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: 139.56519

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

The falls was actually 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. But really, these waterfalls at the end of the trail only represented a small fraction of what was really out there. 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 waterfall walls draped throughout the head of the gorge.

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. For this reason, we could appreciate why this place wasn’t well touristed despite its proximity to Nikko town (it was even part of 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), but it turned out that we had to go all the way to the end ignoring those extra trails.

Once on the official trail, we had to go up stairs and follow an elevated pathway for about 0.5km. In addition to hearing unseen waterfalls, 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, but we made a choice and stuck with the Urami Waterfall over that one.

Nikko_131_05232009 - The Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko
Urami_001_05242009 - Starting the walk just to get to the trailhead
Urami_002_05242009 - If you see these water tanks, keep going straight and ignore the forested path to the left
Urami_004_05242009 - Still walking on the road with a sign in kanji saying we still have a little further to go
Urami_005_05242009 - The official trailhead
Urami_007_05242009 - The elevated walkway to the Urami Waterfalls
Urami_008_05242009 - One of the waterfalls we saw on the way to the Urami Waterfall, but it was difficult to see
Urami_010_05242009 - Small Buddha statue on the way to the Urami-no-taki
Urami_012_05242009 - Julie approaching the scattered Urami Waterfalls at the end of the trail
Urami_016_05242009 - Focused on the largest of the Urami Waterfalls at the end of the trail
Urami_024_05242009 - Another attractive waterfall comprising the Urami Waterfall
Urami_034_05242009 - Focused on the main Urami Waterfall from a different angle
Urami_036_05242009 - One last look back at the Urami Waterfall before heading back to the bus stop


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 (though the names of all the stops escapes me as I write this; I think it was indeed the Urami-no-taki bus stop).

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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