Momijidani and Panoramadai hikes – Sounkyo, Japan

We had originally hoped to hike from Ginsendai back to Sounkyo, but on arriving found out that the bus to Ginsendai had stopped running the week before (as it only runs during peak autumn leaves viewing season).

So to fill our day we decided on doing two short hikes in the Sounkyo vicinity; the Panoramadai and Momijidani hikes.

The Panoramadai hike took us about 2 hours all up and involved scaling one side of the Sounkyo gorge to a viewpoint that offered spectacular views across the gorge to My Kurodake and also up and down the gorge. Very steep initially, but leveled off towards the end.

The Momijidani hike is very popular a little later in the autumn when the leaves have changed colour, but we still found it to be great. It took us through really beautiful , ancient rainforest along a stream for about 30 minutes, passing numerous waterfalls and ending at a narrow point in the gorge where the cliffs rose up on all sides with a great waterfall in the middle. Not exactly a difficult hike, but the reward was massive!

Both walks tend to get overlooked due to all the other options in the area, but anyone with a day to fill could do a lot worse than these two walks.

This is not a waterfall: