Tendaki Waterfall (Tendaki [天滝])

Yabu / Tottori / Tajima Region, Hyogo, Japan

About Tendaki Waterfall (Tendaki [天滝])


Hiking Distance: 2.4km round trip
Suggested Time: 90-120 minutes

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

Waterfall Latitude: 35.33541
Waterfall Longitude: 134.60766

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The Tendaki Waterfall (Tendaki [天滝]; also just called Tendaki or Tendaki Falls meaning “Heaven Falls” or “Sky Falls”) was a bit of a waterfall-saturation hike for us.

This was because the trail had to have featured at least seven named waterfalls before reaching the tall Tendaki Falls.

Tendaki_119_10222016 - The Tendaki Waterfall
The Tendaki Waterfall

It was designated as one of Japan’s Top 100 Waterfalls as blessed by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, and at a reported 98m tall, we can see why.

Anyways, the named intermediate waterfalls were (in order): Shinobinotaki, Iwamanotaki, Itotaki, Renrinotaki, Kuonnotaki, Meotodaki, and Tsuzumigataki.

To be honest, we lost track of which waterfall was what as they kind of blended into the background.

Meanwhile, quite a few of them were either hard to see or weren’t significant enough to be that noticeable.

Tendaki_138_10222016 - Kids having a blast striking the gong in the shrine across from the Tendaki Waterfall
Kids having a blast striking the gong in the shrine across from the Tendaki Waterfall

At the main lookout for the falls, there was also a shrine, where some kids that showed up after us were having a blast striking the gong.

Hiking to the Tendaki Waterfall

We had quite a bit of time to take in the scenery and the intermediate waterfalls as the Tendaki Trail was said to be 1.2km or 40 minutes in each direction.

Overall, it was about 2.4km round trip or about 80 minutes on just the hiking alone.

We wound up spending nearly 2 hours away from the car, which was a bit more than what the signs here had estimated.

Tendaki_177_10222016 - One of the notable intermediate waterfalls seen on the hike up to the Tendaki Waterfall
One of the notable intermediate waterfalls seen on the hike up to the Tendaki Waterfall

That said, we weren’t in much of a hurry during our visit.

Nevertheless, the timing of our visit and departure seemed about right given the circumstances.

We did see lots of people heading up to the Tendaki Falls as we were heading back.

It wasn’t so busy earlier in the morning when we were making our way there.

The Tendaki Waterfall Trail Description

Tendaki_019_10222016 - Context of Mom and Dad hiking along the narrow trail leading past some intermediate waterfalls along the way to the Tendaki Waterfalls
Context of Mom and Dad hiking along the narrow trail leading past some intermediate waterfalls along the way to the Tendaki Waterfalls

The trail was mostly uphill the entire way so even though it was raining on the day of our visit, we were still sweating for most of the hike.

There were signs essentially tracking our progress at every 100m or so as we’d see writings telling us how far we had gone and how much further we had to go.

And there were also plenty of signs indicating that we were in bear habitat while several sections warned that we were traversing through areas prone to rock falls.

Most of the well-defined trail was hugging mountain slopes and even hugged up against some large rock cliffs or boulders in a few spots.

Tendaki_057_10222016 - Mom and Dad and Mom continuing to hike alongside the many intermediate waterfalls on the way up to the Tendaki Waterfall
Mom and Dad and Mom continuing to hike alongside the many intermediate waterfalls on the way up to the Tendaki Waterfall

In the narrowest spots, there were railings to assure the unsure.

Anyways, as we merrily passed one cascade after another throughout the hike, we did notice that the last waterfall before the main one was both easily seen as well as significant enough to make us pause for a bit.

Shortly after that seventh waterfall, we then reached an odd toilet facility (strange that they’d put one way out here so far from the nearest road) before reaching a shelter.

Beyond the shelter, there was a lookout where we caught our first partial glimpse of the Tendaki Waterfall.

Tendaki_099_10222016 - Mom passing by a curious toilet facility as we were quite close to the Tendaki Waterfall by this point of the hike
Mom passing by a curious toilet facility as we were quite close to the Tendaki Waterfall by this point of the hike

But then, we had to climb up a series of metal steps before finally reaching the main overlook where there was also a shrine.

