The subject of today’s post is an odd destination that has been on my to-visit list long before I started producing travel content in 2016. Known as the Site of Reversible Destiny, this peculiar attraction resides within Gifu Prefecture’s much larger Yoro Park. The space is a collaborative work that was fashioned by a pair of acclaimed architects in the late 1990’s. While located a long way off of the beaten path, the Site of Reversible Destiny is a unique spot that is definitely worth visiting if you’re looking to be dealt a new hand by fate.
Now, you, the reader, may be wondering how this strange spot got its rather unusual name. Here, you need to understand that the moniker the Site of Reversible Destiny is an homage to the installation that these two architects concocted within the confines of Yoro Park. Allegedly, based on years of long-term research, the pair came to the conclusion that alterations in bodily perception would lead to subsequent shifts in consciousness. To achieve this state, they arranged the abnormal landscape of the Site of Reversible Destiny to include as few horizontal lines as possible.
If we are to take the eccentric pair of architects that designed the Site of Reversible Destiny at their word, the space has the power to transform the present world into a hopeful future. Here, a number of artificial horizons combines with the lack of straight contours to ultimately disturb one’s innate sense of balance and perspective. In turn, this causes visitors to revert to the limitless potential of toddlers from whence they can begin to restructure their basal axions and perceptions of the world. In doing so, those who experience the Site of Reversible Destiny supposedly can alter the course of their fate.
If you’re looking to make a major life change, and happen to have the time to visit Yoro Park’s Site of Reversible Destiny, I highly suggest that you do so. In addition to being a one-of-a-kind attraction unto itself, this hidden gem just might have the power to alter your lot in life. Just be sure to bring a good pair of walking shoes as the curvature of the Site of Reversible Destiny doesn’t play well with heels and other such footwear. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Getting to The Site of Reversible Destiny
As hinted at above, getting to Yoro Park and the Site of Reversible Destiny isn’t exactly what one would call an easy task. Found on the western border of Gifu Prefecture along the Yoro Mountains, you’ll need to make a fair number of connections to reach this rural part of Japan. To begin with, you’ll first want to make your way to Nagoya via the bullet train. I personally did the Site of Reversible Destiny as a day-trip from Tokyo but it’s not exactly what I’d advise for overseas travelers.
Once you’re in Nagoya, you’ll thereafter want to take the Kintetsu Line to Kuwana in neighboring Mie Prefecture. From there, you’ll need to transfer to the Yoro Railway. Your final stop will be Yoro Station. As always, just let a service like Hyperdia do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to calculating train connections. Tools like this are a lifesaver; I don’t know how I would navigate the countryside without accessing one. All you need to do is plug in your starting point along with your destination and this travel tool will do the rest.
Anyway, after arriving at Yoro Station, you’ll need to make a decision. You can either hoof it over to Yoro Park and the Site of Reversible Destiny or you can wait for the shuttle bus. All in all, the walk is only around 10 minutes or so. While I wouldn’t fault you for taking it, the shuttle bus does come with the headache of figuring out where to embark and whatnot. Unless you speak Japanese, it might be easier to put one foot in front of the other.
The Site of Reversible Destiny can be found here in the southernmost quadrant of the greater Yoro Park expanse. Entry to this architectural oddity will run you a few hundred yen but it’s more than worth the price. Just trust me on this one…
Exploring the Site of Reversible Destiny
While you could see all that the Site of Reversible Destiny has to offer in roughly an hour, I suggest you take it slow and really savor this unique space. During my visit, I initially found myself asking “what the F@$#?!?!” every few paces. Eventually, the randomly placed mattresses, chairs, and toilets, not to mention the strange architecture, stopped seeming so odd. Perhaps it’s a product of the Site of Reversible Destiny lacking any flat landscapes but I quickly found myself simply experiencing landscape without any further thought.
One other reason for taking it slow is that the footing isn’t exactly what I would call the best. Though the terrain isn’t exactly hard to traverse per say, it can catch you off guard if you’re not careful. This problem seemed to fade away after I stopped judging things and started just “being” so to speak. That said, those who aren’t habitual hikers might want to be especially mindful. Likely to preserve the aesthetic beauty of the place there are few, if any, rails should you fall and this is particularly problematic on some of the higher ledges.
Attractions Near the Site of Reversible Destiny
While the Site of Reversible Destiny is what you come to this part of Japan for, know that the Yoro area is also home to several other allures. All together, these combine with the Site of Reversible Destiny to comprise the perfect day-long excursion. While you’ll need to trek up into the foothills of the Yoro Mountain Range, I highly suggest you add the following attractions to your itinerary when visiting the Site of Reversible Destiny. As always, I’ll include some Google Map links to make finding things easier.
- Yoro Falls
Considered to be one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls, Yoro Falls is a spot you really ought to see if you’re in this part of Japan. Allegedly, the clear waters, which have been thoroughly filtered by the chalky crags above, can cure any disease. In addition to winning the attention of the master woodblock artist Hiroshige, Yoro Falls were also patronized by the Empress Gensho in the 700’s.
- Yoro Shrine
Found on the way to Yoro Falls, this small sanctuary enshrines the deity of the waterfall and pays homage to the healing powers of its water. Due to its location, I actually suggest you visit Yoro Shrine AFTER the waterfall as you’ll otherwise need to make an already somewhat challenging trek up even harder.
- Yoro Gourd Lantern Museum
Oh my gourd! This tiny hall is the type of place that I could never get my mother to leave. Though only a one-room facility, the Yoro Gourd Lantern Museum houses an impressive number of hand carved gourds that have been repurposed into lanterns. Seeing as the price of entry is only a mere 100 yen, you’d be a fool to pass up this little attraction.
- Serious Hiking
If you’re an adventurous soul and want to scale a mountain or two, know that you can actually follow the trail deeper into the Yoro Mountain Range. I only went as far as the waterfall so I can’t comment on the conditions past Yoro Falls but do feel free to continue on should you be craving more.
In addition to the aforementioned locals in the Yoro area, Hikone Castle and the historic battlefield of Sekigahara are also found within a short distance. Additionally, since you need to make a transit at Kuwana, you could head south to Mie Prefecture for the trip of a lifetime after altering your fate at the Site of Reversible Destiny.
Until next time travelers…