Urami Waterfall (Urami-no-taki [裏見の滝])

Nikko, Tochigi, Japan

About Urami Waterfall (Urami-no-taki [裏見の滝])


Hiking Distance: 5km round trip
Suggested Time: 2 hours

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

Waterfall Latitude: 36.75711
Waterfall Longitude: 139.55549

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The Urami Waterfall (Urami-no-taki [裏見の滝]; Urami Falls) was a little off the beaten path as far as we were concerned, especially considering it was located near the town of Nikko.

We got this sense when we visited the falls and a friendly Japanese local (I swear almost all Japanese we encountered were very friendly) explained to us in broken English that only Japanese people knew about these falls.

Urami_020_05242009 - The main drop of the Urami Waterfall
The main drop of the Urami Waterfall

It even kind of made him happy that mildly intrepid foreigners like us came out here to see it.

The Urami Waterfall actually consisted of a series of seeping cascades and waterfalls mostly hidden in a gorge behind or amongst foliage.

So as we walked along the elevated trail to get here, we could only hear but not see most of the waterfalls en route.

At the very end of the trail, we saw a handful more waterfalls and cascades that seeped amongst the foliage with a few modestly-sized standout drops.

Urami_024_05242009 - Examining another attractive section of the waterfalls belonging to the Urami Waterfall
Examining another attractive section of the waterfalls belonging to the Urami Waterfall

But really, these waterfalls at the end of the trail (pictured at the top of this page) only represented a small fraction of its overall size.

I’d bet if we were there at the height of rainy season, the falls would’ve expanded and became quite a crazy scene of water curtains or walls draped throughout the head of the gorge.

Walking to the Urami Waterfall

From the bus stop in Nikko town (see directions below), we were looking at a 2.5km walk just to get from the bus stop all the way to the end of the side road we were on.

It was only from there that the formal trail itself began.

Urami_002_05242009 - Walking on a road past this water tank on the way to the actual trailhead for the Urami Waterfall. I think the words are saying that 'Nikko is Japan'
Walking on a road past this water tank on the way to the actual trailhead for the Urami Waterfall. I think the words are saying that ‘Nikko is Japan’

For this reason, we could appreciate why this place wasn’t well touristed despite its proximity to Nikko (even though it was also a stop on the popular Chuzenji Onsen bus route).

Anyways, most of the walk along the side road was featureless and went through a residential neighborhood where trees were on one side and homes were on the other.

I recalled there were a few false trails going into the trees (especially one near the water tanks with “Nikko is Nippon” painted on them).

Nevertheless, it turned out that we had to go all the way to the end of the road ignoring those extra trails.

Urami_010_05242009 - We noticed this little Buddha shrine on the actual trail leading to the Urami Waterfall
We noticed this little Buddha shrine on the actual trail leading to the Urami Waterfall

Once on the official trail, we had to go up stairs and follow an elevated pathway for about 0.5km more.

In addition to hearing unseen waterfalls below, we also walked past a small Buddha shrine.

Eventually, the trail ended at the head of the gorge where we saw as much of the Urami Waterfall that we were going to see (i.e. what we were able to show you in this page).

There are other falls like Jako (or Jakko) Falls that falls under this category of close-to-town-but-not-well-touristed.

Urami_012_05242009 - Context of Julie approaching the Urami Waterfall at the end of the trail
Context of Julie approaching the Urami Waterfall at the end of the trail

However, we made a choice (due to lack of time) and stuck with the Urami Waterfall over that one.

Authorities

The Urami Waterfall resides in the Nikko area of the Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. 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.

Urami_001_05242009 - Starting the walk just to get to the trailhead since our bus from Nikko dropped us off near the junction of this side road and the main road
Urami_003_05242009 - On the actual trail leading to the Urami Waterfall
Urami_004_05242009 - Still walking on the road with a sign in kanji saying we still have a little further to go. We had gone 1.5km at this point
Urami_005_05242009 - The official trailhead, which was 2km from the bus stop
Urami_007_05242009 - The elevated walkway to the Urami Waterfalls in gorgeous forest settings
Urami_008_05242009 - One of the waterfalls we saw on the way to the Urami Waterfall, but it was difficult to see
Urami_016_05242009 - Focused on the largest of the Urami Waterfalls at the end of the trail
Urami_034_05242009 - Focused on the main Urami Waterfall from a different angle revealing more of its context
Urami_036_05242009 - One last look back at the Urami Waterfall before heading back to the bus stop

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It was only a few stops from the plethora of stops near the World Heritage sections of Nikko (日光) to the Urami Waterfall as we made our way to Chuzenji-ko (中禅寺湖).

I believe it took us no more than 10 minutes by bus from our usual stop (not far from the Shinkyo Bridge) to the stop for this falls.

Nikko_131_05232009 - We hopped on the bus that we took to the start of the Urami Waterfall walk from near the Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko
We hopped on the bus that we took to the start of the Urami Waterfall walk from near the Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko

That said, the names of all the bus stops escape me as I write this though I think it was indeed the Urami-no-taki bus stop that clued us in to where we had to disembark from the bus to start the walk.

In our experience, it was roughly 3 hours by train from Nikko to Tokyo (東京) via Utsunomiya (宇都宮).

Bottom up sweep of just the main falls with some smaller springs falling alongside it

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Tagged with: nikko, tochigi, japan, waterfall, unesco, all nikko pass



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