Gorgeous isolation at the San Dan Kyo Gorge

Japan has great cities, temples and gardens, but what about raw nature? The perfect answer to that is spending half a day at the San Dan Kyo Gorge.

The gorge is a couple of hours of bus transport away from Hiroshima. I extended my stay at the hostel to have it as a day trip before heading back to Tokyo.

The first sign that I would enjoy this venture was that only a handful of people were on board in the bus. San Dan Kyo is not a common destination among tourists, whether they are Japanese or international.

When you leave the bus, you also notice that nobody else is at the entrance. The shops are closed on weekdays, and probably only open on weekends. Only a few vending machines can sell you drinks.

In the half day I spent walking on the paths, I only saw two people. The only sounds I heard were water flowing and birds chirping. I saw insects but none tried to bite.

The experience the loneliest I ever had, and certainly one of the most serene. Participants were me, a walking path, trees, cliffs and water. I know that most people struggle at the thought of being alone, and cannot imagine their insecurity when alone in nature, but this form of isolation is… relaxing.

San Dan Kyo

San Dan Kyo

San Dan Kyo

San Dan Kyo

San Dan Kyo

It’s a wrap, y’all. After San Dan Kyo, I went back to Tokyo before flying back to Germany. I briefly visited Yokohama on the last day, but I found nothing interesting there.

It has been a fun trip in Japan and wonderful experience to travel for a few consecutive weeks after a years of disruption caused by an intercontinental migration. I look forward to doing that again next year.

Michel Munger

I am an experienced communicator who worked in journalism for 15 years at La Presse, the TVA Group and Le Journal de Montréal. I spent a year at the United Nations in Germany and now am an internal communications editor at DHL. I founded the Bayern Central blog in 2011 and ran it for seven years. Cyclist, beer and coffee snob.