Ginga Waterfall (Ginga-no-taki [銀河の滝]) and Ryusei Waterfall (Ryusei-no-taki [流星の滝])

Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido, Japan

About Ginga Waterfall (Ginga-no-taki [銀河の滝]) and Ryusei Waterfall (Ryusei-no-taki [流星の滝])


Hiking Distance: 1km round trip
Suggested Time: 45 minutes

Date first visited: 2009-06-06
Date last visited: 2009-06-06

Waterfall Latitude: 43.7167
Waterfall Longitude: 142.97499

The Ginga Waterfall (Ginga-no-taki [銀河の滝]; Ginga Falls) and Ryusei Waterfall (Ryusei-no-taki [流星の滝]; Ryusei Falls) comprised yet another set of twin Japanese waterfalls that we noticed during our Japan 2009 trip.

This particular waterfall pairing had been referred to as the “husband and wife” falls.

Daisetsuzan_033_06052009 - The Ginga Waterfall (left) and the Ryusei Waterfall (right)
The Ginga Waterfall (left) and the Ryusei Waterfall (right)

Which one was the hubby and which one was the wife? We’ll leave it up to you to decide though we can probably guess in a mostly male-dominated society which one’s which.

In any case, the other two twin sets that we’ve encountered in Japan include the Shomyo-daki and Hannoki-no-taki and Shiraito-no-taki and Otodome-no-taki.

What really made the Ginga and Ryusei Waterfalls stand out for Julie and I was the huge rock cliff protruding between the two falls with hints of a snowy mountainous backcountry right behind the scene.

It wasn’t often that giant waterfall pairs like this could be seen so close together.

Daisetsuzan_018_06052009 - Looking up at the Ginga Waterfall (left) and the Ryusei Waterfall (right) from the middle viewing deck
Looking up at the Ginga Waterfall (left) and the Ryusei Waterfall (right) from the middle viewing deck

And we thought highly enough of this pairing to give it a spot on our Top 10 Best Japan Waterfalls List.

Being in Hokkaido (North Sea Island as I read it if I translate the kanji directly into Chinese), it was also a pretty peaceful experience visiting this waterfall pairing.

It very much reminded Julie and I of how waterfalling should be, which was easily lost when we were waterfalling throughout much of Asia as a result of the crowds, the concrete forest paths, and commercialism, etc.

Hiking and sightseeing possibilities in and around the Ginga and Ryusei Falls

Nearby the Ginga and Ryusei Falls was the Sounkyo Gorge where there was also a popular onsen complex.

Daisetsuzan_083_06052009 - This was the onsen on the other side of the 7-hour walk from the Ginga and Ryusei Waterfall to the onsen area in the Tenninkyo Gorge
This was the onsen on the other side of the 7-hour walk from the Ginga and Ryusei Waterfall to the onsen area in the Tenninkyo Gorge

Moreover, had we been really healthy and knew how to survive in bear country, then we could’ve also taken a 7-hour long trek through nearly pristine alpine scenery that hooked up with the Tenninkyo Gorge on the other side of Daisetsuzan National Park (Big Snow Mountain if I read the kanji correctly).

Needless to say, we didn’t do that (especially with Julie’s phobia of bears, which were bigger than the black bears in California.

But overall, we spent a little over an hour to experience the upper viewpoints plus all the short hiking involved to fully experience both the Ginga Waterfall and Ryusei Waterfall.

Speaking of the full experience, right behind the shops at the large car park (see directions below), we walked up a series of stairs with wood chips in them (probably to keep the path from getting too muddy).

Daisetsuzan_063_06052009 - Julie descending the wood-chipped steps after having had her fill of the upper lookout for the Ginga Waterfall (left) and the Ryusei Waterfall (right)
Julie descending the wood-chipped steps after having had her fill of the upper lookout for the Ginga Waterfall (left) and the Ryusei Waterfall (right)

These stairs led us to a pair of viewing decks. The middle viewing deck was about half-way up and provided a view much better than the one we got at the car park.

However, the upper viewing deck was even better as we were further above the tree line that would’ve otherwise blocked parts of the falls in the distance from our line-of-sight.

Authorities

The Ginga Waterfall and Ryusei Waterfall reside near Asahikawa in the Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. It is administered by the Daisetsuzan National Park. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Ministry of the Environment website.

Daisetsuzan_003_06052009 - Signpost before the Ginga Waterfall
Daisetsuzan_006_06052009 - Julie checks out the Ginga Waterfall from near the banks of the river running across it
Daisetsuzan_010_06052009 - The start of the stairs from behind the shops leading up to the lookouts of the Ginga and Ryusei Falls
Daisetsuzan_011_06052009 - Context of the car park and the Ginga Waterfall as seen from the trail leading up to the higher lookouts
Daisetsuzan_020_06052009 - Julie checks out the Ginga and Ryusei Falls from the middle platform
Daisetsuzan_027_06052009 - Zoomed in look from the middle platform of the Ginga and Ryusei Waterfalls
Daisetsuzan_033_06052009 - This was the view of the Ginga and Ryusei Waterfalls from the upper platform framed by trees
Daisetsuzan_043_06052009 - A pole at the upper lookout engraved with kanji, but we weren't totally sure what it was saying (though I did recall and earlier sign saying something about the So Baku Dai)
Daisetsuzan_044_06052009 - Context of the upper viewing area of the Ginga and Ryusei Falls
Daisetsuzan_050_06052009 - Focused on the Ryusei Waterfall from the upper viewing deck
Daisetsuzan_062_06052009 - Julie starts to hike back down to the car park after having had her fill of the uppermost viewpoint of the Ginga and Ryusei Falls
Daisetsuzan_064_06052009 - Julie further down the wood-chipped steps on the way back to the car park for the Ginga and Ryusei Falls
Daisetsuzan_067_06052009 - Making it all the way back down to the car park where we got this look at the Ginga-no-taki again
Daisetsuzan_068_06052009 - Here's a signpost fronting the Ryusei Waterfall except the sign spelled this one Ryu Sei No Taki
Daisetsuzan_077_06052009 - A more open ground-level view of the Ryusei Waterfall
Daisetsuzan_082_06052009 - Some wildflowers were growing in front of Ryusei-no-taki

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Driving here took us around 75- to 90 minutes or so (roughly 70km) from Asahikawa though the speed limits of 50km/h were painfully sloooow.

The route we took was the Hwy 40 out of the city of Asahikawa and eventually onto Hwy 39 to the signposted turnoff for the Ginga Waterfall and Ryusei Waterfall.

Daisetsuzan_065_06052009 - Context of the Ginga Waterfall and the car park right in front of it
Context of the Ginga Waterfall and the car park right in front of it

And speaking of which, we thought it was a good idea to hire a car in Hokkaido instead of catching the buses which seemed to come here quite infrequently.

I’d say Hokkaido was generally the exception to the rule of trusting the excellent Japanese public transport system (though there were more remote parts of Honshu as well that might have been better served by rental car).

For geographical context, Asahikawa was 137km (2 hours by car or 2 hours by train) northeast of Sapporo. Sapporo was about 9.5 hours by train or 90 minutes by flight from Tokyo. It was also possible to fly to Sapporo from Osaka (under 2 hours) or Kobe (2 hours; this was how we did it on our trip).

Looking up at just the Ginga Waterfall


Bottom up view of the falls pair from the middle platform


View of the falls pair from the upper platform


Looking up at the falls from the river level

Tagged with: daisetsuzan, national park, hokkaido, sounkyo, asahi, asahikawa, husband, wife, japan, waterfall



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of 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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