Photo: Ogawa Falls in Minami-Osumi
If you follow this column, you’ll know that Kagoshima is full of wonderful nature, from the coastline to the mountain peaks. Kagoshima also contains a large quantity of water springs and hot springs. The mountainous terrain mixed with the natural springs has created some great waterfalls scattered throughout the prefecture. In this article, I’m going to introduce to you some waterfalls worth visiting if you are in Kagoshima. As waterfalls are often located deep in the forest, most of these require a little walking or a bit of a drive, but are most definitely worth the effort.
Sogi Falls (sogi-no-taki, 曽木の滝)
This is perhaps Kagoshima’s most famous waterfall and one of the largest. It is nicknamed the Niagara of the Orient for its size. The falls stretch 210 meters wide and 12 meters tall. There is a large park along the river full of trees and flowers that provide different scenery throughout the year, especially the cherry blossoms in the spring and the autumn leaves in the fall. There are a couple restaurants here making it a great spot to enjoy lunch, as well.
Location: Isa City (伊佐市) 📍MAP
Ryumon Falls (ryumon-daki, 龍門滝)
This waterfall gained popularity over the last year due to the nearby forest trail Tatsumonji Hill being featured in this year’s NHK Historic Taiga drama. Here at this waterfall, you can actually get into the river, a rare thing in Japan, for an eye level view of the waterfall. There are some cherry blossoms and maple leaves for some great photos, as well. With a height of 46 meters and width of 43 meters, it is a great spot to feel nature all around. It is also often lit up at night time.
Location: Aira (姶良) 📍MAP
Ogawa Falls (ogawa-no-taki, 雄川の滝)
In recent years, this waterfall has been featured in various Kagoshima promotion campaigns. One look at it and you can see why. Water leaks out of a 46m tall and 60m wide jagged rock wall for a unique natural phenomenon. In addition, the color gradation of the water will amaze you with emerald green to cobalt blue to the natural brown sand of the river bed. The waterfall can be viewed from an observation deck above or from below by walking a beautiful forest trail along the river. (about 1km one-way)
Ohko Falls (ohko-no-taki, 大川の滝)
The great waterfall, located on the southern end of Yakushima, is Kyushu’s tallest waterfall at 88 meters high. The waterfall is conveniently located less than a minute walk from the parking lot. In addition, you can walk out onto the rocks located below the waterfall for a spectacular view as the mist surrounds you in a refreshing atmosphere. If you take a trip to Yakushima, it is highly recommended to take a drive around the whole island with a stop at this waterfall.
These are just a few of the waterfalls that can be enjoyed in Kagoshima. Some others that you can consider are Materiya Falls (マテリヤの滝) in Amami, Sekinoo Falls (関之尾滝) along the border of Miyazaki to the east, Kamikawa Falls (神川大滝) in Kinko Town, and many more.
Author: Kagoshima Cameron