Saruo Waterfall (Saruo-daki [猿尾滝])

Kami / Tottori / Tajima Region, Hyogo, Japan

About Saruo Waterfall (Saruo-daki [猿尾滝])

Hiking Distance: 400m round trip
Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Date first visited: 2016-10-23
Date last visited: 2016-10-23

Waterfall Latitude: 35.43416
Waterfall Longitude: 134.6148

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Saruo Waterfall (Saruo-daki [猿尾滝]; also called just Saruo Falls or Saruodaki Falls) was one of the easiest waterfalls that we managed to see that was off the beaten path in Japan.

For a waterfall that was included as one of Japan’s Top 100 Waterfalls as blessed by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, that was saying something.

Saruo_Falls_028_10222016 - Saruo Waterfall or Saruodaki
Saruo Waterfall or Saruodaki

Indeed, we only had to walk about a couple of minutes from the nearest car park (see directions below) to get right up to the base of this two-tiered waterfall.

So even with the rainy weather that we experienced during our visit, its accessibility didn’t stop the pretty consistent traffic of people who’d spend a few minutes here before leaving.

My Dad said that this waterfall’s kanji translated into something like “Monkey Tail Falls”.

I’m presuming that this was because someone had imagined the Saruodaki Waterfall to resemble the tail of a monkey.

Saruo_Falls_055_10222016 - Full context of the Saruo Waterfall or Saruodaki
Full context of the Saruo Waterfall or Saruodaki

However, I found this to be baffling because the monkeys in Japan (typically “snow monkeys” or macaques) didn’t seem to have long tails as what seemed to be suggested here.

Regardless, the Saruo Falls was said to be 60m in cumulative height where the upper tier was 39m and the lower tier was 21m.

There wasn’t a whole lot of variety to the way we experienced the Saruo Waterfall (as you can see from the photos on this page).

I suspect part of the problem was that there was a trail that ascended the slopes to perhaps a more elevated lookout or perhaps to the top of the falls.

Saruo_Falls_061_10222016 - The mailbox right at the start of the short walk to the Saruo Waterfall or Saruodaki
The mailbox right at the start of the short walk to the Saruo Waterfall or Saruodaki

However, that trail was closed during our visit.

Another interesting aspect about our visit to this waterfall was that there appeared to be a post box right at the trailhead of the short walk.

Therefore, this had to be one of the more scenic mailboxes in Japan that I’ve seen!


The Saruo Waterfall resides near Muraoka of the Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. It is administered by the Hyogo Prefectural Government. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Hyogo District Forest Office website.

Saruo_Falls_010_10222016 - The start of the trail leading right up to the Saruo Waterfall, which you can already see from the road
Saruo_Falls_013_10222016 - Walking past some intermediate cascades on the way to the base of the Saruo Falls
Saruo_Falls_016_10222016 - Contextual look at the walkway leading us to the bottom of the Saruodaki Waterfall with a gate leading seemingly further uphill to the left
Saruo_Falls_023_10222016 - Looking up at the Saruodaki Waterfall in long exposure from its base
Saruo_Falls_026_10222016 - Mom and Dad heading back to the car park after spending a few minutes at the Saruo-daki
Saruo_Falls_035_10222016 - Looking back at the Saruodaki Waterfall as we were headed back
Saruo_Falls_040_10222016 - Contetxual look back at the base of the Saruo Falls with some signage on the left explaining its inclusion as part of the Japan Top 100 Waterfalls List
Saruo_Falls_054_10222016 - Another contextual look back at the Saruodaki Waterfall in context with its walkway
Saruo_Falls_058_10222016 - Walking back along the short walkway after having had our fill of the Saruo Falls
Saruo_Falls_059_10222016 - We noticed that this side trail going up somewhere was closed. I wondered if it was to go to the top of the Saruodaki Waterfall

We’ll describe the driving directions to the Saruodaki Waterfall from Tottori since that was where we made our drive from.

We’ll just highlight the most direct route (even though we didn’t take it as we wound up taking a more scenic route).

That said, we’ll also provide directions from the Tendaki Waterfall since that was where we continued our drive to reach the Saruo Falls.

Driving from Tottori to Saruo Falls via the most direct route

So the most direct route from Tottori would be to follow the Route 9 east for about 54km before turning left onto the local road leading to the Saruo Falls.

Saruo_Falls_006_10222016 - The car park that we used to walk to the Saruodaki Waterfall
The car park that we used to walk to the Saruodaki Waterfall

By the way, the Route 178 branched off from the Route 9 about 8km east of the Tottori Sand Dunes or about 11km east of Tottori City.

Route 178 was the scenic coastal road following the Anami Coast, and that was the scenic route that we took.

Anyways, the sign for the Saruo Falls indicating the left turn was easy to miss so I’d recommend that when you’ve crossed over a bridge spanning the Tsukuriyamagawa, then look for the signed turnoff.

The car park was another kilometer beyond the turnoff, and it was on our right.

Saruo_Falls_007_10222016 - The trailhead for the Saruo Waterfall was further up the road from the nearest car park
The trailhead for the Saruo Waterfall was further up the road from the nearest car park

There was a cafe here as well a restroom facility as well as a sign board.

Overall, this drive was said to take over an hour.

Driving from Tendaki to Saruodaki

Coming from the Tendaki Waterfall, we took the local road down to the Route 482 then turned left and followed this road for about 13km to its junction with the Route 9.

We then turned left to go west on Route 9 where we then drove for the next 16km before turning right onto the local road leading the last kilometer to the Saruo Waterfall.

Saruo_Falls_064_10222016 - Looking back towards the car park from the start of the short walk leading to the Saruo Waterfall or Saruodaki
Looking back towards the car park from the start of the short walk leading to the Saruo Waterfall or Saruodaki

Again, this turnoff comes up pretty quickly so if you find you’ve crossed a bridge over the Tsukuriyama River, then you’ve missed the turnoff and went too far.

To give you some geographical context, the city of Tottori was 131km (2 hours drive) north of Himeji, 173km (2.5 hours drive) northwest of Kobe, 189km (about 3 hours drive) northwest of Osaka, and 216km (over 3 hours drive) west-northwest of Kyoto.

Find A Place To Stay

360 degree sweep showing the falls and the walking path with downstream scenery while standing near the base

360 degree sweep from further downstream of the falls showing an additional cascade as well as full extent of the height of the falls

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Tagged with: kami, tottori, hyogo, waterfall, japan, top 100, ape, tail, monkey

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.