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Tunnel of Light, Kiyotsu Gorge

Kiyotsu Gorge is one of the three biggest valleys in Japan along with the Kurobe Gorge (Toyama Prefecture) and the Osugidani Gorge (Mie Prefecture).
Known for its visually striking igneous rock formations created by a volcanic eruption around 16 million years ago, Kiyotsu Gorge was registered on the list of National Places of Beauty and Natural Monuments in April 1941, and officially became the Joshin-etsu Kogen National Park in September 1949.

Me, at the third platform in the Tunnel of Light, Kiyotsu Gorge

So, what is so special about this Kiyotsu Gorge?

The highlights of the grand Kiyotsu Gorge in Tokamachi, Niigata, include a magnificent columnar jointed rock face which unusually– both horizontal and vertical columnar jointing is visible along the gorge –together with the stunning emerald green-coloured powerful Kiyotsu River.

Both horizontal and vertical columnar jointing is visible along the gorge together with the stunning emerald green colour of the powerful Kiyotsu River

Often cited as one of Japan’s most beautiful gorges, it was actually closed to the public in the 1990s because of avalanches and accidents caused by falling rocks due to geological instability. However, thanks to the completion of 750-meter-long Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel in 1996, the gorge can now be viewed safely!

The 750-meter-long Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel that completed in 1996
The magnificent columnar jointed rocks can be seen closely via the platform’s tunnel

Often cited as one of Japan’s most beautiful gorges, it was actually closed to the public in the 1990s.

Why does it called “The Tunnel of Light“?

As the for the namesake, this tunnel is covered with stainless steel panels, and its floor is flooded with spring water that reflects the gorge and the surrounding forest all throughout the room. The architects draw the five elements of nature, such as wood, earth, metal, fire and water, to transform the historic tunnel through the realization of architectural spaces and artistic atmosphere.
It revisited the relationship between humans and nature to re-connect the visitors with the majestic beauty of this place.

Water drop-like mirror scattered on the tunnel’s curvature project a reality by reflecting the natural environment

The passageway is outfitted with five different coloured lights

The semi-polished stainless steel lines the tunnel, reflecting and drawing the distinct rock formations. A shallow pool of water fills in the space at the Panorama Station

So next time you come to Niigata, do not forget to visit this beautiful Tunnel of Light. The Panorama Station is my ultimate favourite!
Be sure to COMMENT BELOW in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section at the bottom of this page.

About Tunnel of Light “Kiyotsu Gorge”

Access

By Train
Take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo Yuzawa station. Catch a bus to Morinomiyahara station for about 30 minutes and get off at Kiyotsukyo Iriguchi (Kiyotsu Gorge Entrance) stop. The tunnel is approximately a 30-minute walk from the bus stop.

By Car
Exit Kan-Etsu Expressway at the Shiozawa-Ishiuchi IC and take Route 353 for about 20 minutes.

Admission

Regular PriceEchigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 
Adult (including child age above 16)¥800¥1000
Children (age between 6 and 15) ¥400¥400 (for children under 15)
Children (under 5)Free
*the regular price is only applicable outside the Triannale period. Visit the Echigo-Tsumari or Kiyotsu Gorge website for more info.
Zunita Ramli, Writer & Managing Director, Zaineeta Global PLT.
Graduated from Faculty of Engineering, University of Melbourne. She worked as a network engineer for a few years, then realized of her passion in business and the beauty industry. Focusing on beauty lines, Tokyo Organic skincare (Made in Japan) offers halal skincare that only uses natural ingredients. She also likes to write articles, especially about Japan. Her articles has been featured many times in various websites, such as travel, life, and business.

We have a network of Japanese companies keen to expand into the Halal market in Malaysia & Indonesia.
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15 thoughts on “Tunnel of Light, Kiyotsu Gorge

  1. Xpernah jemu baca catatan Nita. Setiap kali baca cerita Nita terus rasa macam dah berada di Jepun.Terima kasih berkongsi cerita ya. Kak Ina komen tanda Kak Ina dah baca. Bye.

  2. I followed your Fb and read your post. Wow quite interesting to read your stories base on what you discover / experience yourself. I will keep reading your post as and when I’m free. Well done and keep it up the good work. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to visit and explore Japan based on your recommendations. Thank you

  3. Jarang nk komen, tp disebabkan articles yg menarik ni ,sy komen lah. 1st time sy tahu kewujudan tunnel of light ni. Bila baca article ni, “WoW,’, banyak fakta2 yg menarik. Cara penulisan ,penulis yg santai tapi banyak info-info menarik yang pembaca boleh dapat. Info yang menarik minat saya adalah apabila baca di bahagian “architects draw 5 elements of nature (wood,earth,fire,metal & water) to transform the historic tunnel through the realization of architectural spaces and artistic atmosphere etc”.Melihat kepada gambar-gambar yang ada pon, dh boleh nampak cantiknya tempat ini dimana alam semula jd yang dijaga rapi tanpa diganggu oleh ‘tangan yang rakus’. Teruskan lagi dengan penulisan yang menarik. Terima kasih

  4. Salam.. Very interesting article with beautiful pics. Although tunnels are very common but this is something new. Makes me want to repeat visiting Japan. Thank you sis..

