About Syasui Waterfall or Shasui Waterfall (Shasui-no-taki [洒水の滝])
The Syasui Waterfall (Shasui-no-taki [洒水の滝]; also called Shasui Waterfall or just Syasui Falls or Shasui Falls) was a very tall and slender waterfall that seemed to have a bit of a spiritual air to our visit here. Perhaps the reason why we thought this was that our visit included a pair of interesting shrines. There was even one moment where some kind of music was suddenly playing the moment we got near the larger of the two temples or shrines nearby the waterfall. Corroborating the spiritual feel of this place was literature stating that the monk Mongaku apparently spent 100 days at this waterfall strictly meditating and really putting himself through a lot of depravity to repent some sin he committed. That said, perhaps that monk was more famously depicted in a well-known piece of art doing penance until nearly freezing to death at the Nachi Waterfall before the deity of compassion Fudo Myoo lifted the monk the moment just before he was about to expire.
According to the kanji characters directly translated in to Chinese, we took the meaning of the name of the falls to be the “Wine Falls”. We weren’t sure why or how the falls got this name, but there was a fountain here where my parents took a sip from the running spring and thought that the water had a bit of a sweet taste to it. Could that be the reason why it might be associated with wine?
In any case, our visit to the falls was pretty short as we took a well-developed path from one of the car parks (see directions below) then passed between a handful of accommodations before passing by some steep stairs and ramps to our left as the path passed by a picnic area before going onto a more narrower and more paved path. Along the way, there was a short spur path going up some steps to a photo stop where we were able to get a more contextual look at the Syasui Waterfall framed between tall trees. Continuing along the path, we then passed by the fountain with the sweet-tasting water as well as some kanji signage. Our short walk ended before a red bridge that had closure barricades fronting it.
The reason why crossing the bridge was forbidden was because rock falls had obliterated the trail beyond this bridge. It definitely seemed like the following bridge that would have brought us right to the base of the falls was gone. And on the opposite side of the red bridge we stopped at, we saw lots of large rocks piled up as well as some denting on the bridge’s railings, which was clear evidence that the fallen rocks must have struck this bridge as well. So we didn’t tempt fate and were content with our views of the Syasui Waterfall from the bridge though we were denied the ability to see the rest of the reported three tiers that this waterfall was composed of (we were only able to see the 69m uppermost tier).
On the return hike (more like short walk), we then followed a ramp that led us to a pair of shrines. The first shrine allowed us to take our shoes off and go inside to meditate within the tatami mats of the shrine. It was eerily calm here, especially when the only sound we could hear during our visit was the sound of rain striking the ground and the rooftops of the wooden structures here. We then walked further towards the larger shrine, and that was when we must have triggered some kind of music box playing some spiritual Japanese tune as we were fronting that larger shrine. We couldn’t go inside this larger shrine during our visit, but it was definitely more photogenic as it featured decorations fronting its porch as well as the styled rooftops that reminded me of some of Japan’s majestic castles like Himeji and Inuyama.
After going down the steep (and slippery) steps fronting the larger shrine, we then returned to the car park to end our short 800m walk. Overall, we had spent about 45 minutes here, which took in the walk, the time spent at the falls, and the time spent visiting the temples.
Since we visited the Syasui Waterfall as part of a self-drive between the Izu Peninsula and Kawaguchiko, we’ll describe the driving directions first from Joren Waterfall via Gotemba (the way that we did it), then describe the driving directions from Odawara, which was where we picked up the rental car as a very sensible alternative to hiring a car within the congested Greater Tokyo area.
So from the Joren-no-taki, we drove north on the Route 414, which eventually merged with the Route 136, which then became an expressway. We stayed on the expressway, which eventually became the Kamigochi Expressway as it veered northwest of Mishima and past Numazu’s north before veering north on the Tomei Expressway. We’d then follow the Tomei Expressway east (actually overshooting Yamakita) before leaving the expressway at the Tomeikosoku IC. Then, we took the Route 255 north then Route 246 west for the next 8.5km or so before turning left onto the route 726 just west of the town of Yamakita.
After about 650m on the Route 726, there were signs indicating to turn right for the Syasui Falls, and we’d continue on the local road for the final 400m (keeping left at the forks) before finding a parking spot just past a bridge beneath a signposted archway. Overall, this roughly 98km drive took us about a little over 90 minutes.
Coming in the other direction from Odawara Station, we would drive north on the Route 255 for about 16km before joining up the with the Route 246. Then, we’d follow the directions as given above to the car park for the Syasui Falls. According to GoogleMaps, this 21km drive would take less than an hour.
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