About Jakko Waterfall (jakko-no-taki [寂光の滝])
The Jakko Waterfall (jakko-no-taki [寂光の滝]; Jakko Falls) was a bit of an unexpected waterfalling surprise even though it’s well-signed and within the town of Nikko, which is well-known for blinged out World Heritage temples and shrines.
It was a surprise to me because it basically took a closure of the neighboring Urami Waterfall (during my April 2023 visit) to make me seriously consider pursuing the Jakko Falls.
Prior to that, for some reason I thought it wasn’t worth the trouble (at least compared to most of the other waterfalls in the Nikko vicinity), but as you can see from the picture above, I was quite glad that I did opt to pursue it!
For starters, this waterfall is said to have a cumulative drop of 50m over a series of seven drops.
While I couldn’t definitively corroborate the claim that there were seven discernible drops of the Jakko Falls nor that it was that tall, I did notice that there seemed to be more than meets the eye with this waterfall.
For example, I noticed that there were more hidden tiers further upstream (which would disappear the closer to the falls that I’d get).
Even though this was a well-signed waterfall in Nikko, I found that you’re probably better off self-driving to it because it’s a bit of a detour from the main road (Route 122) to get up to the trailhead (see directions).
That said, like the neighboring Urami Falls in the next drainage over to the west, you can visit Jakko Falls if you don’t have your own wheels, but you’ll have to endure a bit of a 2.2km walk just to get to that trailhead.
However, once you’re at the trailhead, it’s a very short loop walk that’s probably 500-600m that encompasses both the waterfall as well as the Jakko Shrine.
The way I did this excursion was that I actually noticed a narrow side trail just before the path went up a series of steps leading up to the Jakko Shrine.
Following this ledge, it skirted the creek responsible for the Jakko Falls and then did an atmospheric approach to the falls itself, where it looked quite tall even though there were trees preventing a clean look.
As I got closer to the waterfall, the views became cleaner, but then the upper tiers of the waterfall were concealed, and thus the pictures really don’t do it justice to convey its full size.
Once I had my fill of the falls, I saw that the ledge trail then climbed up a slope leading up to a pair of wooden buildings comprising the Jakko Shrine (which were shuttered up during my rainy mid-April 2023 visit).
On the other side of the ridge that the shrine was on, I also noticed that there was another drainage with a pair of man-modified waterfalls spilling over walls.
Anyways, after having my fill of the shrine, I then went back down the steps that I didn’t take earlier, and I was back at the car park within 45 minutes of setting out (and I was going at a very leisurely pace).
That said, I’m sure visiting this waterfall could easily be accomplished in less time than I had devoted on my visit.
The Jakko Waterfall resides in the Nikko area of the Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It may be administered by the Nikko National Park. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Nikko Tourism Association website.
Jakko Falls was pretty much in the town of Nikko (日光) for all intents and purposes.
Therefore, you actually have a pretty convenient option to use public transportation to get to the nearest bus stop before walking up to the falls (something I haven’t done for this waterfall), or you can self-drive to it.
I’ll describe the self-driving way in this write-up, but realize that the nearest stop is part of the All Nikko Pass, so it’s certainly feasible if you’re already using it to take the bus around town.
Regarding the self-driving, using the traffic light at the Shinkyo Bridge as a starting point, I’d drive west on the Route 122 for about 1.5km to a signed turnoff (but still easy to miss) on the right.
There’s a sign for Jakko Falls, which gave me the heads up to get ready to turn.
You’ll want that heads up because once you’re at the turnoff, it’s a narrow (pretty much single-lane) road, which is why it’s so easy to drive past.
Once on the turnoff (which Google Maps labels as Route 194), I drove about 2.2km to its end, where I kept left at the major forks in the road (I didn’t recall the signage was obvious at some of these forks).
The car park is at a clearing just on the other side of a small bridge on the Tamozawa River, which is actually a different stream to the one responsible for the Jakko Falls.
To give you some geographical context, Nikko was 39km (under an hour drive) northwest of Utsunomiya, 152km (about 2 hours drive) north of Tokyo, 159km (2 hours drive) east of Numata (or 95km over 2 hours drive via Route 120 over the Konsei Toge Pass, which is subject to snow closure), 256km (3 hours drive) southwest of Sendai, 256km (over 3 hours drive) east of Nagano, and 284km (3.5 hours drive) southeast of Niigata.
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