The Five Great Sceneries of Sandankyo
6 Trekking Trails with Varying Difficulties

Sandankyo Gorge locates in Hiroshima Prefecture’s Northwestern town of Akiota. It is a part of the Nishi-Chugoku Sanchi Quasi-National Park, and is a designated National Special Scenic Site. The entire gorge measures 16 kilometers, and flows into Lake Hijiri located even further up north. In the 16-kilometer gorge, you can find impressive waterfalls and abysses. The area is especially popular during the fall foliage season.

The Five Great Sceneries of Sandankyo

Sandan Falls

Sandan Falls

At Sandankyo, there are five spots collectively nicknamed the “Five Great Sceneries”. Here is an introduction to each of those spots:

1. Kurobuchi

Sandankyo Kurobuchi


Kurobuchi is a stunning blue-green crevasse surrounded with towering cliffs. Under sunlight, the waters are mesmerizing emerald green. Otherwise, the waters appear pitch black.

You can drift through the waters on the Kurobuchi Tosen (黒淵渡舟), a small boat that is perfect size for exploring the crevasse.

〈Round Trip〉
General: ¥500
Junior high school students and younger: ¥300
General: ¥300
Junior high school students and younger: ¥200

2. Sarutobi

Sandankyo Sarutobi


Sarutobi, a 20-meter tall cliff, is another area where you can hop on a boat and enjoy the captivating waters. For just ¥500, you can enjoy a ride on a small boat. During the ride, you can also enjoy a view of Nidan Falls.

〈Round Trip〉
General: ¥500
Junior high school students and younger: ¥300

3. Nidan Falls

Sandankyo Nidantaki Falls

Nidan Falls

Row your boat through Sarutobi, and you will reach Nidan Falls. “Nidan” means “two steps”, referring to the two adjacent falls. Unfortunately, one of the two stopped flowing in 1988 due to an intense rainstorm.

4. Sandan Falls

Sandankyo Sandantaki Falls

Sandan Falls

Sandan Falls is one of the main attractions at Sandankyo. These falls have three “steps”, hence the name “Sandan”, or “three steps” falls. Sandan Falls is must-visit during the fall foliage season.

5. Mitsudaki Falls

Sandankyo Mitsudaki Falls

Mitsudaki Falls

Mitsudaki Falls can be found between the huge rocks on the gorge’s cliffs. This is the largest waterfall in Sandankyo.

Recommended Trekking Trails

At Sandankyo, there are many hiking options. From 20-minute walks to a 4-hour hiking trip, there is something for everybody to enjoy. Here are some recommended courses:

20-minutes: “Mini-mini” Course

Sandankyo Shimaidaki Falls

Shimai Falls

This course is a short trip from Sandankyo’s entrance to Shimai Falls and Tatsu-no-kuchi and back. For a quick visit, this course is perfect.

1-hour: “Mini” Course

Tatsu-no-kuchi stream

Tatsu-no-kuchi stream

This 1-hour course connects the entrance to Ishidoi (石樋), a rocky stream a bit deeper into the gorge. On this course, you can see spots like Meoto-buchi abyss and Tatsu-no-kuchi stream.

2-hour Course

Sandankyo Kurobuchi


Take this two-hour round trip course to reach Kurobuchi. This course is like an extension of the two shorter courses above.

3-hour Course

Sandankyo Sandan Falls view

View of Sandan Falls

Walk for an extra hour and trade in seeing Kurobuchi for Sarutobi, Nidan Falls and Sandan Falls. The 3-hour course gets most of the attractions at Sandankyo.

4-hour Course

Sandankyo Nidan Falls view

View of Nidan Falls

The 4-hour Course is perfect for those who want to see everything at Sandankyo. This course allows visitors to see Kurobuchi, Sarutobi, Nidan Falls and Sandan Falls.

Lake Hijiri Course / Mochinoki-guchi Course

Sandankyo Mitsudaki Falls view

View of Mitsudaki Falls

These two courses are recommended for those who have already seen most of Sandankyo and only want to see Mitsudaki Falls. Both courses are around 1.5 hours long.

Access to Sandankyo Gorge

Nearest Station: Sandankyo (Bus Stop)

From Hiroshima Station

【Hiroshima Sta.】Hiroshima Kotsu Bus Toyodai Line / for Toyodai Chusha-jo
→【Nakasu (Bus Stop)】Hiroshima Railway Sandankyo Line (BUS) / for Sandankyo

From Fukuyama Station

【Fukuyama Sta.】Rose Liner / for Hiroshima Bus Center
→【Shin-Hakushima Sta.】Sanyo Main Line / for Iwakuni
→【Yokogawa Sta.】Hiroshima Railway Sandankyo Line (BUS) / for Sandankyo

From Hiroshima Airport

【Hiroshima Airport Sta.】Hiroshima Airport Line (BUS) / for Hiroshima Sta. Shinkansen Gate
→【Hiroshima Sta.】Hiroshima Kotsu Bus Toyodai Line / for Toyodai Chusha-jo
→【Nakasu (Bus Stop)】Hiroshima Railway Sandankyo Line (BUS) / for Sandankyo


Akiota-cho, Yamagata-gun, Hiroshima
Kurobuchi Boat: 9:00a.m. - 4:00p.m.
Sarutobi Boat: 9:00a.m. - 4:00p.m.
Open year-round
【Kurobuchi Boat】
〈Round Trip〉
 Adult: ¥500
 Children: ¥400

〈One Way〉
 Adult: ¥300
 Children: ¥200

【Sarutobi Boat】
 Adult: ¥500
 Children: ¥200

Nearby Destinations

Nukui Dam

The Nukui Dam is the second largest concrete arch dam in Japan, measuring 156 meters tall and 382 meters wide. You can enter inside the dam and join a tour. Between June and October, the dam keeps and pumps more water than usual, and releases up to 30 tons per second.