Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Shodoshima's spectacular Kankakei Gorge

The view looking southwards from the 777-meter-high 
observation deck atop Shodoshima's Kankakei Gorge

 A view of the gorge from the Kankakei Ropeway
which runs through this scenic area

I don't think that conventional photos can capture its beauty,
so I added an "illustration effect" to produce the above image ;b 

Especially after my toe injury, I decided that I'd be content if only I could get to check out the old Twenty-Four Eyes set located in what's still an out of the way section of Shodoshima, an island that requires a ferry ride to get to from Takamatsu.  Having done that, it was a bonus to also be able to sample some of Shodoshima's somen and visit the actual schoolhouse referenced in Sakae Tsuboi's influential novel.  

My original Shodoshima excursion plans had additionally included a hike along the side of the Kankakei Gorge.  But while that would now be impossible for me to attempt, I could at least still take the Kankakei Ropeway that would ferry me some 917 meters lengthwise and 312 meters heightwise up to the top of this spectacular gorge in Shodoshima's mountainous interior and, in the process, provide me with great views of that which appears on the 100 Landscapes of Japan list famously compiled in 1927 by two newspapers, one based in Tokyo and the other in Osaka.

Although it's but a short 5-minute-long ride each way, the Kankakei Ropeway's has made CNN Travel's "10 best ropeways in Japan" list.  I can imagine the views being particularly gorgeous in the fall when the leaves of the area's many maple trees become more colorful.  But on the day I went, the scenery was still pretty impressive; with my attention going particularly to the whiteish-gray rock faces of the impressive cliffs that rose above the green forest, and which the ropeway passes so close to that there were times that I felt that I could easily reach out to touch them!     

On my recent visits to Japan, I've made a point to venture into the countryside (to places like Cape Hinomisaki earlier this year and the Kibi Plain last year) rather than just stay in the cities.  While I've enjoyed my time in Tokyo, Kyoto and the like, I have particularly enjoyed my time in the quieter parts of the country.  It might be assumed that this is so because I currently reside in super urban Hong Kong.  But even after my first Japan visit back in 1982, that which I most wanted to revisit of all the places I went to on that trip -- and, happily, did do so 24 years later in 2006! -- was Mount Aso, the active Kyushu volcano which is Japan's largest (and the very one that erupted last month, sending ash falling as far as 4 kilometers away)! :b          


Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, wow what a gorgeous view and scenery. It must be so wonderful to see this place in person. I'm sorry to hear that you injured your toe. I think it is great when we can revisit places and get to places we may have missed. I also enjoy seeing places outside of the big cities. There's a wonderful vibe in some of the smaller towns that I enjoy experiencing as well.

Thank you so much for sharing.

YTSL said...

Hi Trekcapri --

It was cool to see the Kankakei Gorge in person. I'm glad I went to Shodoshima, injured toe and all! One of the things I really enjoy about Japan is that I'm able to venture beyond the big cities fairly easily -- and I agree: some of the smaller towns have a wonderful vibe. :)

sarah bailey knight said...

Hi ytsl,

Lovely photos. I'm glad you went even with your "bad"toe.

YTSL said...

Hi sarah sbk --

Thanks -- and I'm grateful that at least I wasn't reduced to being on crutches on Shodoshima the way that "Twenty-Four Eyes"'s Miss Pebble was for a time! ;b