Akame 48 waterfalls (赤目四十八滝)

As always, this happened a long time ago…..

One day, while riding the train to work, I saw an advertisement with a really beautiful picture of a waterfall. I instantly looked it up on my phone and decided that I wanted to go.

Problem was that it was in the middle of nowhere.

map

It is in Mie prefecture and not near any major cities. There was a small town, but it was very small. Well, if you’ve been around for a while, you probably know why this is not a good thing….. Our navigational skills are not great, so going anywhere is a challenge. Going off the beaten path will, or course, be a challenge.

We had an interesting time restraint for getting there. Usually, we laze out of our house and don’t get anywhere until the afternoon. Buuuut, in this case, we didn’t really have a choice. We needed to catch a bus that didn’t run often.

bus-schedule

I know that the bus schedules are hard to read… Basically, the black ones are the week days, the red ones are weekends and holidays. The first set is from Akameguchi station to the waterfalls, the last 2 are for the way back.

I swear, when we went on this trip, I found the bus schedule in English… .I can not find it again….(I’m an idiot… I found it. here is the link http://www.ninja-valley.com/access.html) Anyway, as you can notice, the bus comes about 3 times after 10 o’clock and then not again until lpm. And at that point, it’s only every hour! So, we had to be pretty careful about time. Since we are usually late for everything. We tried to make the 10:25 bus, and ended up taking the 10:55 bus. The bus stop was easy to find from the station. The station is in a very rural place so there really wasn’t much at all at the bus stop. I didn’t notice a convenient store, so maybe pack a lunch before you go!

dsc_8217

We got on the bus without a problem. It was us and a few elderly people and that was it. Busses can be a bit scary since they don’t say or display the stop names in English and they only stop when someone rings the bell. We just tried matching the kanji to the bus stop kanji. Another method would be to just ask the bus driver “akame taki?” and hope that he is patient and understanding (they people in Japan generally are…). Buuuut I have a feeling that the waterfalls were the last stop anyways…. so….

Okay, so we made it to the falls without much of a problem. Proud of us?

Little did we know, this place was also known for some sort of ninja training camp and a giant salamander exhibit. Cool! We didn’t do the ninja thing, it seemed like it was meant for kids to be honest. It seems that you had to go through the salamander museum, but it actually was kind of neat! The ticket to get into the waterfalls included the museum as well, but not the ninja thing. Looking at the website, looks like it was 400 yen.

They had a few different types, but my favourite was the big guy in the photo above. He was absolutely massive. I don’t know what I expected when I heard Japanese “Giant” Salamander…. but I had underestimated how big it would actually be. He shocked me a bit since he is super camouflaged. I didn’t know he was there until he moved.

Once we finished looking at the salamanders, we started our journey through the waterfalls. Despite the name, there aren’t actually 48 waterfalls. Apparently its just a Japanese way of saying a lot? Haha, who knows.

Before finding the fist big one,  I was already impressed. The scenery itself was pretty nice. The path itself added to the ambience. The path was kind of mossy and grown over. It just seemed like you were walking through a natural landscape with little human intervention.

***Before I start showing photos… be aware, my camera couldn’t pick up how amazing it looked in real life, and in some cases, it looked better! You’ll see…. ***

Nice right? There are Five major waterfalls that are the main focus. Their names are “Fudo”, “Senju”, “Nunobiki”, “Ninai” and “Biwa” .  It wasn’t too long before we found the first big waterfall. This one is called Fudo.

Pretty cool right? You may notice the colour difference in the photos. The first few were without any  camera trickery. Just point and shoot. But, it wouldn’t pick up on how amazing it looked in real life. I played with the camera a bit and that’s why they look soooo green in the last few photos. They are a bit more intense that in real life, but imagine a scenery closer to the latter.

Haha, okay, sorry. I’m not a good photographer okay!? Just kidding. Let’s move on.

We walked for a while and appreciated the tall trees, flowing water, moss covered rocks and general tranquility of the place. It was so quiet! I’m fairly certain we went on a weekday seeing as we worked weekends so maybe that’s why.

The second waterfall was also amazing. This one is called Senju. This is the one I often see when I look this place up.

The moss and old looking trails kind of make you feel like your in the past. If it was night, this would be the scariest place for a Japanese horror movie haha. But, in the daylight it is quite nice.

We hit the third big waterfall. This was a skinny one and not my favourite.This one was called nunobiki.

Another interesting thing we found on this path was a lot of interesting bugs. There were beetles, spiders, and weird things I’ve never seen before. I am usually not a fan of bugs (I’m pretty afraid of most of them actually), but I find them fascinating here, in Japan. Maybe just because they are so different and I don’t know anything about them.

I know, there are a ton of photos… I’m not close to done. Sorry. 3 waterfalls down and 2 to go! Actually, I’m not sure when, but it may have been around here where we noticed that it was raining. The trees are so luscious that we didn’t feel any of it. We actually thought that we had reached the end of the trail at this point, but we found a stairway that we had to go up and we walked through a pretty hidden trail.

We found this really neat rock formation. The rocks were massive and were so high up. And, as everything there, covered in moss. So coooool!

We continued on. It was actually quite a while before we hit the fourth waterfall.

The fourth major waterfall is called ninai. This is on the posters for this place and this was the picture I saw on the train and made me want to go. A dual waterfall that looked nice from basically every angle.

Alright, only one to go! It wasn’t too far between this one and the next one. I obviously couldn’t get enough of the scenery on the way. It was stunning.

And finally, we had reached the last waterfall. This one was kind of neat because we could get fairly close to it. The others had pretty deep pools by them and no way to get close. I’m pretty sure you weren’t supposed to go in the water anyways. But this one was quite shallow and had many rocks that you could walk on.

There really wasn’t much after this. I think it continued on for a while, but we decided to just turn around instead of keep going. We weren’t sure where it went and didn’t want to risk not getting home. It didn’t take too long to get there, so we knew that we could make the bus if we turned around. So we did. I have a whole bunch of pictures for our way back, but I’ll put them on the end in case you have had enough haha.

I looked at the bus times before we had to leave so I knew when we had to be back. At that point in time, if we went at the same pace, we would definitely make it back in time. So, when we arrived back at the base, we made it in time for the bus. It was scheduled to leave in like 15 minutes. Buuuuut, I got distracted by delicious street food and Ramune (Japanese Soda). When I saw the Ramune, I had to get it.

 

The shop that sold the ramune also sold mochi. The shop keepers were so sweet, that when we bought some mochi, they gave us some tea and let us sit at a table in their shop. They were so cute. We obviously lost track of time.. and missed the bus by 5 min.. ugh. And, as you can see from the time schedule at the top, there were no more busses. I guess we are walking! We got some cold beers and were on our way. It was a bit of a walk, but it was a nice day and since it was in such a rural part of Japan.

Alright, that is about all I wanted to talk about for this trip. It is way off the beaten path, but so so worth it. If you are in the Osaka, Wakayama, or Kyoto area, it is an easy day trip. You will get a nice change of pace from the city life and tourist spots of Japan.

Okay, so as I said, I took so many photos on the way back as well. A lot of them are the same or similar to those of the way there. They are also a lot less organized haha. But, it was so pretty so I couldn’t help it!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa Hie
    Nov 26, 2017 @ 11:01:27

    Hey Kaitlin, thanks for this post! You have a lot of useful information especially about the bus. Thanks for the heads up, we rushed to make the 11:25 am so that we don’t have to wait until 1pm

    Reply

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