Waterfall is said to be one of the most charming things on earth, and essential parts of our nature. It does decorate the surrounding nature in an impressive way that you can’t say it is a boring thing to experience. A waterfall’s magnificent streams falling over a cliff is just an appealing scene. Endless waterfalls of different sizes from small to large could be found in Japan, though not all of them are famous for viewing autumn leaves. For example, Nachi Falls – the tallest uninterrupted falls in Japan is not a great place to see fall colors. However, I have come across some beautiful waterfalls in Japan which look stunning in the fall.
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What I have experienced throughout my visits to different autumn foliage spots is that the combination of fall colors and the stream of water look amazingly gorgeous. The waterfalls you will be discovering through this post are all surrounded by colorful autumn leaves. If you are adventurous and like to hike then these are the all possible fall foliage spots I could offer you. In Japan, you have to hike through the designated hiking trails especially in remote areas to enjoy the scenic beauty of the waterfalls in combination with autumn colors. I hope you take it seriously and discover these hidden waterfalls.
1) Fukuroda Falls in Daigo, Ibaraki Prefecture
Want to know the best places of viewing autumn foliage in Ibaraki prefecture? Well, I better show you only one place that is truly awesome to visit in the fall. It is Fukuroda falls, considered to be one of the Three Great Waterfalls in Japan together with Kegon Falls and Nachi Falls. It is beautiful, seriously! The falls is located in the countryside of Daigo town. I admire the impressive fall foliage scenery in the town and yes it is because of the Fukuroda falls. It is really amazing driving through the country roads of Daigo by car. I am not kidding it is true! You can expect to see beautiful surrounding forested mountains and paddy fields on the way to Fukuroda falls.
It is about 120 meter tall falls featuring some viewing platforms to observe the fall colors and the water streams of the falls. The striking fall foliage can be seen here from early-November to mid-November. Viewing of the surrounding areas including the falls is thrilling from the upper platform; you should go there are enjoy the scenic beauty. In addition, I want you to taste some local specialties you find there, especially the famous Daigo Dango (Japanese rice dumplings).
2) Kegon Falls in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
A visit to Kegon Falls during autumn could change your life. No, you won’t win a lottery neither you get an opportunity of winning a Ferrari car. What you could get is the imagination of being a true nature lover. This place could inspire you visiting other top famous waterfalls in the world. The fantastic scene of vivid red, yellow, orange autumn leaves and dropping of stream from the higher point to lower one would certainly make you get back here again in the future.
Please note that this is one of the most venerated waterfalls in the Nikko National Park. The river stream that flows over the precipice is the main source of Lake Chuzenji. The scenic beauty of this 100 meter tall waterfall can be experienced from two observation decks, one is free and other one is paid. Don’t panic hearing that the paid viewing platform offers the most impressive views of surrounding fall colors along with the waterfalls. To enjoy something pretty nicely from a spot you have to spend some money! Mid-October is the best time to see autumn leaves here; don’t you forget it, OK?
3) Ryuzu Waterfall in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
I have another waterfall within Nikko area to make you familiar with it. Honestly, it is not located far away from the previous one (Kegon falls). In fact, a day trip to Lake Chuzenji areas would help you reveal these two beautiful waterfalls. Ryuzu falls is a small fall; better tell it as a cascade. It is located on Yukawa River. Do you know what Ryuzu Falls means in Japanese? If I translate it to English then it means dragon head waterfall. Does it sound interesting? Actually, the name derives from the shape of the falls that resembles the head of a dragon.
The surrounding deciduous trees are in their full glory in early-October. Locals say that the place is one of first spots to see fall foliage in Nikko. Though, visiting it in mid-October would not disappoint you. Enjoy the view of the streams and the nearby fall leaves from the observation deck. In addition, if you want to explore it more then you can follow the river upstream on foot by walking through a 300 meters long hiking trail. Hike carefully as much as possible and capture the pleasant moments with the camera you are holding.
4) Ryusei Waterfall & Ginga Waterfall in Sounkyo, Hokkaido Prefecture
If you are looking to get inspired by the shades of fall foliage in the Hokkaido region, I could recommend you a lovely spot where there is a twin waterfall known as the Ryusei no Taki and Ginga no Taki. This twin falls is located in a prominent hot spring resorts called Sounkyo. No doubt that Sounkyo is a real treasure of the Daisetsuzan National Park, and a popular fall foliage viewing spots in Hokkaido. To get to these twin waterfalls you have to walk along the Ishikari River. The surrounding fall color landscapes of the waterfalls are so appealing that you would like to spend few hours there. Enjoy your time viewing these picturesque falls from the different angles at the different viewing platforms.
