Kirifuri Waterfall (Kirifuri-no-taki [霧降の滝])

Nikko, Tochigi, Japan

About Kirifuri Waterfall (Kirifuri-no-taki [霧降の滝])


Hiking Distance: 3-4km round trip
Suggested Time: 60-90 minutes

Date first visited: 2009-05-25
Date last visited: 2009-05-25

Waterfall Latitude: 36.78005
Waterfall Longitude: 139.62389

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The Kirifuri Waterfall (Kirifuri-no-taki [霧降の滝]; Kirifuri Falls) was another one of those off-the-beaten-path ones as far as Julie and I were concerned.

However, in this instance, we discovered the main reason why this was the case was that the All Nikko Pass didn’t work for the Kirifuri Highlands route.

Kirifuri_015_05242009 - The Kirifuri Waterfall
The Kirifuri Waterfall

As a result, we had to pay extra to visit this waterfall by public transportation even though it was closer to Nikko than say Kegon-no-taki.

The Kirifuri Waterfall itself was actually quite tall, but during our visit, it was thin and mostly obscured by overgrowth that prevented it from being as impressive as its overall height would’ve led us to believe.

We observed that there seemed to be three main parts to the falls, but not all of these parts were able to be seen together.

And this further conspired to make the Kirifuri Falls not very photogenic.

Kirifuri_002_05242009 - The entrance to the Kirifuri Waterfall complex and viewing area
The entrance to the Kirifuri Waterfall complex and viewing area

The bottom two tiers were probably the easiest to see.

However, I do reckon that since the falls was surrounded by so much foliage, it must be a gorgeous scene in the Autumn when the foliage would change into all sorts of Autumn colors thereby livening up the landscape.

From the nearest bus stop, we hastily ran right into the tourist area, where we then went up some stairs and followed a short walking nature walk path right to the wooden overlook deck.

I think it took us around 30 hasty minutes to get here (15 minutes on the return, but we were running to catch the next bus back to town).

Kirifuri_004_05242009 - Approaching the lookout platform for the Kirifuri Waterfall
Approaching the lookout platform for the Kirifuri Waterfall

Since this was one of those look-but-don’t-touch waterfalls, there wasn’t a whole lot more we could do to enjoy the falls from the official overlook.

So we didn’t linger here for long.

Authorities

The Kirifuri Waterfall resides in the Nikko area of the Tochigi Prefecture. It is 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.

Kirifuri_003_05242009 - On the nature walk leading to the Kirifuri Waterfall lookout
Kirifuri_005_05242009 - Our first look at the Kirifuri Waterfall
Kirifuri_008_05242009 - More zoomed in look right at the Kirifuri Waterfall though it seemed like a good chunk of its drop was concealed by foliage
Kirifuri_009_05242009 - Obstructed view of the Kirifuri Waterfall, which is the case if you try to find a spot away from the wooden viewing platform at the end
Kirifuri_016_05242009 - Julie heading back to the bus stop after having had her fill of the Kirifuri Waterfall

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The Kirifuri Highlands (霧降高原) is within the Japan Alps a little further east of the more familiar mountains closer to the Nagano Prefecture where they once held the Winter Olympics.

There are more waterfalls up that way, but we were content to do a quick out-and-back trip to Kirifuri Waterfall from Nikko (日光).

Kirifuri_001_05242009 - The bus dropped us off on the road near the Kirifuri Waterfall viewing area, but we still had to get our bearings and cross the road to get there
The bus dropped us off on the road near the Kirifuri Waterfall viewing area, but we still had to get our bearings and cross the road to get there

Given that the Kirifuri Highlands weren’t part of the All Nikko Pass (which concentrated more on the western part of the Greater Nikko area) and we weren’t willing to save money by walking several uphill kilometers on a highway to get to the falls, we ponied up the 300円 or so per person to ride the Kirifuri Highlands bus to get here.

Keep in mind that this bus only shows up either a half-hour or an hour apart, which might mean quite a bit of waiting time.

On the plus side, this route was definitely much quieter than the Yumoto Onsen route (though the Yumoto Onsen route was part of the All Nikko Pass).

We caught the Kirifuri Highlands bus from the bus terminal area near the Tobu-Nikko Station (東武日光駅).

Closeup bottom up sweep of the multi-tiered waterfall from the wooden platform lookout

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Tagged with: nikko, tochigi, japan, waterfall, unesco, kirifuri, highlands, nagano, japan alps



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