Kurobe Gorge-ous!

If you love nature and getting off the beaten path, you need to check out Kurobe Gorge if you find yourself in the Toyama area.
Kurobe Gorge is located on part of the Kurobe River, and according to the Japan National Travel Organization it has been selected as one of the three great gorges of Japan (the other two are Kiyotsu Gorge in Niigata Prefecture and Osugidani Gorge in Mie Prefecture).
We went there at the start of October last year, and sadly we missed the height of the autumn leaves changing - but the landscape was still beautiful! Apparently the best time to view the leaves changing is from mid-October to mid-November, so it seems like we just missed out!
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The picture above from the Japan National Travel Organization, gives you a bit more perspective on just how stunning the gorge looks when all the leaves are changing. That picture makes me want to try and take a trip back, to really appreciate the colors if we can work it into our schedules later this year!

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Probably the most unique thing you can do through this gorge is take the scenic train to see some of the sights. You can check out the website for the scenic train service here, but there are four key tourist stops. These are:
  • Unazuki
  • Kuronagi 
  • Kanetsuri
  • Keyakidaira

There's accommodation venues and hot springs along the way, so it's worth taking a look at the locations before you arrive if you're interested in staying overnight at one of them. We just went as a day trip, but do wish now that we took a bit more time, as there really is so much to see and do along the train route. Quite frankly though, just taking in the surroundings and how beautiful nature can be is enough to make the trip worthwhile, in my opinion!

Getting there:

We drove, as part of a larger road trip through some other parts of Japan - but getting there by train is best done as follows:

Take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo ----> Kurobe Unazuki Onsen station

From there, the actual sightseeing train leaves from Unazuki Station, which is just a little walk away from Kurobe Unazuki Onsen station.

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