Escape the heat and cool down by the Imose falls

Aug 11 2020
Aug 14 2020

Sometimes taking a refreshing break is a necessity. In Hiroshima, you can take a break by beautiful waterfalls and peaceful nature. It is not the most famous of tourist attractions, but it is ideal if you want to go off the beaten path and experience something few tourists do.

Take a break by the Imose falls

Imose falls

Photograph provided by Courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture

If you happen to be in Japan during the summer months, you will eventually experience very hot, and very humid weather. Depending on where you are from this might not be much of a problem for you. But, if you happen to reside in a place that is closer to the north pole than the equator, then you might be in for a rough ride. Regardless, it will get very hot, uncomfortably so. This place could be an invaluable escape from the summer heat. At the start of a valley lies a shrine, and further beyond that there are two beautiful waterfalls. Known as the Imose falls. The area is ideal for hiking and picnics.

Make sure to pay your respect at Ogashira shrine

To get to this place you will need to get to the Ogashira shrine. Ogashira shrine is located close to the highway and is easy to access by car. Some history about Ogashira shrine. The shrine was founded in the year 603 and was for a long period of time part of the Shichijima shrine, which was located in a village known as Kuwahara. However, in the second year of the Taisho period, the shrine was moved to its present location. Currently, the shrine stands in between two mountains, it lies at the start of a small valley. Mountains on both sides and a river nestled in the middle, making its way down to the ocean. At summer time the hills on each side of the shrine are clad in a beautiful green color. After you enter the shrine area, make sure to pay your respects before moving on further upstream. As you make your way further upstream you will see a waterfall cascading down the mountainside. There is also a second waterfall even further upstream.

The Mendaki and Ondaki falls, scenic and great for picnics!

Imose falls

Photograph provided by Courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture

The river that flows past Ogashira shrines is called Kebo river. This is where you find the Imose falls. There are two waterfalls that are part of this river. First is the Mendaki falls. The waterfall is fifty meters tall and is a very slender and thin waterfall. It is often referred to as the female falls. The Mendaki falls can be seen from the shrine, there is no laid-out path all the way up to the falls, but there is a slightly trotted down area in the foliage leading towards the waterfall. Before leaving the Mendaki falls, there is an optional area a bit uphill. Those that make their way up that hill will be treated to a nice view of the second waterfall. Further upstream there is another waterfall. Known as the Ondaki falls, also referred to as the male falls. This waterfall is only thirty meters tall, but in stark contrast to the Mendaki falls, it is more akin to a roaring torrent than a slender waterfall. At the bottom of the waterfalls, there is a shallow area. It is quite popular among families. The water is shallow enough for children to wade in the water, and the surrounding area is ideal for picnics. During the summer it is especially popular among families. However, visiting during the fall is also recommended, then you get to see the waterfalls accompanied by beautiful fall colours. If you happen to be quite energetic when you visit the Imose falls you can make more out of this wonderful afternoon hike. There is a hiking trail in the mountain behind the shrine, and if you are up to it taking this little hike will lead you to the ruins of a local castle. Shrine, waterfalls and optional castle ruins. It doesn’t get better than that. This is a kind of off the beaten path tourist attraction, more known to the locals than the tourists. It is unlikely that you will run into crowds of tourists. Which makes the experience of going there quite special and somewhat unique.

How to visit

How do you visit this beautiful place? For starters get to Hiroshima. It takes about one hour and thirty minutes by airplane from Tokyo. Alternatively, you can take the Shinkansen, which takes three hours and fifty minutes. Once you have arrived in Hiroshima, make your way to the train station. Board the train on platform eleven, leaving towards Iwakuni. It travels on the Sanyo Main Line. After thirty minutes the train stops at Onoura station, which is about twenty minutes away from the shrine. There is also the third option for people that are using a rental car service. Simply drive along the Hirsohimaiwakuni highway. After 26 minutes, exit the Highway and Ogashira shine will be right there. There are even parking spaces, so going by car is an excellent choice in this case. Best of all? Parking is free, and admission to the area is also free. All though, there is a donation box in the area. Donating to keeping this lovely area nice and tidy is well worth it.

Imose no Taki Waterfall Hiroshima
Itsukushima Jinja Shrine Hiroshima
Miyajima Ropeway Hiroshima

Reference list

TOP:Photograph provided by Courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture

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