Short Autumn Hike Along Natsuigawa Valley

The hot, humid days have suddenly become cooler, and it’s getting darker earlier every day, which means one thing and one thing only… autumn is here! It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the seasons change over in Fukushima.

This year, I’m hoping to take advantage of the beautiful red and yellow autumn leaves in Fukushima and visit famous autumn leaf viewing spots that I’ve never been to before. Today I’m writing about one of the places I’ve love to visit this autumn – Natsuigawa Valley.

Natsuigawa Valley, (or Natsui River Valley) is known as one of Fukushima Prefecture’s most beautiful autumn-leaf viewing spots – so I thought I would write about it today for those of you planning on visiting the prefecture in the coming months!

You can reach Natsuigawa Valley very easily by local train on the JR Ban’etsu East Line. Just get off at Eda Station and you’ll find yourself near the Natsuigawa Camp Ground that marks the most common starting point of the valley walk.

It takes around 40 minutes to follow the river north-west to Kagoba Falls, which is the most common goal point for visitors. You can, however, continue to follow the river further to the north if you’d like.

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Kagoba Falls

Please be aware though that there is no official walking path, so you need to prepare proper hiking shoes and supplies before starting you walk, be mindful of your surroundings and take necessary precautions.

There are many beautiful waterfalls and shrines to see along the side of the river, and all this against a backdrop of fantastic crimson.

Best Season to Visit

The autumn leaves usually look at their best between late-October and mid-November, but seeing how the sakura season began early this year, the timing of the autumn leaves might be different too.

Also, the colours of the autumn leaves are highly dependant on a number of factors related to climate, meaning that the intensity of the colour differs from year to year!

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Even if the leaves are not at their most vivid on the day you choose to come, you can still enjoy a refreshing autumn walk in an area of natural beauty, and try some local cuisine too!

For updates on how the leaves are looking, check out Iwaki’s Facebook Page for updates closer to peak autumn leaf-viewing season. Here’s Iwaki Tourism’s Facebook Page.

Reaching Natsuigawa Valley by Car

Take the Tohoku Expressway to Koriyama JCT. Then change to the Ban’etsu Expressway and head East until you get to Ono-machi IC Exit. From Ono-machi IC Exit, Natsuigawa Valley is a 45 minute drive.

Public Transport – Visiting from Koriyama:

Reach Eda Station by taking the Ban’etsu East Line from Koriyama Station. The train takes around 75 minutes to reach Eda Station.

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Public Transport – Visiting from Tokyo

Take the Hitachi Tokiwa Limited Express train from Tokyo Station to Iwaki Station. Change at Iwaki Station to the JR Ban’etsu East Line. It takes less than 20 minutes to reach Eda Station from Iwaki Station on this line. The whole journey is likely to take around 3.5 hours.

natsuigawa-valley-map

If you’d like more ideas for things to do in Fukushima this Autumn, check out my blogs on all things Autumn here!

Tsurugajo Castle Aizu Wakamatsu (12)

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