Located in the forests of Shimane Prefecture in the town of Okuizumo, Oni no Shitaburui Gorge is a prefectural nature park and a hidden gem for hikers and culture buffs. Walking trails lead visitors along the Omaki River, past otherworldly rock formations and through lush woods that are a popular leaf-viewing destination in autumn. On top of that, Oni no Shitaburui is a cultural landmark because according to historical records, this gorge is the setting of a local myth.
Hitting the Trail
The best place to start hiking Oni no Shitaburui is adjacent to the Une Parking Lot and Shitaburuitei restaurant. Here, a suspension bridge offers panoramic views from 45 meters in the air and allows access to trails on either side of the gorge—one of which is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Typically, hiking the entire length of the gorge takes about an hour one way.
Oni no Shitaburui’s trails end at the Shimotakao Parking Lot. From here visitors have the choice to walk back through the gorge—there are bridges that allow hikers to access the opposite side of the river—or return via rental bikes. With an advance reservation, the Okuizumo Tourist Information Office will provide bikes at Shimotakao, which visitors can ride along the local Route 25 and return at Une Parking Lot.
Stories in the Stones
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