As all the bright and beautiful colours of summer give way to the cold crispy winds of the later part of the year, the thick forested mountains embrace a final warm glow of golden, red and burgundy leaves.
Though there are endless destinations in Japan where you can enjoy the radiating colours of the autumn, we would like to recommend the Ryujin Otsuribashi bridge in Ibaraki prefecture.

Located in Okukuji Prefectural Natural Park, the large suspension bridge projects 350 meters across Ryujin lake, and is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in Japan. 100 meters below, the Ryujin river flows into the dammed lake, which over many years of flowing, has carved the beautiful V-shaped valley of the Ryujin Gorge.

From the top of the bridge, a majestic panorama opens up across the valley. The view can be enjoyed in any season, but as the maple and oak trees turn to red and gold, the valley becomes arguably the most breathtaking from mid to late November.

The valley isn’t just for looking, and you can enjoy a variety of outdoors activities in and around the gorge on your visit.

Explore the valley on foot for the closest interactions with the bridge and surrounding nature. Weaving their way across the valley, a number of hiking courses provide plenty of outdoor beauty and entertainment.
Hiking courses range from beginner to advanced, so make sure you choose the correct hike suited for your level and come prepared for the season.

As one of Japan’s largest suspension bridges, Ryujin Otsuribashi, is one of the most beautiful and of course the most inviting for thrill seekers.
Test your nerve and take the plunge into the valley below with a brave bungee jump from the bridge. Even the most experienced jumpers still praise bungee jumping at Ryujin Otsuribashi as a place to ‘seek thrills beyond imagination’.
Those who are courageous enough will receive a ‘bravery certificate’ alongside a photo commemorating the moment.

Take to the waters below the bridge to enjoy a closer view of nature in the gorge. Discover the mysterious Ryujinkyo waterfalls and the dramatic rocky outcrops of the gorge with a variety of different outdoor adventure activities. With canoeing, SUP, rafting and more, there is something to suit everyone, and with the lake held steady by the dam, even beginners can enjoy water sports experiences here.

Whether you like your days filled with blood-rushing excitement, or if you prefer them chilled and relaxed alongside a refreshing water source, there is something at the Ryujin Otsuribashi for you.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.