.


Sanma-dog (¥320) is a deep-fried Pacific saury fish sandwich with lots of cabbage.

You may also want to check out Magose-toge Pass, a World Heritage Site, located nearby.

Dine at a popular local gourmet.
Kiku Sushi
849-2 Aiga, Kihoku, Kitamuro District, Mie Prefecture
Contact: +8159-732-2036
Open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (last order 1:30 p.m.), and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.(last order 7:30 p.m.), except Mondays and days following national holidays

After a long day of walking, have a yummy afternoon snack at Kiku Sushi. This restaurant serves Kaki No Hitsumabushi, a rice bowl topped with Kihoku’s oyster, watari kaki. Available all year round, this dish has won the Kihoku Gourmet Grand Prix for two years in a row. They also offer set menus for lunch at reasonable prices, available daily except Sundays.

Kaki no Hitsumabushi (¥1,500) is a sumptuous watari oyster rice bowl cultured in a brackish lake.


Provided by Japan Walker™, Kansai Walker™ (1 August 2017)

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