Okinawa is a prefecture of Japan, comprising more than a hundred islands in between Japan and Taiwan.
Okinawa’s tropical climate and its beautiful features make it an attractive destination for tourists.
Among the features are waterfalls, which Okinawa has plenty of.
They are pristine, breathtaking, and peaceful, so much so that many of them are the best in all of Japan.
This article reviews 10 waterfalls in the Okinawa prefecture that you must visit.
Table of Contents
1. Hiji Falls
Found in the Kunigami area, Hiji falls are among the most popular waterfalls in the prefecture of Okinawa.
The waterfalls are located in the Northern part of Okinawa. They are surrounded by magnificent vegetation, which creates a very calming environment.
To get there, you would have to trail through a 17-meter-high suspension bridge, which makes for a great adventure.
The waterfall itself is 26 meters/ 85 ft high and is a wondrous sight to behold.
While there, you will enjoy seeing:
- small snakes
- and robins
One downside to this waterfall is that people are prohibited from swimming or touching the water, but the experience makes up for it.
Also, it has a designated parking lot where the trail begins.Booking.com
2. Pinaisara Falls
The Pinaisara falls are the highest in Okinawa at the height of 55 meters/ 180 feet.
They are in the Iriomote area of Okinawa and are pretty easy to access on both foot and canoe. Furthermore, they are open for 24 hours every day, so you can visit anytime.
The fall got its name from the way it looks- it resembles a long white beard hanging down, hence the name Pinaisara, which literally means “an old man’s beard.”
A hiking tour to Pinaisara falls will take you about six to seven hours.
So, if you get there in the morning, you are likely to leave late in the afternoon. Activities you can take part in include trekking, kayaking, and swimming.
Also, the height of the waterfall provides a breathtaking view of nature. You will be able to experience the sounds and sights of beautiful birds and subtropical trees.
Due to the humidity brought about by the tropical climate, it is wise to protect your cameras by covering them with cases.
3. Mariudo Falls
Also in the Iriomote-Jima area, the mariudo falls are on the upper stream of the longest river in Okinawa, the Uraucshi river.
It has three levels and falls at the height of 16 meters. The ambiance of this waterfall has earned it a place in the best 100 waterfalls in Japan.
Activities that you can carry out this fall include riding a sightseeing boat to the base camp called the Gunkaniwa point.
You can also trek from the base camp to the water viewing platform.
What’s More: You can also take part in kayaking downstream from the base camp. The whole trip is 3 km long and will take you about 40 minutes.
4. Fukugawa Falls
Fukugawa is near the Nago area of Okinawa, Japan.
It features a short trail that leads to a beautiful waterfall. The trail is only half a mile long and will take you about 20 minutes to get to the waterfall.
It is easy because the jungle path is well-maintained and customized for an easy time hiking.
The trail is suitable for both adults and children, as it is good for all skill levels. Getting to the waterfall is worth the hiking session as the sight is one to behold.Booking.com
Besides, you can swim in the fall, and the water is even warm.
Still, it is advisable to wear sturdy non-slippery shoes when you visit the place to avoid slipping and other related accidents.
5. Mizuochi Falls
The Mizuochi Falls are formed by the Mizzuchi river in the Iriomote island of Okinawa.
It is relatively small compared to other waterfalls in the region, but it is an amazing attraction site. The fall itself is inside mangrove vegetation.
These falls drop down on layers of sedimentary rocks and pour directly into the water surface.
The best time to visit is during summer so you can take a dip in the refreshing water.
You can also do kayaking, provided there is a guide to offer supervision.
Since you can only reach the Mizuochi falls through the sea, you would have to use a chartered boat or rent a canoe to get there.
6. Kanpiree Waterfall
Just like the Mizuochi falls, the kanpiree waterfalls are located on the Iriomote island.
They flow from the Urauchi river. The name ‘kanpiree’ is said to mean ‘mercy seat’ or the ‘association of gods.’
So, you know you are going to experience something divine when you get there.
To get there, you have to take a 30-minute ferry. The trail is about 45 minutes long, and fortunately, the paths are well-maintained.
Also, the waterfall is surrounded by a tropical forest which creates a rich, nature-filled aura. Even though the fall is quite low, the cascading waters are an amazing scene.
Also known as ice-house falls, the Todoroki falls are found in the Nago area of Okinawa.
They are located in the upper reach of the Kaifu river and are among Japan’s top 100 waterfalls.
Getting to the falls will not require you to hike or trail for long minutes.
This is because the Todoroki falls are quite literally on the side of the road, about five minutes off the main highway. That said, it is easy to get to the place.
Todoroki brings with it a jungle vibe with its vegetation, waterfall, and large rocks. It is perfect for picnics as people can eat their food with the amazing backdrop.
Even Better – It is great for kids as they can splash around the relatively shallow waters.
While the place has proper steps and walkways, steady shoes are recommended because of the rocks.
Even though you have to pay an entrance fee, the experience is priceless.
8. Tadake Falls
Tadake falls are found past Nago, in the Northern part of Okinawa.
They are easy to find as you would only need to make a single right turn off the highway. Reaching the waterfall requires a trek through the river it falls into.
The trail to the Tadake waterfall will have you walking through ankle-deep sections of water and climbing through and across riverbed rocks.
You have to walk through the river, which runs through the dense Okinawan rainforest. Even so, there are minimal risks and dangers if you are careful enough.
If you are a daredevil, you could also use the rope swings that are placed strategically at various points of the trail.
What to Expect? In about thirty minutes of trekking, you will come upon the waterfall, which cascades down from a height of 60 feet.
In front of the waterfall is a sizeable pond which you can swim and play in. You can also set up a picnic beside the fall and have a nice, relaxed time with loved ones.
9. Aha Falls
Also referred to as Tanaga-gumui, the Aha falls are among the smallest in Okinawa.
It is not easy to find as it is a bit far off the path. Also, it comes with intense hiking.
The trail, which is on the side of a mountain, is quite narrow and muddy. Therefore, you should ensure that you bring your hiking shoes for an easier time.
The strenuous hike is completely worth it, though, because once you reach the waterfall, the view is absolutely breathtaking.
The water falls into an enormous pool which is the size of an Olympic pool. Divers love and frequent the place.
10. Kijoka Seven Falls
While they may not be big or grand, the Kijoka Seven Falls create a very beautiful and peaceful ambiance.
It is a perfect place to relax and meditate and have some time for yourself.
In Addition – There is a shrine, or an utaki, where locals come in often to pray to their deities.
Finding these falls is so easy as it is right off the highway and onto a small road that calls for a very short trek.
There are benches for people who wish to just sit in the shade and relax.Booking.com
If you are planning a trip to Japan, then Okinawa should be one of the places you must visit, especially if you like exploring the outdoors.
Okinawa has an abundance of beautiful places and some of the best waterfalls in the whole of Japan.
Just ensure you bring your hiking shoes, changing clothes, and swimwear for amazing adventures.
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