Hyakumeidaki

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Below is a short amount of information on each of the top 100 waterfalls that I have visited so far, including things like access and the nature of the cascade and so on.

Note that when I mention flow, I have also indicated the season I visited; the flow could of course change depending on season and weather.

For a full list of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls, try the Wikipedia article.

 

Daisen-taki Tottori prefecture Touhaku
 ??????????????????????????????? A short, though very steep in places, 1.8km walk (about 30-45mins) from the car park to the waterfall. Pretty two-stage waterfall with a very large flow (winter).The path was quite wet and muddy in places, and I imagine this could be a lot worse in spring with all the snowmelt, so I would recommend hiking boots for this walk if possible [though my own sneakers were just fine].

Note that access is from Touhaku, which is actually on the ‘back’ side of Daisen; not the side one would typically go for hiking etc. It’s a pretty long and windy drive if you choose to go around the mountain using the high road.

Harajiri-no-taki Oita prefecture Bungo-ono
 IMG_6267 The waterfall can be accessed immediately from the parking area by the river. It’s a fairly shallow but wide cascade in a pretty arc. There is also a bridge slightly downstream from which you can view it.
Saruo-daki Hyogo prefecture  Kami
 ??????????????????????????????? The waterfall is right by the roadside parking area, so can be accessed by anyone. It’s a multi-stage waterfall with slanted rocks providing a pretty flow at the lower reaches.
Harafudou-taki Tottori prefecture Haga
Costs 200yen to enter the shrine complex; from there it’s a walk to the waterfall.[I can’t comment any further as I didn’t want to pay the money to see it]
Tendaki Hyogo prefecture Yabu
 ??????????????????????????????? The waterfall is a 1.2km walk (about 30-35mins) virtually all uphill (and quite steep) from the upper car park, with a number of smaller falls to see along the way. Definitely well worth the climb; the waterfall is the tallest in Hyogo at 98m, and is truly spectacular.You can also park further downhill, just 100m or so from the turn off from the main road, and hike up an extra 1km or so before joining the main trail at the upper car park if you want to turn your visit into a longer hiking opportunity.

 