  5. Incredible place! This article giving another vibe with facts and magnificient photos. Hope I can get the chances for visiting Japan, and the first place I wanna visit is this Tunnel of Light!

  6. Assalammualaikum kak zunita. Sey takdo apo bona nak komen pasal artikel. Sey nak koba, sumo artikel akak pasal jopun dah buek sey raso macam ado kek jopun. Ok. Itu sahajo. Paling tertarik tentang gunung fuji dan artikel tentang Cop2 rasmi jopon tu. Terbaikk 💪🏽.

  7. Beautifully written. A quality article complete with necessary information, while also exciting enough to encourage readers to find out more about Kiyotsu Gorge.

    For the non-English speakers, a gorge is a narrow valley between hills/mountains, typically with steep rocky walls and a stream running through it.

    I love that the writer provides many colorful pictures inside the tunnel, and her style of narration made the experience seems personal and worthwhile. Well done! I can’t wait for the next chapter.

  8. What a beautiful place of nature to visit in Japan! It really reminds me of the limestone hills’ beautiful view at Tasik Cermin or Gunung Lang, Ipoh. However, I really wish I could get a chance to visit Japan someday! Thanks for sharing this Zunita! Looking forward for more great articles from you!

  9. Tunnel tu nampak cantik tapi in the same time look spooky. 😂 Accidentally terjumpa your instagram & started follow you sebab tertarik dgn content Zunita di Japan. 😍 Banyak sgt I learned ttg Japan dari penulisan Zunita. Thank you bawa kami meneroka negara Jepun melalui penulisan Zunita. 🥰

  10. Thank you so much Miss Zunita Ramli for amazing write up about this tunnel. All the explanation very details and the way you wrote very interesting!

    Niigata and tunnel of light surely in my bucket list when travel to Japan!

    Keep writing and keep inspired others.
    Good job, Miss Zunita!.

  11. MashaAllah… This is indeed interesting and mesmerising. I believe that when Allah’s and human’s creations ‘collide’, or maybe the best word word be ‘coexist’, a stupendous and harmonious scenery could be witnessed, Biiznillah. The last picture does bring chills to the spines, but retained it’s charismatic aura. Thanks heaps for the sharing 😊

  12. setiap kali baca artikel penulisan dari miss zunita, terasa seperti sedang mengembara bersama miss zunita. peluang untuk ke jepun mungkin tiada untuk saya, kerna penyakit lemah jantung memang membataskan pergerakan untuk melangkah lebih jauh. pabila ada penerbitan buku catatan zunita di jepun, memang tak ketinggalan untuk memilikinya. harapan saya, semoga ada keluaran siri baru buku catatan zunita di jepun, agar dapat saya mengembara lagi bersama miss zunita melalui pembacaan yang lain.

  13. Alhamdulillah
    Assalamualaikum. Terima kasih berkongsi info dan ilmu. Bila membaca segala penulisan tentang negara Matahari terbit ini, saya jadi teruja.
    Dalam hati terasa nak sangat ke sana, menjejak kaki di setiap lokasi yang digambarkan dan dikisahkan dalam penulisan cik zunita. Semakin banyak membaca semakin jatuh cinta.
    Sejujurnya dari di bangku sekolah lagi memang ada hasrat untuk kesana.
    Tapi hakikat kehidupan memjadikannya impian. Namun masih minat mengambil tahu tentang negara Jepun.
    Syukur Allah hadirkan cik Nita sebagai duta kiriman tuhan. Hehe
    Teruskan berkarya. Kerana kami masih ramai dan akan ramai lagi yang dahaga ilmu tentang dunia luar dan nak sama sama mengagumi kebesaran dan keEsaan Yang Maha Besar.
    Terima kasih.
    Komen tanda dah baca.
    Dan menghayati setiap gambar yang cantik dan indah.

    Alhamdulillah.
    Assalammualaikum

  14. Assalamualaikum Zunita. Alhamdulillah. MashaAllah. Terima kasih berkongsi info dan cerita. Memang menarik dan tertarikh olahan kata-kata, keinginan Untuk menjinjakkan kaki ke Jepun makin terasa pantas. Setiap info membuatkan makin dekat dihati, makin mudah perjalanan kesana. Terasa kemesraan, kesediaan menerima tetamu dan keindahan yang memukau. Teruskan penulisan Zunita. Terima kasih berkongsi ilmu Dan info.

  15. Masya Allah, cantik nya view ciptaan Allah. Tak ada yang tak menarik semua perkongsian sis zunita. Tak jemu membaca dan tak jemu mata memandang.

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