Kamabuchi Waterfall (kamabuchi-no-taki [釜淵の滝])

Hanamaki Onsen / Morioka, Iwate, Japan

About Kamabuchi Waterfall (kamabuchi-no-taki [釜淵の滝])

Hiking Distance: 600m round trip (nearest car park) or 1.1km round trip (public car park)
Suggested Time: at least 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2023-07-10
Date last visited: 2023-07-10

Waterfall Latitude: 39.45572
Waterfall Longitude: 141.0659

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Kamabuchi Waterfall (kamabuchi-no-taki [釜淵の滝]; “Pot Falls”?) was a quaint waterfall situated within the Hanamaki Onsen area, which is a popular resort complex in the Tohoku Region.

It has a short, stocky appearance as the Daigawa River tumbles over a rounded lava surface with about 8.5m in height and 30m in width (which can segment or consolidate depending on its flow).

Kamabuchi_047_07092023 - The Kamabuchi Waterfall
The Kamabuchi Waterfall

The name of the waterfall translates into something like a pot or cauldron because it’s said to resemble a pot turned upside down (you might see this in the picture above).

In my mind, the waterfall was merely a backdrop to the seemingly popular Hanamaki Onsen hot springs area.

Heck, given the short walk for the falls, it seemed like a very doable thing to combine it with a soak in an onsen.

In fact, the Daigawa River seemed to have some degree of mixing with geothermally-heated waters though you can’t swim at this waterfall.

Kamabuchi_011_07092023 - Descending towards a bridge over the Segawa River
Descending towards a bridge over the Segawa River

In any case, as far as accessing the waterfall was concerned, we started from the car park of the furthest of the Hanamaki Onsen facilities (see directions below).

We then walked a small service road towards a spur trail that descended to a bridge fronting a man-made or man-modified waterfall, which was NOT the Kamabuchi Falls.

Beyond the bridge, we then went through a rather quiet forested trail with at least three bear bells to strike to try to prevent bear encounters here.

After about 300m of walking, we eventually got down to the viewing deck fronting the Kamabuchi Falls, where there was also a shelter and some shrine-like infrastructure.

Kamabuchi_018_07092023 - The kids taking turns ringing the bear bell on the way down to the Kamabuchi Falls
The kids taking turns ringing the bear bell on the way down to the Kamabuchi Falls

Beyond this lookout, the trail kept going further downstream though we didn’t do it on our visit.

I understand that it was possible to visit other small waterfalls in the area, but it was getting late and we were content with just the Kamabuchi Falls before continuing on to Morioka, where we were staying at the time.

Overall, we only spent a little over 30 minutes away from the car, which attests to how easy of a visit this was.

That said, we parked in one of the closest lots to the Kamabuchi Falls, but had we started further down in the complex at the larger public lot, then the round-trip distance would be about 1.1km instead of 600m.


The Kamabuchi Waterfall resides in Hanamaki Onsen, which was south of Morioka in the Iwate Prefecture, Japan. It may be administered by the local authorities at Hanamaki Onsen. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting this website.

Kamabuchi_003_07092023 - We started walking towards the Kamabuchi Falls by going onto this service road paralleling the Segawa River
Kamabuchi_008_07092023 - The family about to head down the steps on the way to the Kamabuchi Falls
Kamabuchi_020_07092023 - After going past the footbridge, the path went deeper into a forested area that was a little on the humid side probably in part due to the onsens and geothermal heating affecting the Segawa River
Kamabuchi_022_07092023 - Mom going past one of the bear bells on the way down to the Kamabuchi Falls
Kamabuchi_024_07092023 - Continuing along the Segawa River as we got closer to the front of the Kamabuchi Falls
Kamabuchi_025_07092023 - Partial profile view of the Kamabuchi Falls as we got closer to its lookout
Kamabuchi_030_07092023 - Checking out some kind of shelter and some inscriptions opposite the Kamabuchi Falls
Kamabuchi_036_07092023 - Looking further downstream at a bridge continuing the walk beyond the Kamabuchi Falls
Kamabuchi_041_07092023 - Context of some shelter and some rest benches though I'd imagine that mosquitoes might change your mind about lingering here
Kamabuchi_044_07092023 - Checking out the Kamabuchi Falls from the lookout area
Kamabuchi_049_07092023 - Another look at the Kamabuchi Falls from the lookout
Kamabuchi_052_07092023 - Looking back at the shelter and signs from the lookout of the Kamabuchi Falls
Kamabuchi_001_iPhone_07102023 - Nice look at the Kamabuchi Falls just when the sun momentarily got through the thunderclouds and shined on the waterfall
Kamabuchi_056_07092023 - Last look back at the Kamabuchi Falls before heading back up
Kamabuchi_057_07092023 - Looking back at the lookout area for the Kamabuchi Falls
Kamabuchi_058_07092023 - Heading back up after having had our fill of the Kamabuchi Falls
Kamabuchi_068_07092023 - Looking towards the man-made waterfall from the bridge across the Segawa River
Kamabuchi_072_07092023 - An even more obstructed look at the man-made waterfall from the other side of the bridge over the Segawa
Kamabuchi_075_07092023 - Walking back along the service road towards the nearest car park after having had our fill of Kamabuchi Waterfall
Kamabuchi_077_07092023 - Dad trying to make sense of the signage and inscriptions at this pillar by the Segawa River
Kamabuchi_079_07092023 - Making it back to the car park at the Hanamaki Onsen Kashoen
Drive_to_Morioka_002_iPhone_07102023 - As you can see, there was quite the facilities for having a soak at an onsen at Hanamaki Onsen after having had our fill of Kamabuchi Waterfall

The Kamabuchi Waterfall is in Hanamaki Onsen, which was directly south of Morioka.

Since Hanamaki Onsen is very close to the resides by the E4 expressway at the Hanamaki IC exit, I’ll just describe the route from the toll road exit.

Kamabuchi_004_07092023 - Looking back at the nearest car park for the Kamabuchi Falls
Looking back at the nearest car park for the Kamabuchi Falls

Once we got off the expressway, the off-ramps deposited us onto the Route 37, which we took west in the direction of Hanamaki Onsen.

We drove about 3.6km to a well-signed archway and turnoff on the right for the Hanamaki Onsen complex (though I didn’t recall there being a sign for Kamabuchi Falls at this turnoff).

Then, we followed this access road for about 600m to the furthest car park that we could go (you’ll know because the continuation of the road was basically a single-lane service road).

Note that roughly 300m before this car park was a larger, more public car park area so if you can’t park at this nearest lot, then that public one further down the complex is your best bet.

Drive_to_Morioka_004_iPhone_07102023 - Looking towards the larger public car park area closer to the Route 37 at the Hanamaki Onsen complex
Looking towards the larger public car park area closer to the Route 37 at the Hanamaki Onsen complex

For some geographical context, Hanamaki Onsen was about 36km (over 30 minutes drive) south of Morioka, 145km (under 2 hours drive) east of Akita, 160km (under 2 hours drive) north of Sendai, and 517km (about 6 hours drive) north of Tokyo.

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Nearly 360 degree sweep from the viewing platform of the falls with the kids ringing bear bells nearby

Tagged with: kamabuchi falls, kamabuchinotaki, hanamaki, hanamaki onsen, morioka, japan, tohoku

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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning 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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