Yoro Park (養老公園) is located on the western edge of Gifu Prefecture right next to Mie Prefecture. It is considered one of the best spots in Japan to view the beautiful autumn leaves. The park and surrounding area has an impressive collection of Japanese maple trees that turn the area into ablaze of yellow, orange and red during the fall. The viewing of autumn leaves is called koyo (紅葉) in Japanese, and is a popular pastime in autumn. The best time to see the leaves at their peak in Yoro is late November to early December.
The park itself is beautifully situated between the stunning Yoro Mountains and the Ibigawa River. Apart from the autumn leaves, the main claim to fame of Yoro Park is the spectacular Yoro Falls, which is ranked among the top 100 most beautiful waterfalls in Japan.
From the main car park at Yoro Park you can reach the waterfall after a pleasant 1.5 km walk through the stunning Japanese maple trees. The path to the waterfall is lined with these beautiful trees and there is a picturesque river which winds its way down from the falls. The waterfall is the perfect place for a photo or two and there are some nice spots to take that memorable snap.
The water that flows from the falls is top notch and is also ranked one of the top 100 best spring water in Japan. The spring water is naturally filtered through the mountain of chalk that is Mount Yoro, producing water rich in minerals and natural gases. The water is said to not only give silky smooth, clear skin but cure all diseases as well. The local legend says that the water can return lost hair and restore failing eyesight. This spot could be the Japanese Fountain of Youth!
After checking out the falls and maybe having a drink or two of the famous water, take a look at the shops that can be found on the right bank of the river. The shops sell all types of Japanese festival food and souvenirs as well as a local beer made from the special waters. Keep your eye out for “Yoro Sanroku Cider” which is a local speciality made from the spring water. Not only is it tasty, it could be a health cure for what ails you!
The walk to and from the falls is not too strenuous, but if you are feeling a little tired and sore, head to Yoro Onsen for a relaxing soak in a natural hot spring. Yoro Onsen is located near the park and was apparently accidently discovered while searching for good water to make sake.
Yoro Park is a place unlike any other and offers a fun rewarding experience. If you are looking for a unique spot to see the beautiful autumn leaves in central Japan, then definitely pay this place a visit.
Address: 1298-2 Takabayashi, Yoro-cho, Gifu Prefecture
Admission: FREE to Yoro Park
Closed: Mondays & from December 29 to January 3
From Nagoya take the JR Tokaido Line to Ogaki Station (the journey takes about 30 minutes). Change trains at Ogaki Station to the Kintetsu Yoro Line and take a train to Yoro Station (The journey takes about 20 minutes). The park is a short 10 minute walk from Yoro Station.