Yuhidaki is a 30 meter waterfall located in Yamada Town in the northernmost part of Shuzenji Town in Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture. It flows down in two stages; the upper stage is 20 meter tall and the lower stage is 10 meter tall. The white lines of water flowing down on the columnar joint rock surface, which is typical to this region, are very beautiful. The statue of Fudo Myoo is enshrined beside the bottom of the waterfall.
Double-flowered cherry trees that come into bloom in late April and hydrangea flowers that line the walking trail down to the basin in June offer wonderful color contrasts to the waterfall. In winter, on the other hand, the dashing flow of water freezes to create beautiful ice pillars. You will feel as if time has stopped when you see the sharp tips of ice plunging from above your head and protruding toward you.
Rurihime Festival is held in Shirataki in Ozu City, Ehime Prefecture, on November 23 every year to appease the soul of Rurihime (Lady Ruri), who threw herself into the waterfall.
Lady Ruri was the wife of Fujiwara Yukiharu, the castellan of Takinojo Castle. At the end of the Warring States period (1493-1573), the castle was attacked by the forces of the Chosokabe clan again and again until at last it fell.
Lady Ruri and her women attendants fought back with fukibari (needles blown from the mouth), naginata and shuriken, but they finally escaped from the castle and made their way to the waterfall, where they were cornered by the pursuers.
Lady Ruri told her two daughters to live on and dived from the top of the waterfall (presently called the Otaki Waterfall) into the basin 60 m below with her 2-year-old son Takaomaru in her arms.
On the festival day, the parade of girls in colorful costumes and boys carrying the flower mikoshi (portable shrine) heads for Lady Ruri’s grave mound, where the memorial service is performed and the flower mikoshi is thrown into the waterfall for the repose of her soul and children’s good health.
The Banjo Waterfall on the Jizodo River, a tributary of the Kano River, is about 20 meters high and 6 meters wide. Collecting clear stream from the mountains in Amagi, it dynamically flows down with roaring sounds. You can see the waterfall from the backside, from which the waterfall is also called “Urami no Taki (meaning a waterfall seen from the backside)” or “Ryo-omoi no Taki (the Love-with-each-other Waterfall).”
The legend of Red Ox is handed down about this waterfall. Legend has it that once Red Princess visited the waterfall on the back of a red ox and wove at her loom beside the waterfall. As the sound of the weaving loom mixed with the roaring sound of water sounded like a bellow of an ox, people believed that the spirit that resided in the waterfall must be an ox.
With a 1,000-year-old zelkova tree, a camping site and Japanese horse-radish fields in the vicinity, visitors can enjoy bountiful nature around the waterfall.
Ayutsubo Falls are located in Nagaizumi Town in Shizuoka Prefecture. The falls gush out of two cracks in the 10 meter high cliff formed by Mishima Stream of lava and flow down into the midstream of the Kise River. They discharge 3 to 7 tons of water per second.
They were named Ayutsubo (Sweet fish Basin) Falls because sweet fish stopped swimming and gathered together in the waterfall basins. As the water in the basins looks indigo blue, they are also called Aitsubo (Indigo Blue Basin) Falls. Or, the view of Mt. Fuji in back of the falls is so exquisite that the falls are called Fujimi-no-taki (Mt. Fuji Viewing Falls).
Ayutsubo Falls were prefecturally designated as a Natural Monument in 1996. When it rains heavily, water gushes out of every crack in the cliff with roaring sounds to form a dynamic cataract. The view of the falls from Ayutsubo no Kakehashi, the hanging bridge in the down stream, is further more beautiful.
The Rebun Waterfall is on the southwestern coast of Rebun Island to the west of Wakkanai City in Hokkaido and Japan’s northernmost island. Not being included in the representative sightseeing routes, the Rebun Waterfall is located in one of the unexplored lands on the island.
The trekking route to the waterfall is wonderful. First you start from the ferry terminal in the southeastern part of the island. Go toward the north along the Rebun Woodland Path and change your direction to the west on your way. The exquisite scenery of clear streams and the flower valley, where alpine flowers first come into bloom on this island, make you stay your steps and you will forget that you are heading for the waterfall. Take a leisurable walk for a while and enjoy viewing flowers in the valley, and you will get to the steep slope. Then go down along the small river until you get to the western coast.
There, you will find the Rebun Waterfall gently flowing down to the ocean. You may be able to see seagulls flying away from the top of this 20 m tall waterfall. The volume of water changes from time to time, but it is always fed by abundant water of this island. Note that the trail along the coast is closed now because of the danger of falling rocks.
The Ashiribetsu Waterfall in Takino Suzuran Hillside National Government Park in Sapporo City is the largest waterfall in the city. It is one of Japan’s 100 Fine Waterfalls. The word “ashiribetsu” means “a new river” in the Ainu language. The waterfall is in the upstream of the Atsubetsu River, which flows out of Mt. Soradake in the southern end of the city. It flows down the 30 m high cliff with dynamic splashes of water.
The waterfall shows different scenery in each season. It is lit up during the annual summer festival. The illuminated waterfall, together with the river that flows into darkness and white flowers of Pee Gee Hydrangea that shine on the river banks, creates a mysterious landscape. Though it is frozen in winter, visitors can either walk or ski along the trail and enjoy viewing it.
The Garo Waterfall in Shimamaki Village is one of Japan’s largest waterfalls. It is located in the Chihase River, which flows out of Mt. Kariba (1,520 m), the highest mountain in the southern part of Hokkaido. It is selected as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Waterfalls.
The waterfall, 70 m in height and 35 m in width, gushes down the cliff with roaring sound. It has no basin but water directly drops against the huge rock at the bottom with dynamic splashes of water.
There is a legend of a dragon that protects treasures which the Matsumae clan hid in the basin of the waterfall; hereby it is popularly called “Hiryu (Flying Dragon).” Aerated water spring out of a crack in a rock at the edge of the stream and it is called “Dragon Water.”
Hagoromo (Heavenly Robe) Falls in Tenninkyo Gorge in Taisetsu mountains is one of the representative waterfalls in Hokkaido. It is selected as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Waterfalls. With a height of 270 m, it is Japan’s 3rd highest waterfall.
The water trickles down the rock surface in seven stages. Its delicate and elegant flow indeed reminds us of a celestial maiden dancing with her heavenly robe streaming in the water. The waterfall was first named “Meoto-daki (Couple Falls)” when it was first discovered in 1901. However, in the Taisho period (1912-1926), a master poet Omachi Keigetsu visited this place and was deeply impressed by its graceful shape, from which he gave it the name “Hagoromo Falls.”
If you go up the steps beside the falls, you can take a close look at the upper stages of the waterfall.