Amedaki Tottori prefecture  Tottori
 IMG_7058 The main waterfall is just a 100m or so from the car park. It’s tall and has a large flow (winter), but is otherwise a fairly plain single uniform cascade. Around 600m and a bit of a climb further on you can see another 3-stage waterfall which I personally felt was much prettier.
Jouseidaki Hiroshima prefecture Miyoshi
 ??????????????????????????????? Access is from a car park just up the hill past the Miyoshi city hall. From there it’s about a 400m walk up to the waterfall.
Ryuo-no-taki Kochi prefecture Otoyo
 DSCN5394 A pretty cascade with a moderate flow hidden away near the top of Kajigamori mountain. The waterfall is about a 10-15min walk from the carpark. If you make it all the way out here, be sure to also check out the mountain summit and it’s pretty views.
Mikaeri-no-taki Saga prefecture Karatsu
A pretty though indistinct cascade best enjoyed during the Hydrangea season in June. At this time, shuttle buses run from the car park up to the top for those physically challenged, or you can walk up the river bank amongst the pretty flowers (about 20mins fairly easy walking). At non-busy times it is easy to drive all the way to the top.
Manai-no-taki Miyazaki prefecture Takachiho
Though the cascade is pretty, I think it’s safe to say that most people go to see this waterfall in the context of the whole Takachiho gorge; not as a waterfall in and of itself. Try to catch it from both high up and also from one of the leisure boats if possible.
Oko-no-taki Kagoshima prefecture Yakushima
A wide cascade with plenty of vantage spots on the rocks below to take photos from various angles. Personally I prefer the scenery at senpiro-no-taki, though this is also beautiful and easily accessed by a short 5min walk from the car park. Can also be accessed using the island’s bus service.
Haso-no-taki Wakayama prefecture Shirahama
This cascade is pretty, though is far away on the opposite side of the river from the road. No hike necessary, but not really worth the drive unless you are passing by this area.
Nachi-no-taki Wakayama prefecture Nachikatsuura
 DSCN7617 A super tall cascade, at 118m, this waterfall is accessed via a short walk down a wide stairway from the first car park (free) when you drive up to the Kumano Nachi Taisha area. You can view the waterfall for free or pay 300yen to go up a short way to a viewing platform [I didn’t]. From this same car park, if you walk up the road you can access the main stairway up to the shrine, and a little further on around the right is the three-story pagoda which you can photograph with the waterfall in the background. Most other parking places (closer to the shrine entrance) cost 500yen.
Kuwanoki-no-taki Wakayama prefecture Shinguu
This waterfall was impossible to find. Either the address is incorrect in Google, or I suspect that previously one had to cross the river and walk into the forest slightly to see it and the bridge (that I have seen in other photos) no longer exists. There is a beautiful natural swimming pool with crystal clear water at the Google location though, if you are visiting in summer.There was also a pretty waterfall (furaketsu-taki) high up in the mountain just a little further up the road on the right.
Naka-no-taki Nara prefecture Kamikitayama
This waterfall, near the summit of Mt. Odaigahara (a popular mountain on the hyakumeizan list) is inaccessible during the winter season (1Dec-23Apr), when the access road is closed.
Nunobiki-no-taki Mie prefecture Kumano
 DSCN7695 A stunning 3-stage waterfall visible from the road side, though I highly recommend taking the short 5min walk down the stairs to get a different perspective from lower down as well.
Fudounanae-no-taki Nara prefecture Shimokitayama
IMG_7272 The 6km drive from the main road takes about 30mins up a windy road around the edge of the lake, but is well worth it. You can see the fall from the road and it is quite impressive, though I recommend also taking the 1.1km hike (which starts 700m down the road) to experience the power of the large flow (winter) up close. After descending to the valley floor, cross the river and once the forest path runs out, continue along the rocks upstream until you come to a big flowing cascade. Go a little further and look up to the right for a sign and some steep stairs; 600m of steep climbing and you will reach the viewing platform. Hard work but totally worth it.There is also a sign along the road way for a ~湯, which suggests there is a natural hot spring hiding there, though I unfortunately didn’t have a chance to check it out.
Akame Shijuuhachi-taki Mie prefecture Nabari
 DSCN7908 A collection of large waterfalls and beautiful river valley scenery along a 2km walking track through a ravine. Information is provided in English about the 5 major waterfalls along the walking course; the most popular cascade is Ninai falls, which is indeed stunning. The area is also home to giant salamanders, which you can see in tanks in the visitor’s centre or might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of in the wild if you go around dawn or dusk (they are primarily nocturnal creatures). The 4km round trip takes around 2—2.5hrs; entry costs 400yen but is well worth it. Parking typically costs 800yen. There are also numerous lodgings near the entrance if you want to stay in the area overnight. 
Ryuusou-ga-taki Fukui prefecture Ikeda
 IMG_7317 This waterfall is technically inaccessible during the winter season when the road is closed about 1km below the parking area. For the rest of the year, the fall is just a short walk from the car park, and the road in fact drives right by it. There is also a short walk up to an upper viewing platform. Despite the road closure, I hiked through deep snow to get to the fall in January and was well-rewarded with a very pretty cascade of fine water across the wide rock wall.
Shiraito-no-taki Yamagata prefecture Tozawa
Shiraito (white thread) waterfall (Yamagata pref) A tall cascade in multiple stages, seen from a road stop area directly across the bank of the Mogami River. Not a large volume of water in January and though the area was covered in snow, the bare tree branches made for a fairly plain and rather unimpressive sight.
Fudou-no-taki Iwate prefecture Hachimantai
Fudou-no-taki up close The fall is accessible even in the winter season (over snow) with only a 5min walk from the car park. Though the snow surrounding the fall made for an interesting sight and there was still a significant flow of water, it seemed as though the snow in fact obscured some of the pretty gully area below the main fall; I would recommend visiting in another season.
Akiu Otaki Miyagi prefecture Sendai (Taihaku-ku)
 DSCN0542 An impressive fall with a huge volume of water in early April. It’s a simple cascade that can be reached in an easy 2-3min walk from the car park (upper viewing area). However an additional 10min walk takes you right down close to the bottom of the cascade, which gives you a much better feel for the power of this fall, especially when the water volume is high; there was a significant amount of spray off the pool and surrounding rock walls.
Otsuji-ga-taki Fukushima prefecture Koriyama
 IMG_8480 A beautiful two-stage waterfall, where the first narrow drop spills onto a horizontal ledge that then spills out in a wide casecade into the pool at the bottom. The fall requires a hike for around 30mins from a small non-signposted car park off the Bonari Green Line road. After walking up a disused road for a short way, the track branches off into the woodland (signposted). In early April there was still a fair amount of snow in this area, which would make access virtually impossible without Chainsen or similar snow preparations. It would also be easy to get lost since the track is not well marked. However, there was a huge volume of water at this time of year that was very impressive.
Choushi-ga-taki Fukushima prefecture Sukagawa
 DSCN0860 This waterfall is easily accessible from a car park next to the road, but I personally would not recommend it unless you happen to be driving past or in the area. A very shallow ‘cascade’ within a river bed that is fairly difficult to see, even from the ‘viewing area’ and was really very disappointing.
Fukuroda-no-taki Ibaraki prefecture Daigo
 ??????????????????????????????? This huge waterfall in a small isolated town costs 300yen to see but is well worth the visit. Said to be one of Japan’s top 3 falls, even with less water than usual (when I visited in early April) it was still gorgeous and the sheer size is truly impressive. It would also be stunning in autumn with fall foliage, and in winter apparently it can freeze, making for an unusual and very special sight.
Kegon-no-taki Tochigi prefecture Nikko
 DSCN1313 The waterfall is easily accessible from one of the numerous (paid) car parks in the upper area of Nikko and can be reached by bus from the lower station area. A tall and simple fall, its beauty is amplified by the surrounding rock wall over which it falls. For an alternative view and to see the whole escarpment in perspective, try riding to the top of the cable car at (or hiking from Lake Chuzenji). Listed as one of the best 3 falls in Japan, though I personally think there are others more impressive [as viewed in January and April].
Kirifuri-no-taki Tochigi prefecture Nikko
 ??????????????????????????????? This cascade can be seen from a viewing platform that is around 10mins easy walk from the car park. It is reasonably far away and on the day I visited living up to its name ‘imitating fog’, as I could hardly see it for the thick fog in the valley.
Fukiware-no-taki Gunma prefecture Namata
 DSCN1642 A most unusual waterfall formed by a cutting in the rock along a wide river bed. Access is via a 5-10min walk down to the river from the numerous parking areas by the road, many of which (belonging to various shops/restaurants) are free. In spring (April), there was a huge volume of water flowing in the river which resulted in an immense gushing of water over the falls; truly a sight to behold. Listed as one of Japan’s top 3 falls, I would have to agree that the uniqueness of this cascade is really something worth seeing.
Senga-taki Yamanashi prefecture Kofu
 DSCN2035 A great powerful cascade (late April) between 2 rock walls that is easily accessible via a 5min walk from the upper area of Ogano (where most car parks are ‘free’ if you buy something from a store or eat at their restaurant), or can also be accessed via a 15min uphill walk from the lower area, where there is a similar arrangement as well as free car park. The early spring green foliage surrounding the fall and large pool into which it cascades make this a very beautiful fall in this season.
Nanatsugamagodan-no-taki Yamanashi prefecture Yamanashi
To see this group of waterfalls, you have to hike for 3.5hrs (round trip). It definitely looks worth it, though I did not have the opportunity myself. The  entrance is at Nishizawa-tani (limited parking) or you could park down the road at the Michi no eki Mitono and walk back 5mins.
Marugami-no-taki Saitama prefecture Ogano
 DSCN2061 A very pretty cascade down a long (tall) and rough rock face, where the flow is fairly light (late April) so that the whole cascade is white and looks rather like a waterfall of milk. It takes about 20mins to walk (uphill) from the car park area, but definitely worth it.
Yonako-daibafuku Nagano prefecture Suzaka
 DSCN2180 A waterfall that is actually two twin cascades, best viewed from a viewing area around 30-40mins uphill walk/hike from the car park. You can also complete a loop circuit that takes you closer to each of the two cascades. Though both are fairly simple straight cascades, they are high (75m/85m) and have a large volume of water (April), which make them quite impressive when viewed together.
Shomyo-daki Toyama prefecture Tateyama
 IMG_9201 Japan’s highest waterfall and also impressively tall, the cascade can be viewed from the bus as part of the Kurobe Alpine Route (from Tateyama station to Murodo) up in the alps of Toyama. As an alternative, you can also walk for 50mins from the top of the cable car station, or take a bus/drive from Tateyama station (20mins+30mins walk) to see the fall up closer, though neither of these options were available in late April due to a large amount of residual snow.
Uba-ga-taki Ishikawa prefecture Hakusan
A waterfall accessible only via the Super Rindo toll road between Shirakawa-go and (over Hakusan mountain); closed during the winter period right through until mid June.

