The Doro Gorge (Dorokyo) Valley is a gorge located downstream of the Kitayama River, a tributary of the Kumano River, which is fed by waters flowing down from the Omine Mountain Range and Odaigahara. The gorge is located in Yoshino-kumano National Park, which runs along the borders of Wakayama, Nara and Mie prefectures. Kumano River flows by Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine and Kumano Hayatama Taisha shrine, and flows into Pacific Ocean. The beautiful Doro Gorge features deep green waters and cliffs covered with virgin forest. 30 minutes after boarding it is accessible by a water-jet sightseeing boat at Kiwa-ch.
Doro Gorge (Dorokyo) Valley ravine in the tributary of the Kumano River offers a variety of natural landscapes, such as dense virgin forests, cliffs, and oddly shaped rocks of various sizes. The landscapes are particularly splendid in summer when flowers bloom on the rock face, and in late autumn when colored leaves cover the mountains. On the Kitayama River, visitors can enjoy a thrilling raft ride down the rapids.
The gorge is divided into several sections—namely, from upstream to downstream, Oku-Doro, Kami-Doro, and Shimo-Doro. Shimo-Doro is also referred to as Doro-Haccho. This area features a diverse array of linked scenic elements comprising vertically sheared cliffs created through the erosion of clay slates and sandstone, oddly shaped rocks, and deep pools of water. Board a hovercraft or other type of vessel to explore the beautiful allure of this extraordinary gorge.
Kitayama River Rafting
The village of Kitayama is the only place in Japan that offers white-water river rafting. From the raft center of the Kitayama River, the main river in this area, visitors can go down the rapids on a raft. The excursion consists of two stages of river rafting, with each stage taking 70 minutes. The first stage is from the raft center to Komatsu, and the second stage is from Komatsu to Doro-haccho.
Participation in the white-water river rafting requires stamina and courage because you have to remain standing throughout the entire trip, firmly holding on to the handrails on both sides while being tossed about by the rapids. The scenery along the way is picturesque and river rafting is something you should not miss.
Getting Doro Gorge (Dorokyo) Valley
35 minutes by bus from JR Shingu station to the Ogawaguchi stop or 25 min. by bus from Kumano Hongu. Marvel at the sight of rock cliffs rising from emerald waters as a glass-roofed boat carries you on a two-hour round trip from Shiko to the inner gorge and back. You may transfer by local bus to the Kumano River, and board a boat to take you on an exciting ride (2 hours) through the spectacular Dorokyo Gorge. Fare: ¥3,340
Best time to visit:
Middle of November to the end of November. The best times of year to visit the gorge are in the spring, when the azalea and rhododendron are in bloom, or in the fall, when you can see the reds, orange and gold of the changing leaves. Sculptures made from the local deep black stone are typical souvenirs of the area.
- 8:30-15:10 (Mar.-Nov.5)
- 8:30-14:10 (Nov.6-Nov.30)
- 9:20- 14:10 (Dec.-Feb.)
Address and Contact
Doro Gorge (Dorokyo) at Kiwa, Kumano City
158 Kiwa town (Kiwa-cho), Kogawaguchi, Kumano City (Kumano-shi), Mie Prefecture, Japan Tel:0735-44-0331
Kumano City Office, Kiwa town (Kiwa-cho) Branch
Kiwa Promotion Division of Forestry building Kiwacho Itaya, Kumano, Mie Prefecture 519-5413, Japan Tel: 0597-97-1114
Contact – Kumano City Hall, Tourism & Sports Exchange Division or Kumano City Tourism Association
Doro Gorge (Dorokyo) at Kumanogawa, Shingu City
169, Tamakiguchi, Kumanogawa Town (Kumanogawa-cho), Shingu City (Shingu-shi), Wakayama Prefecture (Wakayama-ken) Shingu City Tourist Association 2-1-1 Jofuku, Shingu-city, Wakayama 647-0020,JAPAN Tel: 0735-22-2840, 0735-46-0703
Website: http://kumano-shingu.com/ and http://www.shinguu.jp/
Kumano Hongu Tourist Association
Hongu 100-1, Hongu-cho, Tanabe City (Tanabe-shi), Wakayama Prefecture 647-1731 Hour: Open from 8:30 thru 17:00 TEL: 0735-42-0735, FAX: 0735-42-1606
Dorokyo Gorge Tourism (Operate Kingfisher Tour Boat and Guide)
Koka, Totsukawa Village (Totsukawa-mura), Yoshino District (Yoshino-gun), Nara Prefecture 647-1581 Japan Tel: 0746-69-0168 Mobile: 090-2196-8533
Note: Kumanogawa was merged into the city of Shingu and Kiwa was merged into the city of Kumano. No longer exists as an independent municipality.