It’s been already 5 years since I had moved to Gokanosho. I was not born in this secluded region, but the beauty of nature in here with Spring greens, Summer cool, Autumn reds and Winter snow brought me to the deep of mountains.
Gokanosho is a general term for a set of 5 villages belonging to Yatsushiro city with only 300 inhabitants in a very deep and steep mountainous area, isolated from cities surrounded by mountains. The legend says that when “Heike”, the first Samurai clan who came to power in the central government for the first time ever in Japan’s history, was defeated by their rival Samurai clan “Genji” in the late 12th century. But some of Heike survivers managed to flee to Gokanosho after the battles, and have survived in this harsh environment for a long period of time until today. You cannot find any smell of civilization such as convenience stores, pay phones, traffic lights, police department, neon lights, or even any flat ground here. The pavement only went on 50 years as well as the electricity. The only thing we have got is breathtakingly beautiful nature and our way of living. Those people have lived in this place hiding from their enemy for a long long period of time… Come visit to Gokanosho, be a refugee to relax and enjoy yourself as well as the refugees of Heike clan…
SIGHTSEEING & HIKES
On this tour, you can visit Sendan-Todoro waterfall, Umenoki-Todoro suspension bridge and waterfalls, Twin suspension bridges of Momigi, Heike-no-Sato museum and Ogata-ke, the former ruler’s mansion which is built in Samurai house style. And you can also go on mountain treks after an overnight stay at Minshuku (Japanese style accommodation, dinner, bed & breakfast operated by a family) if you’d like to.
You can forget everything about your daily life and work in this unusual environment.
Click on the above banner and see the details about the mountain trekking.
In Gokanosho, we have 8 “Minshuku” accommodation in total. Let me introduce you 3 of them this time. Minshuku is a guesthouse type inn, mostly run and operated by family members. They provide BED, BATH, DINNER (local cuisine) & BREAKFAST at a reasonable price and a comfortable atmosphere. Enjoy having conversations with the inn keepers when they serve their own hand made meal. It will surely be an unforgettable moment in your life.
A film crew from Griffith University (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) spent a week in Gokanosho in 2014 to shoot a documentary film titled “Gokanosho: Lost in Time”, which was submitted to the Cannes International Film Festival. This is a total documentary of the stories told by the local people of Gokanosho, shot live to recording. And I am also one of the story tellers here.
09:00 Pickup at your hotel in Kumaoto and head out to Yatsushiro
10:50 Visit Nihon-sugi Pass observatory
_____and overlook the entire Northern Kumamoto area
11:40 Hike at Sendan-Todoro waterfall
12:50 Scenic ride through hidden villages
13:30 Visit Heike-no-sato museum for lunch
_____and learn about the history
15:00 Hike at Twin suspension bridges of Momigi
16:30 Check in to Minshuku
19:00 Dinner with tour guide
DAY 2 PLAN A
09:45 Hike at Umenoki-Todoro suspension bridge and waterfalls
11:00 Head out to Yatsushiro
13:30 Visit Moritaka Hamono, traditional knife shop
_____to have a look around in their workshop
15:00 move on to next destination
DAY 2 PLAN B
08:00 Set off for Trail head
09:00 Start mountain trekking
15:00 Finish mountain trekking
_____To your next destination or back to Minshuku
PRICE (PLAN A Example / For 2 Days)
40,000 JPY (shared between No. of people)
+ 7,000 JPY pp (Discount for children under age 16)
+ 9,500 JPY pp = Lodging Expenses (Dinner, Bath, Bed & Breakfast) pp (Discount for children under age 16) + 6,500 JPY for Guide’s Lodging Expenses (shared between No. of people)
Max number of people: 5 or 7 or 9 depending on luggage
*Sorry, my 8-seater van can’t accommoate both you and luggage if you are over 5 people with big luggage.
But I can cope with that case by hiring a 10-seater van
which costs around 35,000 JPY per day.
Gokanosho Tour Includes:
Tour Customization / Transport / Photo Upload /
Entrance Fee / Lunch / Lodging Expenses (Dinner, Bath, Bed & Breakfast)
Note: Even Google Maps cannot show an accurate route of Gokanosho because of its narrow and winding roads.