Urami Waterfall (Urami-no-taki [裏見の滝])

Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 3
Urami-no-taki

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Urami Waterfall (Urami-no-taki [裏見の滝]; Urami Falls) was a little off the beaten path as far as we were concerned, especially considering it was located near Nikko town. We got this sense when we visited the falls and a friendly Japanese local (I swear almost all Japanese we encountered were very friendly) explained to us in broken English that only Japanese people knew about these falls. It even kind of made him happy that mildly intrepid foreigners like us came out here to see it.

The falls was actually a series of seeping cascades and waterfalls mostly hidden in a gorge behind or amongst foliage. So as we walked along the elevated trail to get here, we could only hear but not see most of the waterfalls en route. At the very end of the trail, we saw a handful more waterfalls and cascades that seeped amongst the foliage with a few modestly-sized standout drops. But really, these waterfalls at the end of the trail only represented a small fraction of what was really out there. I'd bet if we were there at the height of rainy season, the falls would've expanded and became quite a crazy scene of waterfall walls draped throughout the head of the gorge.

From the bus stop in Nikko town (see directions below), we were looking at a 2.5km walk just to get from the bus stop all the way to the end of the side road we were on. It was only from there that the formal trail itself began. For this reason, we could appreciate why this place wasn't well touristed despite its proximity to Nikko town (it was even part of the popular Chuzenji Onsen bus route).

Anyways, most of the walk along the side road was featureless and went through a residential neighborhood where trees were on one side and homes were on the other. I recalled there were a few false trails going into the trees (especially one near the water tanks with "Nikko is Nippon" painted on them), but it turned out that we had to go all the way to the end ignoring those extra trails.

Once on the official trail, we had to go up stairs and follow an elevated pathway for about 0.5km. In addition to hearing unseen waterfalls, we also walked past a small buddha shrine. Eventually, the trail ended at the head of the gorge where we saw as much of the Urami Waterfall that we were going to see (i.e. what we were able to show you in this page).

There are other falls like Jako (or Jakko) Falls that falls under this category of close-to-town-but-not-well-touristed, but we made a choice and stuck with the Urami Waterfall over that one.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Urami Waterfall was very close to the town of Nikko, but one thing you'll immediately notice that's different about the waterfall excursion is the lack of crowds, unlike Nikko's historical areaUrami Waterfall was very close to the town of Nikko, but one thing you'll immediately notice that's different about the waterfall excursion is the lack of crowds, unlike Nikko's historical area
Some kind of red devil statue in the Taiyun Mausoleum area in NikkoSome kind of red devil statue in the Taiyun Mausoleum area in Nikko
We visited the Urami Waterfall after having spent the better part of the morning visiting the lake Yunoko (pictured here) as well as the waterfalls near there and the ChuzenjikoWe visited the Urami Waterfall after having spent the better part of the morning visiting the lake Yunoko (pictured here) as well as the waterfalls near there and the Chuzenjiko
The Shinkyo Bridge in NikkoThe Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko was near the bus stop where we caught the bus heading towards Yumoto Onsen, but it also made a stop at the Urami-no-taki

Starting the walk just to get to the trailheadStarting the walk just to get to the trailhead

If you see these water tanks, keep going straight and ignore the forested path to the leftIf you see these water tanks, keep going straight and ignore the forested path to the left. That saying "Nikko is Nippon" is like saying "Nikko is Japan"

Still walking on the road with a sign in kanji saying we still have a little further to goStill walking on the road with a sign in kanji saying we still have a little further to go. We had gone 1.5km at this point.

The official trailheadThe official trailhead, which was 2km from the bus stop

The elevated walkway to the Urami WaterfallsThe elevated walkway to the falls

One of the waterfalls we saw on the way to the Urami Waterfall, but it was difficult to seeOne of the waterfalls we saw on the way to the Urami Waterfall, but it was difficult to see

Small Buddha statue on the way to the Urami-no-takiSmall Buddha statue on the way to the Urami-no-taki

Julie approaching the scattered Urami Waterfalls at the end of the trailJulie checks out the scattered Urami Waterfalls at the end of the trail

Focused on the largest of the Urami Waterfalls at the end of the trailFocused on the largest of the Urami Waterfalls at the end of the trail

Another attractive waterfall comprising the Urami WaterfallAnother attractive waterfall comprising the Urami Waterfall

Focused on the main Urami Waterfall from a different angleFocused on the main falls from a different angle

One last look back at the Urami Waterfall before heading back to the bus stopOne last look back at the falls before heading back to the bus stop


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Bottom up sweep of just the main falls with some smaller springs falling alongside it


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

It was only a few stops from the plethora of stops near the World Heritage sections of Nikko (日光) to the Urami Waterfall as we made our way to Chuzenji-ko (中禅寺湖). I believe it took us no more than 10 minutes by bus from our usual stop (not far from the Shinkyo Bridge) to the stop for this falls (though the names of all the stops escapes me as I write this; I think it was indeed the Urami-no-taki bus stop).

In our experience, it was roughly 3 hours by train from Nikko to Tokyo (東京) via Utsunomiya (宇都宮).




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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