Chidorigataki Waterfall (chidorigataki [千鳥ヶ滝])

Yubari / Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan

About Chidorigataki Waterfall (chidorigataki [千鳥ヶ滝])


Hiking Distance: less than 1km round trip
Suggested Time: 15-30 minutes

Date first visited: 2023-07-19
Date last visited: 2023-07-19

Waterfall Latitude: 42.9105
Waterfall Longitude: 141.97067

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Chidorigataki Waterfall (chidorigataki [千鳥ヶ滝]; “1000 Birds Falls?”) was kind of a nice relaxing spot to break up a long drive across Hokkaido.

In our particular instance, we used this falls to break up an all-day drive from Utoro to Hakodate.

Chidorigataki_032_07182023 - The Chidorigataki Waterfall on the Yubari River
The Chidorigataki Waterfall on the Yubari River

Indeed, I got rest stop vibes when we showed up to this waterfall in July 2023 as everything about this place screamed to me, “road trip!”.

The Takinoue Park (滝上 or 滝の上; takigami or taki-no-ue, respectively, meaning “top of the waterfall”) seemed to be ideally situated for detoxing purposes above the Chidorigataki (as the name would suggest).

Experiencing the Chidorigataki Waterfall

From the car park (see directions below), we walked through the serene Takinoue Park.

This city park featured a large quiet open space with restrooms, picnic shelters, and wide footpaths flanked by large lawns and shade-providing trees.

Chidorigataki_011_07182023 - The Takinoue Park featured wide footpaths, open spaces, wide lawns, and shade-providing trees as well as rest benches and shelters to chill out from sitting in the car for so long
The Takinoue Park featured wide footpaths, open spaces, wide lawns, and shade-providing trees as well as rest benches and shelters to chill out from sitting in the car for so long

Roughly some 300-400m from the start, we reached a bridge (called Chidoribashi) spanning the large gorge of the Yubari River.

It was from this bridge that we could see the Chidorigataki Waterfall make its estimated 30-40m drop in segments among the strangely grooved bedrock and cliff formations.

I found it a bit difficult to try to get a view of all of Chidorigataki’s segments in one shot due to the geology of the area obstructing one side or the other.

However, when I got towards the second half of the Chidoribashi Bridge, I could see that there were hidden side waterfalls spilling down the cliffs to rejoin the Yubari River.

Chidorigataki_018_07182023 - Looking across the Chidoribashi Bridge at the Yubari River from the far end of the Chidoribashi Bridge with the Chidorigataki Falls way in the background and a surprise side waterfall at the lower left
Looking across the Chidoribashi Bridge at the Yubari River from the far end of the Chidoribashi Bridge with the Chidorigataki Falls way in the background and a surprise side waterfall at the lower left

There seemed to be another groove in the cliffs as well harboring potentially another waterfall, but it was dry during my July 2023 visit.

When I got to the end of the bridge, I kept going and then went left at a trail junction to swing back around to a “garden” area underneath and in front of the Chidoribashi.

This “garden” offered a more frontal view of these side waterfalls as well as a closer look at the Chidorigataki Waterfall.

The area was lush, but it also had lots of mosquitos, junebugs or beetles, and intimidating looking wasps or hornets so I didn’t linger around there for too long.

Chidorigataki_082_07182023 - Looking down at the context of the 'garden' backed by the Chidorigataki Falls to the topright and a surprise waterfall to the bottom left all seen from the far end of the Chidoribashi Bridge
Looking down at the context of the ‘garden’ backed by the Chidorigataki Falls to the topright and a surprise waterfall to the bottom left all seen from the far end of the Chidoribashi Bridge

It was also possible to keep walking further downstream away from the Chidorigataki Waterfall to extend a visit (maybe encompassing the second bridge, which was a suspension bridge).

However, I was content with my views of the Chidorigataki Falls, and then I returned the way I came fully recharged for the continuation of the long drive to Hakodate from Utoro.

Overall, we spent around 35 minutes away from the car in a nice and leisurely visit (maybe walking about 1km round-trip encompassing my little “garden” side excursion).

How Did Chidorigataki Falls Get Its Name?

Finally, I didn’t learn how the Chidorigataki Waterfall got its name, but the kanji suggests something about 1000 birds.

Chidorigataki_002_iPhone_07192023 - Focused look at the Chidorigataki Falls with its multiple segments flanked by interesting striated grooves protruding above the Yubari River. Notice there appeared to be a dam further upstream of the waterfall
Focused look at the Chidorigataki Falls with its multiple segments flanked by interesting striated grooves protruding above the Yubari River. Notice there appeared to be a dam further upstream of the waterfall

Again, I can only speculate that there may have been lots of birds that like to nest or fly around the Chidorigataki Falls.

Then again, something tells me that the man-made dam further upstream as well as some outflow channels further downstream may have impacted their behavior because they weren’t around during our July 2023 visit.

It’s also said that the Ainu called this waterfall “Ponsou Kamuikotan” (where the northern gods live), and perhaps there maybe a tie in to bird migration patterns if they come to or from the north?

Anyways, it’s all speculation, but I’d be keen to know what this waterfall has to do with a thousand birds.

Authorities

The Chidorigataki Waterfall resides near the city of Yubari just east of Chitose in Hokkaido, Japan. It may be administered by the Yubari City Government. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Yubari City website.

