About Hossawa Waterfall (hossawa-no-taki [払沢の滝])
The Hossawa Waterfall (hossawa-no-taki [払沢の滝]; “Hossawa Falls”) was the only waterfall in the Tokyo Prefecture that was included in the Japan Top 100 Waterfalls List by the Ministry of the Environment.
That alone was the main reason why we checked out this waterfall since it’s not often that the words “Tokyo” and “waterfall” could be said in the same sentence!
In fact, given how popular Tokyo was as a place for tourists to visit, we did notice quite a few other gaijin (foreigners) during our visit, despite being way out towards the western boundary of the metropolis.
Yet this waterfall was even known as a scenic spot dating back to the Edo Period (between 1603 and 1868).
And even before that era in Japan’s history, people believed that a serpent lived at the bottom of the waterfall while others would pray here hoping it would bring rain.
Hossawa Falls is said to have a cumulative height of about 60m over four tiers of 26.4m, 16.8m, 13.7m, and 2.3m, respectively.
Of the four drops, we only could cleanly see the third and fourth tiers, but the taller upper two tiers were hard to see.
Thus, the waterfall seemed shorter than the taller figure, and the official trail did not allow us to go any higher to witness the taller upper tiers.
Moreover, during our visit, the waterflow seemed to be on the diminishing side so I’d imagine there’s some degree of seasonality (though I’m sure the Summer monsoons would help it out over the coming months).
Nevertheless, it’s said that Hossawa Falls got its name because someone envisioned this waterfall looked like a hossu (払子) turned upside down.
A hossu is a kind of staff used by monks with bundled hair (typically from a cow, horse, yak, or even hemp) at the top end of stick that serves as a fly shooer as well as a symbol of a Zen techer’s authority.
Experiencing the Hossawa Falls
As far as accessing this waterfall, according to my GPS logs, we hiked about 800m each way (or 1.6km round trip).
From the car park (see directions below), we followed a path that descended towards the Hinohara Village before reaching a bridge at around 100m.
But instead of crossing the bridge, we took a signed path to the right that followed along the stream that the Hossawa Falls was on.
The path then went by the curious and seemingly out-of-place Hinohara Post Office before following along a wide ledge overlooking the stream.
At about 500m, we encountered a nice rest area with an intermediate cascade as well as some pipes further downstream.
About 300m beyond that, the trail then ascended up to the base of the Hossawa Falls, which was the end of the trail as far as we were concerned.
It did look like there was a continuation of a trail past some sign before a landslide or rock slide pretty much stopped that route.
Whether that would have taken us to the remaining tiers of the Hossawa Falls was pure speculation, but we didn’t push the issue any further to find out.
Overall, we spent about 75 minutes away from the car, and for a hot day like on our late July 2023 visit, it was refreshing being around the falls.
However, no swimming was allowed (the plunge pool was shallow anyways) so staying cool was pretty much confined to just being in the shade and being around the waterfall’s spray.
The Hossawa Waterfall resides near the Hinohara Village in the western part of the metropolis of Tokyo, Japan. It may be administered by the local authorities in Hinohara Village. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Hinohara Tourism Association website.
Since Tokyo is a huge megacity (almost engulfing suburbs as far as Hachioji), if you’re self-driving, it’s best to use a routing app to at least get you to the village of Hinohara.
In order to pull that off, we were driving the C4 expressway, where we got off at the Hinode IC exit, and then we drove west along the Route 184 and 31 before continuing west on the Route 33.
Once we got to the end of the 33, we then turned right and drove for about 500m before turning left onto the signed turnoff for the Hossawa Falls.
Equivalently, we could have also gotten off the C4 expressway and then head west along the Route 7 towards the Route 33.
Both ways would theoretically take 30 minutes, but with traffic lights and traffic, it might be closer to an hour just to drive from the expressway to the car park for the Hossawa Falls.
Note that it’s also possible to approach from Ueonohara, but the direct route along the Route 33 involved lots of twisty mountain driving, and it actually takes at least an hour to do that.
Now since Hossawa Falls is within the Tokyo city limits, it’s also possible (even recommended by the authorities of Hinohara Village) to take public transportation here.
To do that, you’d want to take the JR Itsukaichi Line to the Musashi-Itsukaichi Station, where you can then catch the bus to Hossawa Falls.
The bus to take would be the 五里10 (gori-juu) or 五里18 (gori-juuhachi), which takes roughly 30 minutes to get to the Hossawa no Taki Iriguchi Bus Stop, where you can then walk 7 minutes to the falls.
For some geographical context, Hinohara Village was about 20km (roughly 30 minutes drive) northwest of Hachioji (a suburb of Tokyo), 24km (well over 30 minutes drive) north of Uenohara, 57km (over an hour drive) west of Tokyo City Center, 83km (about 1.5 hour drive) northeast of Kawaguchiko, and 131km (well over 2 hours drive) west of the Narita International Airport.
Find A Place To Stay
Related Top 10 Lists
No Posts Found
Trip Planning Resources
Featured Images and Nearby Attractions
Visitor Comments:Got something you'd like to share or say to keep the conversation going? Feel free to leave a comment below...
No users have replied to the content on this page
Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:If you have a waterfall story or write-up that you'd like to share, feel free to click the button below and fill out the form...
No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall