Oirase Gorge is a scenic river valley located in Aomori Prefecture and is part of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park. The gorge is home to a number of waterfalls and a 14 km beginner friendly hiking trail. It’s an especially popular spot in the area to view fall foliage.
The trail through Oirase Gorge is well marked, and easy to follow. It’s generally flat with only a few steeper sections, but those mostly have stairs. At some points you’ll have to walk along the road to get to the next section of the trail. There are some picnic benches and toilet blocks (with Western-style toilets) conveniently located along the way.
If you don’t want to walk the trail you can drive, take a JR East bus, bus tour or rent a bicycle. Conveniently, the bicycle rental points at both ends of the gorge and you can return your bicycle to either one. Both ends of the gorge also have souvenir shops and restaurants, but they tend to close quite early. Oirase Stream Museum (also known as Oirase Field Museum)is located at the Yakeyama end of the gorge. It has lots of information about the flora and fauna in the area, making it a good place to start your hike.