About Fukube Waterfall (Fukube-no-otaki [ふくべの大滝])
The Fukube Waterfall (fukube-no-otaki [ふくべの大滝] or [瓢簞大滝]; “Sash Waterfall”?) was said to be the largest waterfall in Jadani Canyon with an 86m tall drop.
It was another roadside stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road (or Hakusan-Shirakawago Super Rindo [Forest Road]) just to the east of the car park for the Ubagataki Waterfall Trail.
So it was a convenient stop, particularly since its car park (P5) was next to a hairpin turn that curves right in front of this waterfall’s stream (see directions below).
Therefore, tour buses would often stop at this waterfall, and a couple of them full of school kids certainly did so during our visit in early July 2023.
On that visit, we felt mist from the waterfall where depending on the wind direction, it could blow back onto the road or blow right towards the lookout area beside it.
The lookout for the Fukube Great Falls also yielded views deeper into the Jadani Canyon past where the waterfall’s stream merged with the Jadanigawa River.
Peering deeper into that direction, there appeared to be a hint of another waterfall at a distant partially-concealed wall.
That said, without a drone (not sure they’re allowed here) or some aerial footage by some flyover by an official, there’s no way to really tell what’s back there.
Finally, I’ve seen this waterfall referred to as the Fukube Falls, Fukube Great Falls, Fukubeno Falls, Fukubeno Great Falls, Fukubeno Great Waterfall, Fukubenootaki Falls, Fukubenootaki Waterfall, etc.
All the confusion around the variations of the Japanese place name have to do with the lack of consensus on how to Romanize the Japanese particles (“no” or の in this instance).
Speaking of the language, I noticed that the kanji written on the sign for this waterfall suggested that Fukube Waterfall could translate as the “gourd waterfall”, which doesn’t make sense to me since gourd is a squash-like plant.
However, it has been suggested that “fukube” could be a cloth or sash (like how a waterfall might look like a cloth blowing in the wind), which might make more sense, but then there’s different kanji for that meaning.
So I guess as you can tell by the “?” I put in the first sentence of this write-up, I’m still confused about how this easy-to-see waterfall got its name let alone its translation.
The Fukube Waterfall resides within the Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road in the Jadani National Forest in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. It may be administered by the local authorities of Hakusan. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Official Ishikawa Travel website or the Hakusan Shirakawa White Road Official website.
It’s actually located at the P5 parking area 2km to the east of the P4 parking area (for Jadani Gardens and the Ubagataki Waterfall).
There is parking room for maybe a half-dozen cars or so though at least two of the spots are long enough to accommodate tour buses.
Anyways, rather than reproduce the driving directions, I already detailed them in the Ubagataki Falls write-up, which you can access here.
For some geographical context, Nasukarasuyama (or just Karasuyama) was about 30km (45 minutes drive) northeast of Utsunomiya, 55km (about 1 hour drive) east of Nikko, 51km (over an hour drive) northwest of Mito, 123km (over 90 minutes drive) south of Koriyama, 143km (over 2 hours drive) north of Narita International Airport, and 164km (about 2.5 hours drive) north of Tokyo.
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