About Jinba Waterfall (jinba-no-taki [陣馬の滝])
The Jinba Waterfall (jinba-no-taki [陣馬の滝]; “Battle Horse Falls?”) was perhaps the one waterfall that the family (especially the kids) enjoyed the most.
While most waterfalls that we encountered during our July 2023 road trip in Japan were mostly look-but-don’t-touch, this one is not only scenic, but it lets you play.
And play they did as the kids wound up building rock bridges in the nice, cool, clear waters of the Gotomeki or Gotomoku River (五斗目木川).
The Jinba Falls (I’ve also seen it called Jimba Falls) is said to drop some 5m with a width of 20m, but most of the waterfall emerges as springs from the underlying porous lava surface.
Thus, in addition to being quite a fun place to interact with a waterfall (especially compared to the neighboring Shiraito Falls), it was also scenically alluring.
It’s said that this waterfall got its name from Minamoto no Yoritomo (源頼朝) who was the first shogun in Japan from 1192 to 1199.
Legend has it that he set up camp at the falls while wind hunting (simultaneously sports hunting and honing martial arts skills) in Mt Fuji one day in 1193.
The word 陣馬 or jinba could be translated to mean “camp” or even literally “battle horse”.
While camping, he heard a drum-like sound at the base of the Jinba Falls, which turned out to come from a hollow stone, which he named “Taikoishi” (蛸石 or “drum stone”), and apparently this stone is still there today.
During our visit, I guess we were too caught up with just enjoying the falls to even look for it so that was a bit of a miss on my part.
In any case, this was an easy waterfall to visit as it was a very short 300m walk from the car park (see directions below) to the waterfall itself.
Although we didn’t do it, we saw some people actually wade up the river from further downstream along the Gotomoku River.
Indeed, we spent about 45 minutes away from the car, but for all intents and purposes, this was pretty much a short jaunt waterfall where you can linger more than you walk.
The Jinba Waterfall resides near the city of Fujinomiya in the Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It may be administered by the Fujinomiya City Government. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Fujinomiya City website.
The Jinba Waterfall is located just north of the city of Fujinomiya.
From Kawaguchiko, we’d drive find our way towards the Route 139 (a major road going east-west through the city), and then head west.
We’d drive on the Route 139 for about 28km to the turnoff for the local road 414 following a sign for Lake Tanukiko.
Then, we followed the local road 414 for about 2.5km before turning right onto a small local street (there should be a sign for Jinba Falls here) before driving the remaining 200m to the car park.
Overall, this 32km drive took us around an hour (though GoogleMaps claims it should only take 40 minutes).
From Shiraito Falls (just north of Fujinomiya), we basically just stayed on the Route 414 west for 1km and then north (continuing on route 414) for another 6.6km before turning left onto the local access road to Jinba Falls.
This drive took us about 15 minutes.
For some geographical context, Fujinomiya was about 45km (at least an hour drive) southwest of Kawaguchiko, 48m (about 1 hour drive) northeast of Shizuoka, 217km (about 2.5 hours drive) east of Nagoya, 161km (about 2.5 hours drive) south of Matsumoto, and 144km (about 2 hours drive) southwest of Tokyo.
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