Saturday, October 02, 2010

A day trip to Fukuroda No Taki and Ryujin Otsuribashi

Japan has plenty of waterfalls. As per one source there are more than 500 waterfalls. Infact the Japanese Ministry of Environment has its own list of 100 waterfalls known in Japanese as “ Nihon no Taki hyakusen”. Most of these waterfalls are in remote locations and access to most of these is difficult and may require long hikes. However few of the major waterfalls are easily accessible.

There is also a list of 3 best waterfalls in Japan
  1. Kegon Waterfalls in Tochigi Prefecture
  2. Nachi Falls in Wakayama Prefecture
  3. Fukuroda No Taki in Ibaraki Prefecture

In early July this year, we visited Fukuroda No Taki. O-Taki in Japanese means Waterfalls. The name Fukuroda No Taki translates to Fukuroda Waterfalls. The Fukuroda Waterfalls is actually a series of waterfalls and is categorized as a multistep falls. The width of the falls is 73 mtrs and the height reaches 120 m. The Taki river source spring is just above the falls. This waterfall is also called Yo-Do No Taki since the water cascades down in 4 steps.  

To reach the waterfalls one has to first reach the town of Daigo in Ibaraki prefecture. There is limited parking place at the beginning of the walking trail. From the parking lot we walked over a small bridge and then uphill. There are many shops selling food stuffs and Omiyage ( Japanese for souvenirs) along the road. There is a small shrine too. It is not a very long trek and is only a few hundred meters. We then reached a admission ticket counter. The 300 yen ticket is not essentially for viewing the falls, but rather a toll for the walk through 276 metres long tunnel and for taking the elevator to the upper observation deck. We walked through the tunnel which is illuminated and reached the first observation deck directly facing the falls at the lower level.Thanks to the sound of the water and the water drops hitting us, we felt that we were under the waterfalls!

From here we walked past a small shrine inside the tunnel towards the elevator. The elevator took us several meters to reach the two tiered observation deck. The view of the falls from the observation deck is totally different from the view we had seen from the first observation point.

We then took the elevator down and started walking crossing a suspension bridge across the river. This led to the beginning of a walking trail. Our friends who had been there before told us that it was a pretty difficult trail with many stairs-some metallic, some stone and at times slippery and it could be even more difficult with a kid in tow. So we decided to skip the walking trail and started our walk towards the car. Since it was early summer ,we saw lots of Hydrangea blooms and lot of greenery around.

 I am told that the view of the falls is different in all four seasons. We saw a poster at one shop which had pictures of the falls during the different seasons and I must say that what I heard is true. I am also told that in some winters, the falls also freeze. What a sight that might be!

We had lunch at one of the nearby restaurants and were lucky to find some English speaking staff who helped us order. After lunch, we decided to explore the surroundings and our friends suggested visiting the Ryujin Otsuribashi.

At 375 metres , Ryujin Otsuribashi is the second longest pedestrian bridge in Japan and at one point of time was also the longest bridge in Japan till the Kokonoe Yume Otsuribashi overtook it at 390 metres.

The Ryujin Bridge is located at a height of 100 meters above the Ryujin dam. To view the dam one needs to walk on the Ryujin bridge. The view below is amazing.

Ryujin means God Dragon  and at each end of the bridge there is a large dragon painting.

A trip to Fukuroda No Taki followed by a visit to the Ryujin Otsuribashi is definitely not to be missed.

Access information:

Fukuroda No Taki:

Open:  8.00 am to 6. 00 pm

Admission Fees: 300 yen for Adults and    Children under 6: Free

Address: Fukuroda Daigo machi, Kuji gun, Ibaraki Prefecture

Phone: 0295-72-1111

Access: 50 minutes by car from the Naka I.C on the Joban Expressway via Highway 118.

Parking: Limited Car parking.

Wheel chair services available.

Ryujin Otsuribashi:

Open:  8.30 am to 5.00 pm

Admission Fees:  Adult : 300 yen and Child :200 yen.
                           (Children below Age 6: Not charged)

Address: 2133-6, Keganocho, Hitachi Ota, Ibaraki Pref: 313-0351

Phone: 294-87-0375

Parking: Free parking available for approximately 250 cars.

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