Yu Waterfall (Yu-daki [湯滝])

Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Rating: 3     Difficulty: 2
Yudaki

TABLE OF CONTENTS



[Back to top]

INTRODUCTION

The Yu Waterfall (Yu-daki [湯滝]; also seen it spelled Yutaki, Yudaki and just Yu Falls) was a pretty unique-looking waterfall draining the lake Yu-no-ko by the Yumoto Onsen. The word "yu" was familiar to Julie and I because we had visited a few Japanese restaurants in Japan (especially ramen or udon joints) and realized from the menus that the word meant something like "hot water" or "soup".

This probably had to do with the lake Yu-no-ko having a bit of a sulphur smell as some of its expanse was geothermally heated from beneath as well as added to by other hot spring waters. For that reason, the Yumoto Onsen (湯元温泉), which was further upstream from the lake, was a pretty popular destination for those wanting to get a little further away from both Nikko and Chuzenji Onsen (中禅寺温泉). From the quantity of tourists riding in the bus with us all the way to the Yumoto Onsen, that seemed to support the notion that it was popular. That said, we didn't take the time to soak in the onsens here so we can't say more about them.

What really cracked me up about this waterfall was a sign at the car park that said something about appreciating its "feminine qualities." Even Julie got a real good crack up out of it. From looking at the photo above, we'll leave it up to you to figure out what they meant by it.

The way we experienced this waterfall was as part of a fairly long but pretty one-way walk starting from Yumoto Onsen and rejoining the bus just downstream near the car park for the Yu Waterfall. The intent was to build up the waterfall experience by absorbing the picturesque nature here before culminating in the waterfall itself. However, I must admit that we probably didn't have to go all the way to the Yumoto Onsen to start the walk.

In any case, we enjoyed the pleasurable hour-long walk around the Yu-no-ko to the top of Yu-daki. We noted that the lake drained into the waterfall itself. And after going down some steps and a couple of switchbacks, we ultimately made it to the viewing platform right in front of the Yu Waterfall, which happened to be crowded with Japanese students when we arrived. Overall, the experience was very relaxing, very peaceful, and very scenic. What more could you ask for?

But if you were so inclined to reduce the length of this 2-3km excursion, there's really nothing to stop you from doing it since they do have a bus stop right in front of the falls. In fact, had we visited the falls in this manner, then we probably would've given it a 1 instead of a 2 for difficulty rating. The higher rating reflected the fact that we took a much longer walking route to get here.




[Back to top]

PHOTO JOURNAL

This was the partially geothermally-heated lake Yunoko between Yumoto Onsen and the Yu-daki WaterfallThis was the partially geothermally-heated lake Yunoko between Yumoto Onsen and the Yu-daki Waterfall
We based ourselves in Nikko to enable day trips to places like Yu-daki, but Nikko itself featured UNESCO World Heritage places like the Toshogu ShrineWe based ourselves in Nikko to enable day trips to places like Yu-daki, but Nikko itself featured UNESCO World Heritage places like the Toshogu Shrine
This tower was another interesting bit of architecture that we noticed in Nikko's heritage areaThis tower was another interesting bit of architecture that we noticed in Nikko's heritage area
Also in Nikko was the atmospheric (and eerie) line of statues of the Bake JizoAlso in Nikko was the atmospheric (and eerie) line of statues of the Bake Jizo
Chuzenji-koChuzenji-ko. We saw this lake when we left Kegon-no-taki and continued up the mountain towards Yumoto Onsen

Yu-no-koYu-no-ko. This was the lake we walked around from the Yumoto Onsen to the top of the Yu-daki

Julie on the established boardwalk along the shores of Yu-no-koJulie on the established boardwalk along the shores of Yu-no-ko

Looking back in the direction of Yumoto Onsen over Yu-no-koLooking back in the direction of Yumoto Onsen over Yu-no-ko

Looking over the top of the Yu-daki WaterfallLooking over the top of the Yu-daki Waterfall

Walking to the bottom of the Yu-daki WaterfallWalking to the bottom of the falls

Finally at the bottom but it was quite crowded down hereFinally at the bottom but it was quite crowded down here with students

Direct look at Yu-dakiDirect look at Yu-daki or the Yu Waterfall

Angled look back at the Yu-daki Waterfall showing just half of its segmented dropAngled look back at the Yu-daki Waterfall showing just half of its segmented drop

I think this sign of the Yu-daki Waterfall pretty much speaks for itselfI think this sign of the Yu-daki Waterfall pretty much speaks for itself :)


[Back to top]

VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Looking up directly at the Yu Waterfall


[Back to top]

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

As for logistics, the buses from Nikko (日光) to Yumoto Onsen (湯元温泉) leave less frequently (roughly on the order of once every half-hour to an hour, which is still very reasonable) than the Chuzenji Onsen (中禅寺温泉) route. I think it was something like another 30- to 45 minutes to go from the Chuzenji Onsen stop all the way to Yumoto Onsen (though my notes were a little unclear about this). As for cost, this route is part of the two-day All Nikko Pass, which turned out to be a good value.

For more details on the logistics of getting to Nikko, see the Kegon-no-taki page.




[Back to top]

ITINERARIES

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




[Back to top]

MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





[Back to top]

TRIP REPORTS

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




[Back to top]

TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




[Back to top]

NEARBY WATERFALLS




[Back to top]

RELATED PAGES



Have You Been To This Waterfall?

Share your experience!

Click here to see visitor comments for this waterfall

Click here to see visitor comments for other waterfalls that we've visited in this region

Click here to go to the Comments Main Page

You can use the form below, but if you find our host's interface too troublesome to use (especially if you're trying to upload photos), then just send a text submission anyways using the form, but also let us know that you'd like to attach photos. If you've provided an email address via the form, then we can reply back acknowledging your request, and you can then reply to that email with your photo attachments. We're very sorry about this, but there's not much we can do about SBI's terrible interface.



[Go to the Japan Waterfalls Page]

[Go to the Asia Page]


[Return from Yu Waterfall to the World of Waterfalls Home Page]