5) Naena Falls in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture
Without having any doubt in my mind I could say that Naena Falls (55 meters tall) is the best waterfall in Niigata prefecture. Scenery of its greatest amount of falling water and the surrounding fall foliage is extremely delightful. My very first trip to this amazing falls during autumn was memorable. In fact, I believe I took the best decision taking a trip to this beautiful waterfall in the fall. The atmosphere there was very shooting and peaceful. Often people say it as an Earthquake Waterfall. Nothing is serious there but the huge amount of falling water creates massive sounds that can be heard even from a long distance. Here, early-November is said to be the best time to view fall colors. Please note that Naena Falls is listed as one of the Japan’s Top 100 Waterfalls.
6) Minoo Waterfall in Osaka
One of the iconic attractions in Osaka during autumn is the Minoo Park, located outskirts north of Osaka city. The park offers a number of things to do and see. Among them exploring the autumn beauty of Minoo waterfall is arguably beautiful. The falls color here is truly impressive to view! During autumn, the splendid combination of fall colors and water stream always fascinates me, and it will fascinate you too. You are offered to experience the waterfalls along with fall foliage from different viewing platforms. Does the photograph of this waterfall inspire you to pay a visit? Then come here in early-November.
7) Komadome Falls in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture
Komadome falls (Komadome-ga-taki) is a hidden autumn foliage spot in Japan. The name Komadome simply means ‘horse stop waterfall’. The surrounding unspoiled nature of the falls ablaze with striking vivid colors in autumn. Anyone thinking of visiting Nasu this year autumn should explore this hidden gem. The place it is located at is pretty peaceful and what impresses me the most is the color of the water. It is blue. How cool is that! Nasu is said to be one of the best places in Japan to experience fall colors through hiking. You will not understand its value until you see the colored mountains slopes of Mt. Nasu in the fall.
8) Akame 48 Waterfalls in Nabari, Mie Prefecture
Akame 48 Waterfalls (Akame Shijuhachi Taki) is completely unique and different than those of the waterfalls described above so far in this post. To be honest with you, you won’t find 48 waterfalls there, so don’t think of its name rather think of the natural beauty it offers in autumn. In fact, it is a collection of beautiful waterfalls following through Akame-cho. Though there are five large falls, they are: Fudo, Ninai, Senju, Biwa, and Nunobiki. The best way of discovering all these waterfalls is by hiking the primeval forest trail. Walk along the trail and hopefully your eyes would catch some amazing autumn nature scenes.
Also it is a historic place of which Ninja (secrete assassin) were said train themselves in the past. Seriously at the time it was one of the spiritual training centers for them. However, there is no chance of seeing them but you can have a hands-on ninja experience here at the Akame 48 Waterfalls Ecotourism Center. I was not interested in this experience; I just wanted to enjoy the nature and intended to see Japanese giant salamanders. In fact, this could be one of the reasons why you should visit this falls. Here, the best time to view the fall colors is in mid-November.
9) Shiraito Falls in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture
The surrounding areas of the Mount Fuji Foothills offer you a lot of things to discover. If you ever visit there in autumn then you will experience the stunning fall colors sunshine. The Fuji Five Lakes are great to discover, everyone knows it. Though there is a beautiful waterfall that you might not have known before. The waterfall is called Shiraito Falls, located in the southeastern foothills of Mt. Fuji and it is about 150 meters wide. I hope you don’t let the falls fool you. I admit that summer is the best time to visit it, but visiting it in autumn will be a bonus for you. Please keep in mind that many places across Japan offer stunning autumn vistas and this is no different here. There is another awesome looking waterfall near this one called Otodome falls, it requires only 5 minutes walk to reach there. Intrested in visiting these two waterfalls, then get here in mid-November.
10) Nanataki Falls in Kosaka, Akita Prefecture
This is going to be the last waterfalls on the list here that changes colors in autumn. I would never forget my first trip to Nanataki Falls in autumn. It is a-60 meter tall waterfall cascading over seven steps. Its appearance changes almost every season making someone admire its seasonal beauty. Akita’s autumn is charming and paying a visit to this lovely waterfall in autumn will be a great decision. At the time I visited the falls, I saw the colors on the leaves were so bright. It is surprisingly easy to enjoy everything you find there.
Traveling deeper into the wilderness along with hunting autumn leaves is a thrilling experience. It is said that over 70% of Japan is covered with forest that includes a large number of deciduous trees. They are almost everywhere except few places! Whether you experience fall foliage at the grounds of temple & shrine, in a park, garden, mountains slopes, near waterfalls, or gorges, every atmosphere you experience is different. Thanks for reading.
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