The trail actually kept going on beyond the shrine, but it wasn’t long before I encountered trail damage from a landslide.

I wasn’t sure if it was ok to keep going but I decided not to press my luck.

It was a shame because I suspected that continuing on the trail could have led up to a more elevated view of the Tendaki Waterfall.

Tendaki_104_10222016 - Looking up at the Tendaki Waterfall before we made the climb up the steps to the lookout area right in front of a shrine
Looking up at the Tendaki Waterfall before we made the climb up the steps to the lookout area right in front of a shrine

Such a view would have made the falls appear even taller than the main lookout by the shrine.

From the main lookout, it somehow didn’t seem as tall as the 98m figure that was stated, but it could be the illusion of forced perspective working against the falls.

Authorities

The Tendaki Waterfall resides near Yabu 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.

Tendaki_002_10222016 - Mom and Dad getting started on the hike to the Tendaki Waterfall Trail shortly after leaving the car park
Tendaki_006_10222016 - Looking upstream at some intermediate cascades right from the car park for the Tendaki Waterfall Trail
Tendaki_007_10222016 - Signage by the start of the Tendaki Waterfall Trail
Tendaki_013_10222016 - Dad dealing with the elements while walking further along the road to the official trailhead for Tendaki
Tendaki_021_10222016 - Throughout the hike up to the Tendaki Waterfall, we encountered some intermediate waterfalls along the way. The signs suggested that there were seven of them, but it was hard for us to tell one apart from another
Tendaki_022_10222016 - This was some signage at the 100m mark warning of bears in the area
Tendaki_024_10222016 - Mom continuing along the Tendaki Falls Trail while passing by another set of intermediate cascades
Tendaki_027_10222016 - Looking towards more intermediate cascades along the Tendaki Waterfall Trail
Tendaki_031_10222016 - Dad and Mom continuing along the Tendaki Trail where some railings or fences were put in place to assure hikers they wouldn't go into the sloping dropoffs
Tendaki_034_10222016 - Dad and Mom continuing to ascend along the Tendaki Trail, which definitely made us sweat given how much uphill hiking we had to do already
Tendaki_035_10222016 - Dad and Mom continuing along another one of the narrower spots along the Tendaki Trail where a fence was erected to keep the fear factor low
Tendaki_041_10222016 - We saw a handful of these rockfall signs along the Tendaki Trail, which attested to how steep the terrain was here
Tendaki_043_10222016 - Trailside scenery en route to Tendaki as we continued our long gradual climb
Tendaki_045_10222016 - This was one of the harder-to-see intermediate waterfalls on the way to the Tendaki Falls, and this one happened to be one of the more significant waterfalls
Tendaki_053_10222016 - Context of Mom and Dad on another ledge-hugging part of the Tendaki Waterfall Hike
Tendaki_059_10222016 - Mom and Dad passing by a sign and shelter marking about the half-way point of the hike to Tendaki
Tendaki_061_10222016 - Mom and Dad ascending alongside more intermediate cascades as the Tendaki Trail continued to climb past the shelter
Tendaki_064_10222016 - Mom crossing another bridge as the Tendaki Trail passed by yet another intermediate cascade
Tendaki_067_10222016 - Dad continuing to go past another rockfall-prone section of the Tendaki Waterfall Trail
Tendaki_071_10222016 - Dad about to cross another pair of bridges with some hidden cascades beneath them en route to the Tendaki Falls
Tendaki_081_10222016 - Mom and Dad descending towards perhaps the most notable of the intermediate waterfalls en route to the Tendaki Waterfall. This one was I believe the seventh one identified by the signs
Tendaki_083_10222016 - Mom and Dad checking out the seventh waterfall, which I believe was the most attractive and intimate of the intermediate waterfalls we saw on the way to Tendaki
Tendaki_090_10222016 - We lingered at the Tsuzumigataki (i.e. the seventh intermediate waterfall that we saw) long enough to have another look at it before continuing on to the Tendaki Falls
Tendaki_094_10222016 - Mom passing another narrow stretch of Tendaki Trail, but this was one of the few instances where there were no railings to assure the unsure
Tendaki_100_10222016 - Mom and Dad about to make the final climb to the main lookout for Tendaki
Tendaki_109_10222016 - Our first direct look at the Tendaki Waterfall from the main lookout
Tendaki_124_10222016 - Context of Mom and Dad checking out the impressive Tendaki Waterfall from the main lookout
Tendaki_125_10222016 - Looking back towards the small shrine opposite the Tendaki Waterfall at the lookout
Tendaki_141_10222016 - Beyond the shrine at Tendaki, the trail deteriorated at this apparent landslide spot so I didn't go any further than this
Tendaki_147_10222016 - Looking back towards Tendaki from the trail beyond the shrine that ended at a landslide that I dared not to cross
Tendaki_151_10222016 - Before heading back from the landslide, I managed to get this somewhat different view of the Tendaki Waterfall
Tendaki_158_10222016 - Another look back towards the Tendaki Waterfall and the lookout
Tendaki_160_10222016 - Looking back at the steps that we had to take to get up to the Tendaki Waterfall Lookout, but now we're headed back down
Tendaki_166_10222016 - Looking up at the metal steps comprising part of that final climb to the Tendaki Lookout
Tendaki_168_10222016 - Back down at the lookout shelter at the base of the final climb up to the main lookout for the Tendaki Waterfall
Tendaki_169_10222016 - Last look back up at the steps leading up to the main lookout for the Tendaki Waterfall
Tendaki_175_10222016 - On the way back to the car park, we noticed a lot more hikers making their way up to the Tendaki Waterfall
Tendaki_178_10222016 - Looking down at the bridges we were about to cross on the way back from the Tendaki Waterfall
Tendaki_179_10222016 - Continuing to cross the bridges on the way back from the Tendaki Waterfall
Tendaki_182_10222016 - Dad and Mom continuing along the trail on the return hike from the Tendaki Waterfall
Tendaki_184_10222016 - Looking towards one of the intermediate waterfalls on the way back from the Tendaki Waterfall
Tendaki_187_10222016 - Mom ascending one of the few climbing spots on the mostly downhill hike back to the Tendaki car park
Tendaki_192_10222016 - Dad and Mom noticing a thin and tall waterfall that we hadn't noticed on the way up to Tendaki earlier on
Tendaki_196_10222016 - Still more people heading to Tendaki while we were heading back to the car park
Tendaki_199_10222016 - Looking back towards the context of the Tendaki Waterfall Trail and the intermediate waterfalls besides it
Tendaki_206_10222016 - Finally making it back at the Tendaki car park where we noticed a lot more cars parked here than when we first showed up

