Autumn Leaves at Gunma, Japan’s Agatsuma Gorge: Video Introduction
This video will give you a view of autumn leaves like you've never seen before. Located in Gunma, Japan, Agatsuma Gorge (吾妻渓谷, Agatsuma Keikoku) is a wonderful place to enjoy the autumn leaves, and the perfect spot for filming some aerial views via drone! Bearing a resemblance to Mt. Fuji (富士山, Fujisan), the stunning shots of the 1,391-meter-tall Mt. Haruna (榛名山, Harunasan) will take your breath away. Immerse yourself in the superb background music and experience Agatsuma Gorge with a bird’s-eye view!
[Video] 1:39 - Mt. Haruna
Agatsuma Gorge – The Best Time to View the Autumn Leaves + More
Photo：Autumn leaves in Agatsuma Gorge, Gunma
Agatsuma Gorge carries the Agatsuma River (吾妻川, Agatsumagawa) between the towns of Higashiagatsuma (東吾妻町, Higashiagatsuma-cho) in Agatsuma County (吾妻郡, Agatsumagun), and Naganohara (原町, Naganohara-cho) in Gunma. The jewel in its crown is Agatsuma Gorge (吾妻峡, Agatsumakyo). A designated National Place of Scenic Beauty, the gorge is said to be on a par with Oita Prefecture's Yabakei Gorge (耶馬渓, Yabakei), and has even earned the moniker "Kanto's Yabakei." Its beauty is such that it even gets a mention in Jomo Karuta (a Gunma version of a card game where players compete to be the quickest to snatch a card that matches the chant "Yabakei shinogu Agatsumakyo" (lit. "Agatsuma Gorge, better than Yabakei Gorge")). Located on the gorge’s right bank is a 1.8-kilometer sightseeing trail, which makes for a 40-minute hike one way.
The best time to view the autumn scenery pf the beautiful Agatsuma Gorge is said to be between the end of October and the middle of November, offering the opportunity to enjoy the vivid colors of the maples, cherry blossoms, and sawtooth oaks. The views of the autumn leaves from Koyodai Bridge (紅葉台橋, Koyodaibashi) and Shikatobi Bridge (鹿飛橋, Shikatobibashi) are particularly stunning, and have become popular Instagram spots amongst travelers to the area.
[Video] 0:50 - Stunning Fall Scenery
Rhododendrons and Spring Greenery – Must-See View and Things to Do in Agatsuma Gorge
Photo：Agatsuma Gorge, Gunma Prefecture
Aside from its autumn leaves, Agatsuma Gorge is also worth a visit in the spring. Heralding the arrival of the season of new life, rhododendrons bloom in a frenzy of purplish-red petals, and are soon followed by spiketail, Japanese roses, and all sorts of different flowers. Located at the final stop on the Agatsuma Gorge Hiking Course, Shohorai, a viewing platform, is a superb photo spot with a view of the gorgeous Yanba Dam (八ッ場ダム, Yanba Dam). At the rest area Roadside Station Agatsumakyo (あがつま峡), visitors can enjoy the "Tengu no Yu" hot spring after working up a sweat on the Agatsuma hiking trail. We definitely recommend making a trip like this out to Gunma in the spring.
Things to Do Around Agatsuma Gorge: Asobi no Kichi NOA
Established in 2020, Asobi no Kichi NOA (lit. Play Base NOA) is located a short distance from Yanba Dam. Against the beautiful setting of the dam and the Agatsuma River, this popular spot can be enjoyed with friends or family, offering a campsite, barbeque space, hot spring and a café.
Perfectly positioned approximately one minute by foot from JR Kawarayu Onsen Station (JR川原湯温泉駅, JR Kawarayu Onsen Eki), the outdoor campsite and barbeque space have everything you might need to use available for rent, meaning you can show up empty handed and still have a great time. Inside the facility is Sasayu (笹湯, Sasayu), a hot spring which is available for both those staying at the facility and those visiting on a day trip. You can also tuck into food made with local produce at the café. It's a place where you can enjoy the great outdoors, great food, and relaxing hot springs. If you have the chance, head over to Asobi no Kichi NOA and get your fill of mother nature!
By Bus or by Car? How to Get to Agatsuma Gorge
Photo：Agatsuma Gorge, Gunma Prefecture
Below is information on how to get to Agatsuma Gorge:
[Access via Train]
10 minutes by bus from JR Iwashima Station (JR岩島駅, JR Iwashima Eki). Alternatively, should you choose to go by foot you should arrive at the entrance to the sightseeing trail in 60 minutes.
[Access via Car]
60 minutes from the Shibukawa Ikaho Interchange on the Kanetsu Expressway (関越自動車道渋川伊香保IC, Kanestsu Jidoshado Shibukawa Ikaho IC) via Route 353 and Route 145. (※Be advised that some parts of the old Route 145 are closed to traffic)
120 free parking spots are available. Junisawa Parking Lot (十二沢パーキング, Junisawa Paakingu) has 28 spaces, Keikoku Parking Lot (渓谷パーキング, Keikoku Paakingu) has 12, Roadside Station Agatsumakyo has 80, and Yokotani Parking Lot (横谷駐車場, Yokotani Chushajo) has 52.
The parking lots can get rather busy during the holidays and when the autumn leaves are in season, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time and drive safe.
A shuttle bus is also available from Roadside Station Agatsumakyo between October 22, 2022 and November 27, 2022, when the autumn leaves are at their best.
[Agatsuma Gorge Shuttle Bus - Fares]
● Single Trip
Adults: 200 yen / Children 100 yen (flat fare)
● One Day Pass
Adults: 500 yen / Children 200 yen
Agatsuma Gorge Sightseeing Roundup
Agatsuma Gorge was created from lava ejected by an ancient volcano, which was later eroded away by the river's water. Against that splendid backdrop, maple, sawtooth oaks, Japanese red pines and all manner of trees blanket both banks of the river, adding a vibrant splash of color which changes with the seasons. Visit for yourself and experience the sightseeing trails and hiking courses surrounded by bountiful nature!