It takes a 15-minute taxi ride (or free shuttle bus during the fall foliage season) from Kakunodate station to reach the majestic scenery of Dakigaeri Gorge but the effort and expense is well worth it. Follow the old logging trail through tunnels and across bridges as it hugs the cliffs edge, high above an iridescent blue river. A recent landslide has made it impossible to through-hike the entire 8-kilometer stretch but the trail's current terminus is the impressive Mikaeri Waterfall, a hidden cascade you'll be happy you took the time to track down. Autumn is the busiest season but the rest of the warmer-weather months provide fantastic views with very few crowds.
Japan resident for 10 years, with time spent in Okinawa, Kumamoto and Tokyo.