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We’ll describe the driving directions to Tendaki 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 Harafudo Waterfall since that was where we continued our drive to reach the Tendaki Falls.

Driving the direct route from Tottori to Tendaki

So the most direct route from Tottori would be to follow the Route 29 for about 53km before turning left onto the Route 482.

Tendaki_008_10222016 - The car park closest to the start of the Tendaki Waterfall Trail
The car park closest to the start of the Tendaki Waterfall Trail

We would then drive on the 482 for about 12km before turning left at a signposted turnoff.

Next, we ascended a narrowing road to a modestly-sized car park some 1.5km further.

Overall, this drive was said to take under an hour to go the 34km distance.

Driving from Harafudo Waterfall to the Tendaki Waterfall

Coming from the Harafudo Waterfall, we took the local road down to the Route 29.

Tendaki_001_10222016 - Looking back towards what I believe to be a restroom facility at the car park closest to the start of the Tendaki Waterfall Trail
Looking back towards what I believe to be a restroom facility at the car park closest to the start of the Tendaki Waterfall Trail

Then, we turned left to go north on the main highway for about 12km before turning right onto the Route 482.

Next, we followed the Route 482 as directed above before following the signs up the local road to the limited-space car park for Tendaki.

We did notice that there was also more spillover parking if the nearest lot was full.

This drive wound up taking us about 40 minutes.

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.

Checking out the falls starting from the trail closure spot beyond the falls and ending at the main lookout in front of a shrine


Sweep showing the stairs leading up to the main lookout as well as an angled look at the falls itself

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Tagged with: yabu, tottori, hyogo, waterfall, japan, top 100, heaven, shrine



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of 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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