Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall (kosaka-nanataki [小坂七滝])

Hachimantai District / Kosaka, Akita, Japan

About Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall (kosaka-nanataki [小坂七滝])

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2023-07-11
Date last visited: 2023-07-11

Waterfall Latitude: 40.35565
Waterfall Longitude: 140.78394

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall (kosaka nanataki [小坂七滝]; “Kosaka 7 Falls”) was a pretty convenient roadside waterfall situated between Kosaka and Lake Towada.

Although I didn’t personally couldn’t tell, it’s said to have seven drops (the word nana means “seven” in Japanese, which you might also be able to tell from the kanji).

Nanataki_060_07102023 - The Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall
The Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall

Whether these tiers are really there or not, it’s said that the Kosaka branch of the Yoneshiro River drops over a cumulative height of 60m (which seemed kind of generous in my mind).

Nevertheless, it’s one of Japan’s Top 100 Waterfalls as gazetted by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment in a 1990 publication.

Around the bottom of the waterfall was a waterwheel as well as a shrine, which adds a bit more variety to a short visit here.

Regarding that shrine, a legend says that a landowner called Magozaemon threw firewood over the falls, which was a forbidden act, in a gesture to show off his power.

Nanataki_070_07102023 - The Nanataki Shrine seen on the way to the Nanataki Waterfall
The Nanataki Shrine seen on the way to the Nanataki Waterfall

As the firewood fell, a pained groaning came from the falls just as the earth and the heavens shook.

When the firewood hit the water, it never resurfaced, and soon thereafter, Magozaemon was bedridden with disease.

It turned out that the falls was the incarnation of a snake spirit, who appeared in magozaemon’s dreams to curse him for his arrogance.

Ultimately, it was only when Magozaemon built the Nanataki Shrine (which we were able to visit) that his sins were absolved.

Nanataki_029_07102023 - The bridge going over the Arakawa Stream to access the bottom of the Nanataki Waterfall
The bridge going over the Arakawa Stream to access the bottom of the Nanataki Waterfall

As far as our visit was concerned, we never really got a wholesome look at the entirety of the Nanataki Waterfall due to foliage obstructions.

This was especially true the closer we got to the base of the waterfall, where it appeared way shorter than it really was.

Regardless, we ultimately spent a little over 30 minutes away from the car, which was parked in a large car park fronting some Farmer’s Market and a restaurant (see directions below).

Most of that time was spent taking pictures while also checking out the Nanataki Shrine, which was just past the bridge fronting the waterfall.


The Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall resides near the town of Kosaka in the Hachimantai District of the Akita Prefecture, Japan. It may be administered by the local authorities of Kosaka. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Akita Tourism website.

Nanataki_004_07102023 - Looking across the car park just as another round of a squall showed up and rained pretty hard when we were about to approach the Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall
Nanataki_007_07102023 - Looking towards some Farmer's Market building and a neighboring restaurant at the Nanataki car park
Nanataki_021_07102023 - Already able to see the Nanataki Falls as I approached it shortly after crossing the Route 2
Nanataki_026_07102023 - A waterwheel fronting the Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall
Nanataki_034_07102023 - It was hard to see the entirety of the Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall due to its twisting nature and the presence of so much foliage around it
Nanataki_037_07102023 - About to go across the bridge towards the base of the Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall
Nanataki_040_07102023 - Another look across the Arakawa River towards the Kosaka 7 Falls
Nanataki_043_07102023 - Looking along the Arakawa River towards the downstream direction from the bridge
Nanataki_045_07102023 - Looking up at the steps leading to the Nanataki Shrine
Nanataki_047_07102023 - It looked like this part of the walk encouraged you to get into the water at the base of the 7 Falls
Nanataki_048_07102023 - Getting closer to the base of the Nanataki Waterfall, but there was always some kind of obstruction when trying to view it
Nanataki_049_07102023 - Looking straight up towards the top of the lowermost tier of the Kosaka Seven Falls
Nanataki_077_07102023 - Looking back at a partial profile view of the Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall
Nanataki_079_07102023 - Heading back after having had our fill of the Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall
Nanataki_087_07102023 - Last look back at the Kosaka Seven Falls
Nanataki_091_07102023 - When I returned to the car, it was just in time for the next heavy squall that came pouring down at the Kosaka Seven Falls!

The Kosaka Nantaki Waterfall is just to the northeast of the town of Kosaka in the Akita Prefecture.

In order to drive to the Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall, we had to get off the E4 at the Kosaka IC exit in the town of Kosaka.

Nanataki_011_07102023 - Looking back across the Route 2 towards the car park for the Nanataki Waterfall
Looking back across the Route 2 towards the car park for the Nanataki Waterfall

From there, we drove to the northeast along the Route 2 past the Kosaka Railroad Rail Park towards the Kosaka Nanataki car park on the left (about 7km from where toll road exit deposited us).

Just to give you an idea of the distances involved, it took us about 90 minutes to drive from Morioka to the Kosaka Nanataki Waterfall.

It also took us about 30 minutes to drive to the shores of Lake Towada from the Kosaka Nanataki Falls.

For some geographical context, Kosaka was about 49km (under an hour drive) southeast of Hirosaki, 81km (a little over an hour drive) south of Aomori, 109km (about 90 minutes drive) north of Morioka, 124km (over 90 minutes drive) southwest of Hachinohe, 133km (about 2 hours drive) northeast of Akita, and 641km (about 7.5 hours drive) north of Tokyo.

Find A Place To Stay

Approaching the falls while revealing the waterwheel, torii, and bridge under some momentary sun

Semi-circular sweep of the falls from before the bridge before doing a zoomed-in panning in bottoms-up direction

Closeup bottoms up look at the falls

Exploring the grassy park before the falls and then approaching the falls itself under some rainy weather

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Tagged with: hachimantai, kosaka, tohoku, yonishiro river

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

Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

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

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls

How To Build A Profitable Travel Blog In 4 Steps

Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

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.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.