Yabakei (gorge) in Nakatsu City, Oita, holds the three titles of "New Three Views of Japan," "National Scenic Spot," and "Japan Heritage".
Yabakei is known as one of the best spots in Japan to view autumn leaves
Since Rai Sanyo (historian in the late Edo period) named it Yabakei about 200 years ago, the area has been known throughout the country as a vast series of gorges including Honyabakei, Yabakei, Shinyabakei, Okuyabakei and Urayabakei that spread into the Yamakuni River basin. Spring is fresh green, and in autumn the leaves color the rock formations and valleys. The natural beauty attracts people throughout the year.
The "Hitome Hakkei" ("eight views at a glance") at the heart of Shinyabakei is a representative scenic spot which was named because of the view of the surrounding rock formations such as Mount Gunen, Mount Tobinosu, Mount Shoen, Meoto Iwa, Oshika-Nagao-no-Mine (peak), Eboshi Iwa, Sennin-ga-Iwa, Kaiborei, etc.
There are shops and inns that offer Shinyaba's specialty "Yamakake Soba", so you can enjoy not only the scenery but also the food.
Yabakei Dam Memorial Park "Keisekien"
Tens of thousands of stones and dam water were used to reproduce the mountain stream of Yabakei, and there are ponds, rocks, waterfalls, and 31,000 trees of 100 types displaying a splendid harmony in each season.
The Red Bridge in Keisekien
Also, the red bridge in Keisekien is not only a scenic spot to view the park, it's a picturesque place for photographs.