About Hida Choshi Waterfall (hida-choshi-no-taki [飛騨・銚子の滝])
The Choshi Waterfall (Hida Choshi-no-otaki [飛騨・銚子の滝]; Hida Choshi Falls) is a pretty easy-to-access 25m waterfall (if you’re self-driving at least) near the Hida Great Limestone Cave.
There are quite a few waterfalls throughout Japan that have the name “choshi” (銚) so the Hida prefix (飛騨) is often used to distinguish it from the others as Hida is a city (as well as region) near (encompassing) Takayama.
The meaning of “choshi” means “sake bottle”, and I suppose this waterfall could have a resemblance to a specific kind depending on your viewing angle (take a look at the hero image at the top of this page and see if you agree).
Anyways, given its close proximity to the popular Hida Great Limestone Cave (both well-signed short detours off the Route 158; see directions below), we visited both, especially on a day with not-so-great weather.
After all, the Hida Great Limestone Cave is mostly sheltered from the weather while the Choshi Waterfall is pretty much a self-driving excursion requiring a very short walk to experience.
Moreover, since the Hida Cave was full of waterfalls whose streams were diverted or aided artificially, at least the Choshi Falls was the waterfaller’s excuse to experience a naturally-occuring one.
Indeed, the walk is a mere 150-200m in length its trailhead, which goes over a bridge where you can already start to see the falls, and then ends up in a viewing area right in the waterfall’s spray zone.
If you want a less mistier close-up view, you can also go up a small hill as well as beyond it for a more angled look at the waterfall just outside the spray zone.
Overall, we spent less than a half-hour away from the car, but we spent most of that time lingering around the falls so it could easily be an even shorter visit than that!
It’s a short and sweet excursion, especially if you’re not up for a long hike or if you’re still needing to get acclimated to the higher elevations of Japan’s Northern Alps.
Finally, one thing worth mentioning about our mid-April 2023 visit is that we did notice some remnant snow around the access to this waterfall.
So that means that its (safe) access would involve coming here when enough snow has melted to not have to contend with it (think late Spring through early- to mid-Autumn depending on the snowpack).
The Hida Choshi Waterfall resides near the city of Takayama in the Gifu Prefecture. It may be administered by the Ministry of Environment. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Hida Takayama Tourist Information website.
The Hida Choshi Falls sits between Takayama (高山) and Hirayu (平湯).
From Takayama, we drove the Route 158 east for a little over 21km to a signed turnoff (just past a bridge over its stream).
Taking this turnoff, we then followed this narrow (mostly single-lane) road for about 800m to a small car park by a hairpin turn (which was fenced off during our April 2023 visit).
Overall, this drive would take about a half-hour, but it’s also worth noting that the turnoff for Choshi Falls is a mere 5km east of the signed turnoff for the Hida Great Limestone Cave.
If you’re coming from the opposite direction by the Hirayu IC traffic light near Hirayu Onsen, then you’d drive west on the Route 158 for just over 12km to a well-signed turnoff on your right (just before the bridge over the waterfall’s stream).
Then, follow that turnoff the remaining 800m to the trailhead.
Overall, this drive should take around 15 minutes or so.
For geographical context, Takayama is 35 km (45 minutes drive) from west of Hirayu Onsen, 50km (about 45 minutes drive) southeast of Shirakawago, 85km (about 2 hours drive) west of Matsumoto, 148 km (about 3 hours drive) southwest from Nagano, and 157km (about 2.5 hours drive) north of Nagoya.
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