I have not been, but have also read that there is a free onsen spring at the base of the waterfall.

Hirayu-otaki Gifu prefecture Takayama
 DSCN2321 A simple but impressive fall with a large volume of water (early May) as the name ‘great falls’ imply. Seen via an easy 5-10min walk from the car park (park down at the Hirayu ski lift area for free rather than the paid car park higher up), it is quite far from the viewing area but still pretty. It looks as though you could previously walk on a trail to get closer to the falls, but it was closed as of May 2015.
Amida-ga-taki Gifu prefecture Gujo
 DSCN2653 A simply-structured but tall waterfall, whose beauty is enhanced by the wide rock face and plant growth on either side of the waterfall. Around 5mins walk from the free car park area, which is very small (around 8 spaces).

Next to the car park is also a nagashi soumen restaurant – a place for eating thin noodles where they are transported along in moving water and you must ‘catch’ them with your chopsticks before dunking them in soy sauce and eating. A fun experience for something different; especially delicious in summer.

Kanabiki-no-taki Kyoto prefecture Miyazu
 IMG_9312 A stunning cascade down an interesting rock face replete with many plants. It is only a short drive from the main road and well sign-posted, followed by a 5min walk from the small car park area. Well worth a visit, especially if you are in the area of Amanohashidate.

 

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