Chidorigataki_002_07182023 - Looking towards some kind of closed off hydro facility that might have control over the flow of the Yubari River as it would feed the Chidorigataki Waterfall
Chidorigataki_004_07182023 - Starting on the short leisurely stroll to experience the Chidorigataki Waterfall
Chidorigataki_009_07182023 - Traversing a small side stream in Takinoue Park on our way to the Chidorigataki Falls
Chidorigataki_009_07182023 - Approaching a restroom facility in Takinoue Park
Chidorigataki_014_07182023 - Checking out some kind of inscription on a large stone in Takinoue Park
Chidorigataki_015_07182023 - About to go onto the Chidoribashi Bridge to start seeing the Yubari River and the Chidorigataki
Chidorigataki_017_07182023 - Looking towards a picnic shelter, some large mushroom, and a rest bench shortly before going onto the Chidoribashi Bridge
Chidorigataki_019_07182023 - First look upstream at the Yubari River towards the Chidorigataki Waterfall
Chidorigataki_021_07182023 - Zoomed in look at the Chidorigataki Waterfall from the Chidoribashi Bridge
Chidorigataki_022_07182023 - Looking at a side waterfall fronting some kind of man-made outflow contraption with the Chidorigataki Waterfall in the background
Chidorigataki_024_07182023 - Looking downstream from the Chidoribashi Bridge
Chidorigataki_028_07182023 - Focused look at the side waterfall quite close to the nearside of the Chidoribashi Bridge
Chidorigataki_034_07182023 - View across the Yubari River from further down the Chidoribashi Bridge
Chidorigataki_039_07182023 - Frontal look in portrait at the combination of Chidorigataki's segments along with striated bedrock
Chidorigataki_043_07182023 - Broad look down over a boardwalk flanking some garden area that fronted the Yubari River and the waterfalls across that river
Chidorigataki_044_07182023 - An even more frontal look down at that side waterfall across the Yubari River
Chidorigataki_045_07182023 - Context of the Chidoribashi Bridge and the side waterfall below and to the bottom right
Chidorigataki_048_07182023 - Approaching the garden area below the Chidoribashi Bridge
Chidorigataki_051_07182023 - Contextual look at the Chidoribashi Bridge above me as I was on the boardwalk flanking the garden area
Chidorigataki_056_07182023 - Approaching the nearest view that I could get of the Chidorigataki Waterfall
Chidorigataki_057_07182023 - Checking out some dry waterfall on the left and the Chidorigataki on the right
Chidorigataki_058_07182023 - Focused look at that dry waterfall as seen from that 'garden' area
Chidorigataki_062_07182023 - Focused look at the thicker left segment of the Chidorigataki Waterfall
Chidorigataki_065_07182023 - Looking at a pair of wasps appearing to be mating or something as they were attached at their bums as seen from that 'garden' area at Chidorigataki
Chidorigataki_070_07182023 - Closer look at the wasps or hornets (not sure what they were) still attached when I viewed them from the other side
Chidorigataki_077_07182023 - Looking over the 'garden' from the Chidoribashi Bridge as I was starting to head back across it and towards the car park
Chidorigataki_085_07182023 - Looking back along the left bank of the Yubari River from the early part of the Chidoribashi Bridge


The Chidorigataki Waterfall resides by the city of Yubari just east of Chitose (i.e. the city where the New Chitose Airport is at).

The key to accessing the Takinoue Park would be to take the E38 Expressway from either Chitose to the west or Otofuke to the east, then exit the expressway at the Yubari IC.

Chidorigataki_001_07182023 - Looking back across a large car park for the Chidorigataki Waterfall as well as the Takinoue Park and the Takinoue Rail Station
Looking back across a large car park for the Chidorigataki Waterfall as well as the Takinoue Park and the Takinoue Rail Station

From the E5/E38 interchange near Chitose to the Yubari exit is about 41km.

Meanwhile, it’s about 109km west from the Otofuke-Obishiro IC to the Yubari IC exit.

Once off the expressway at the Yubari IC exit, we then drove 6.5km west to the Chidorigataki car park on the left just past a railroad station.

Speaking of the railroad station, which was the JR Takinoue Station, it’s also possible to reach the Chidorigataki Waterfall via public transportation on the Sekisho Line.

Chidorigataki_003_07182023 - Looking back towards the entrance to the car park for the Chidorigataki Waterfall, where that semi-cylindrical tunnel and building is the Takinoue Rail Station
Looking back towards the entrance to the car park for the Chidorigataki Waterfall, where that semi-cylindrical tunnel and building is the Takinoue Rail Station

Overall, it took us about 2 hours to drive from Otofuke to the Chidorigataki car park, which gives you an idea of the driving distances and drive times involved.

In the other direction, it would take less than an hour to get from the New Chitose Airport to the Chidorigataki Falls.

For some geographical context, Shin-Yubari was about 41km (45 minutes drive) northeast of Chitose, 80km (over an hour drive) southeast of Sapporo, 116km (about 1.5 hour drive) west of Otofuke, 128km (about 1.5 hour drive) northeast of Noboribetsu Onsen, and 319km (about 4 hours drive) northeast of Hakodate.

Find A Place To Stay

Downstream to upstream sweep from the early part of the bridge before moving towards the other side of the bridge to see more of the main falls


Video showing some alcove before panning over to the main falls from the mozzie-laden lookout area


Video focusing on the falls while walking from the far end of the bridge to the near end of the bridge showing as many angles of the falls as possible from the bridge

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Tagged with: chidorigataki, chidoriga falls, chidoriga waterfall, yubari, road trip, hokkaido, japan, chitose



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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