Genbikei, a designated National Scenic Beauty and Natural Monument, is a delightful sight at any time of year. It's no wonder that Genbikei won the admiration of the feudal lord, Date Masamune, who had made this land his territory. It is said that the he built a tea-ceremony room and ordered cherry blossom trees to be planted along the gorge. The 350+ year old 'Teizan Cherry Blossom' comes from the name 'Lord Taizen' which is the pen name of Date Masamune.
Genbikei is home to sparkling emerald green waters and dynamic rock faces which were formed by the ash deposited by Mt. Kurikoma. There are paths on either side of the gorge that give spectacular views. Although Genbikei is gorgeous all year round, I recommend visiting in spring, where bright daffodils and cherry blossoms bloom to light up the area or in fall, where the golden hues of the foliage contrasts with the water. Winter makes for incredible photography when there's snow, but the shops and restaurants are generally closed.
A famous attraction unique to Genbikei is 'flying' dango known as kakkou dango.
To order flying dango: 1) put money into the basket 2) knock on the wooden board 3) watch as your order gets hoisted up 4) wait for your order to 'fly' towards you. If you do not want to order dango by basket, you can walk up toward the shop and experience dango at kakko-ya.
If you have some extra time, pop over to Sahara Glass Park which is a short walk from the Genbikei bridge. There is a vast array of glassware and glass-blowing workshops available if you would like to try your hand at making your own little souvenir. If the dango wasn't enough to satisfy your appetite, there is a cafe and a few soba restaurants nearby or if you trek 10 minutes up the road to Genbikei Roadside Station, you can experience 'mochi cuisine', which is an Ichinoseki specialty. For those with a car, try Polano - a local gelato shop which uses local produce.
*Ichinoseki is blessed with two stunning gorges. Their names are very similar so be careful - this is Genbikei Gorge (not to be confused with Geibikei Gorge). They are both in completely different areas of Ichinoseki. Genbikei is sometimes spelled Gembikei.
Address : 岩手県一関市厳美町字滝の上地内
Phone number: 0191-23-2350
Extra info: https://www.ichitabi.jp/en/feature/special/genbi/index.html Access (JR・Bus・Walk) Ichinoseki Station ～ Bus: Genbi Line (20min ride) to Genbikei bus stop