Discover many colours of Japan through its 100 waterfalls

Stunning cascades of Land of the Rising Sun
/ New Delhi
Discover many colours of Japan through its 100 waterfalls
Discover many colours of Japan through its 100 waterfalls

Nihon no Taki, Hyakusen’, or 100 Waterfalls of Japan list was made by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment in 1990

Over 70 pc of terrain in the Land of the Rising Sun is covered by mountains. Magnificent waterfalls can thus be found across the country and its islands, forming some of the most impressive perspectives of the archipelago.
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Waterfalls act as major tourist magnets around the world and in order to promote the numerous waterfalls in Japan, ‘Nihon no Taki, Hyakusen’, or 100 Waterfalls of Japan list was made by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment in 1990, showcasing waterfalls all over the country. Some are rather simple walks to beautiful vistas, while others require more dedicated hiking and trekking to reach. Here is a look at some of Japan’s most famous waterfalls.

Hokkaido: Ryusei and Ginga Falls

Hokkaido is the northernmost main island of Japan. In Japanese, ‘ryusei’ means shooting star or meteor, and ‘ginga’ means Milky Way, making the names of this waterfall pair Shooting Star and Milky Way Falls. Located in the Sounkyo Onsen area in Kamikawa, this pair of waterfalls cascades down from 90 metres and 120 metres respectively into the Ishikari River. There is an observation area that is a quick walk from a parking area to see both waterfalls at the same time. During autumn, the surrounding scenery comes alight with the changing leaves, framing the falls even more. 

Akita: Yasu Falls

Heading down from Hokkaido to Honshu, in Akita Prefecture, one can come upon this two-tiered waterfall hidden in the mountains of Tohoku. The two tiers are 60 and 30 metres high respectively, and at times one can even have the chance to see a rainbow forming at their base. As the falls are located in the midst of forested mountains, autumn can make for one of the best times to visit the area. The falls will be surrounded by the vibrant colours of the changing seasons, while summertime will frame the plunging water with lush greenery. 

Shizuoka: Shiraito and Otodome Falls

Another pair of waterfalls, Shiraito and Otodome Falls, is located in Shizuoka Prefecture. Shiraito Falls is characterised by its width, more than 150 metres wide, with countless streams of water cascading down the rock faces. From the viewpoint visitors can even see Mt Fuji at times, making a stunning combination of the two. Just nearby is Otodome Falls, reachable by a short walk. The area around both Otodome and Shiraito Falls has multiple souvenir shops and great views.

Wakayama: Kuwanoki Falls

Kuwakoki Falls in Wakayama Prefecture is a 21 metre waterfall in the Kuwanoki Canyon. Surrounded by mulberry trees which give the waterfall its name, its location in the forests of Wakayama make it a beautifully peaceful place to visit. Rain makes the water flow much more, making the scene even more breathtaking. 

Oita: Higashishiiya Falls

Kyushu, the southernmost of the main Japanese islands, is near to the Higashishiiya Falls in Oita Prefecture. Higashishiiya Falls is an impressive 85 metre straight drop down, unlike some of the other tiered waterfalls previously covered. The waterfall is occasionally known as the ‘Kegon Falls of Kyushu’, as it resembles the famous Kegon Falls in Nikko, in Tochigi Prefecture. 

Miyazaki: Manai Falls

Manai Falls can be found in the famous Takachiho Gorge in Miyazaki Prefecture. Cascading from the top of the volcanic gorge 17 metres into the Gokase River, this ethereal falls can be viewed from a variety of different spots. Above Takachiho Gorge there is a bridge that crosses the river, providing a wide ranging view of the river below and the waterfall tumbling into the bright blue water. Perhaps one of the best ways to view the waterfall is to rent a boat, and or paddle through the gorge. There is also a Takachiho Shrine nearby, which was founded about 1,900 years ago.

Kagoshima: Oko Falls

Oko Falls in Kagoshima Prefecture isn’t actually on the main prefectural area, but is located on an island to the south known as Yakushima. Cascading 88 metres down near the coast of the island, Oko Falls can be reached by bus from Miyanoura Port. The falls are split into two distinct streams as they cascade down. Nearby there is also Oko Springs, supposedly a spot with incredibly fresh and healthy drinking water.

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