Takimatano Waterfalls is just outside of Kyoto, and offers a unique hike in the dense forests of Kyoto, with a hidden Buddhist twist.
The short, but fun hike, follows the river upstream through a well-worn, and easy trail. About 3/4 of the way through the trail, you’re met with shrines, rock carvings, and more unique Buddhist features.
A surprise finds, and definitely not what I expected whilst out on the trail, but nonetheless – it’s Japan! Japan always offers a surprise.
How to get to Takimatano Waterfalls
Stick Takimatano waterfall into your google map and get yourself there.
Just as you’re arriving it’ll tell you to turn off to a smaller road. Don’t. Stick with the main road and there’s a big, flat, and free car park here you can park in.
From here the trail is really easy to follow and takes you up the tracks first, before vearing off into the dense woodland.
Following the river, you’ll cross mutliple bridges. Some small, some big, and a few just made from rocks.
When you get to the shrines, follow the path and take a left downwards. If you can speak Japanese, then the sign will say waterfall. Although, I’d no idea what it said, I just followed the biggest body of water.
My Experience with Takimatano Waterfalls
At first I thought it was just another road side waterfall, but turns out there’s a bit of a walk to get here.
It’s about a 3 mile roundtrip and can be done within an hour. Although the trail is well worn, there are a few slippery sections, and sections just on rock you’d want to be careful with.
The hike was fun, but mostly because of the prospect of seeing bears. Not even sure if there are any bears in this part of Kyoto, but it was exciting at the prospect of seeing them.
The walk was better than the waterfall, but still cool to see it at the end of a hike regardless.
If you’re in the area, come and visit for the walk, and for the carvings. But don’t come out of your way to get here.