When Japanese people go to see the autumn leaves and trees, we call it, “maple hunting”. Normally, “hunting”means to chase animals and birds to kill them, and this is the same in Japanese, but according to the dictionary, it also means, “going into nature to look at plants and to enjoy them”. This time, I’d like to introduce a place where you can enjoy hiking and beautifully coloured leaves.
Go directly north from Obiyamachi, towards to the mountains. On the way, you will see AEON on your right, but keep going straight. Then, the road goes into the mountains. Follow route 16 toward Kochi city’s Tosayama branch-office.When you come to the nearest cross road to the office, change direction to “鏡（kagami）”on route 33. Go straight for about 2KM, then you can see a liquor shop on your right side. A JA factory is on your left. Turn right at the corner with the liquor shop, which has a sign board “ゴトゴト岩” (it’s written in Japanese only, so you need to remember the characters.) Then, just follow the signs. You can go up this road by car, but it is good for hiking too.
When you arrive, “gotogoto –iwa” is on your right side. This rock is named thus because when you push it, it makes a “goto goto” sound, but never falls down. That’s why so many students who are going to take entrance exams visit this rock because “It seems to fall, but never falls (fails)”.
“Yamanba waterfall” is just 3mins walk from the rock. Since long ago, Yamanba is believed to have been the name of an old cannibal woman who lived in the mountains. It is said that Yamanba used to live around this area. That’s why this waterfall is called “Yamanba’s water fall”. But this is in fact a very beautiful waterfall. You can go really close to the water. You can enjoy nature with your eyes, ears and skin. I hope you all enjoy the very Japanese and Kochi-like “maple hunting”.
Taken from vol.5 PDF