Nagatoro (長瀞町) is a small town in Chichibu (秩父郡), about two hours north-west of Tokyo by train. It’s known for the Arakawa River (荒川), with its white-water rapids and beautiful spring/autumn foliage on the trees which line its banks.

Over a weekend in late-November, we paid a visit in order to try and capture some of the autumnal colours.

_DSF0082

Getting off at Seibu Chichibu Station (西武秩父駅) we hired bicycles at the tourist information office directly outside the station exit (¥500/4 hours or ¥1000/8hours).

_DSF0085

_DSF0091

Wanting to avoid the main road, we cycled down to the river and then followed along the south bank, heading north.

_DSF0105

Passing a cement factory, we came across a pair of trees standing alone in a desolate car park. I loved the contrast of the bright yellow leaves against the grey industrial backdrop.

_DSF0119

After about two hours of pedalling, we reached Nagatoro Station and stopped for lunch at a soba restaurant (生そば むらた). The grilled yams and vegetable tempura were delicious.

_DSF0126

Having returned the bicycles at the station, we walked downhill to the river. Nagatorotamayodo Prefectural Natural Park (県立長瀞玉淀自然公園) covers the 6 km long valley and is designated a place of scenic beauty.

_DSF0135

_DSF0138

The stretch of valley is named Iwadatami because the rocks look like successive layers of tatami mats overlapping each other.

_DSF0139

The riverside was busy with tourists taking photos against the red cliffs, whose name is derived from a decisive battle fought at the end of the Han dynasty in China.

_DSF0143

_DSF0161

Boat tours can be taken along the river, with two people required to navigate the wooden vessels safely through the rapids.

_DSF0175

_DSF0177

Walking south along the rocky shore, the dappled orange and red autumn colours shimmered in the fading light of golden hour.

_DSF0181

_DSF0189

We finished our walk at Moon Stone Maple Park (月の石もみじ公園) where the trees are lit up every evening during November. From here its a short walk to Kami-Nagatoro Station (上長瀞駅) and then back to Tokyo.

Comments

Leave a Reply