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Gembikei in Iwate prefecture is a beautiful 2-km ravine that was designated as a national scenic beauty and national nature treasure in 1927. Gembikei has been popular as a scenic spot since a long time ago, and it’s said that the military commander who ruled this area in the 16th century also praised the beauty. It is a very popular sightseeing spot throughout the year where you can enjoy the beauty of four seasons such as cherry blossoms in full bloom and melting snow from the ravine in spring, or picturesque colored trees covering the mountains in fall.
- Minami Takinoue, Gembicho, Ichinoseki-shi, Iwate
- Contact No.
- 20 min from JR Ichinoseki station for Gembikei stop by Iwateken Kotsu bus bound for Gembikei
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 30 minutes
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
200 cherry blossoms in full bloom along the ravine in spring
The best time to see cherry blossoms at Gembikei is from the end of April to the beginning of May. About 200 of them will be in full bloom along both sides of the 2-km ravine with spectacular views of oddly-shaped rocks and waterfalls. You will find a type of cherry blossom called Edohigan which is believed to have been planted by the military commander who ruled this area in the 16th century.
Contrast between the moutain stream and warm, autumn-colored trees
Gembikei starts to change its color in the middle of October and the end of October is the best time to see the gorgeous autumn foliage. During this season, trees along the riverbank are colored in beautiful red and yellow and the whole ravine area will be brightly painted. You have to see the great contrast in colors between the emerald green water of the mountain stream, the white spray of the waterfall and all the warm-hues of trees.
Unique flying dumpling
Gembikei’s specialty is Kakko Dango （dumpling） of Kakko-ya. This shop is located on the opposite shore over the mountain stream. Write your order on a memo and place it with money in a basket on a wire suspended over the ravine and tap on the wooden board. The basket will be pulled up to Kakko-ya and come back with the dumplings and green tea you ordered.