Oko Falls

A roaring 88-meter waterfall on the coast of Yakushima

Yakushima, an island located off the coast of Kagoshima Prefecture in japan, is known for its stunning natural beauty. One of the island’s most famous attractions is the Oko Falls, a magnificent 88-meter waterfall situated between Kurio and Nagata on the southwest coast of the island. With its cascading waters and emerald-green plunge pool, Oko Falls is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Yakushima.

How to Get There

Reaching Oko Falls is relatively easy, thanks to the availability of local Yakushima Kotsu buses. These buses run infrequently from Miyanoura Port, and the journey takes approximately 90 minutes. Alternatively, visitors can opt for a sightseeing tour that includes a visit to the falls and other local attractions. However, it is important to note that these tours are conducted in Japanese, so non-Japanese speakers may need to arrange for a translator or guide. Reservations for the tours should be made at least a week in advance through travel agents.

One of Japan’s 100 best waterfalls

Yakushima is renowned for its abundance of waterfalls, thanks to its reputation as one of the wettest places in Japan. Among these falls, Oko Falls stands out as one of the best. In fact, it was selected for the prestigious list of Japan’s 100 best waterfalls in 1996. This recognition is a testament to the natural beauty and grandeur of the falls.

The falls measure an impressive 88 meters in height, and water cascades down in two streams, creating a mesmerizing sight. The water then plunges into a deep-green pool below, adding to the allure and charm of the falls. Visitors have the opportunity to get relatively close to the falls, although caution is advised as the rocks near the water’s edge can be slippery. It is important to proceed with caution to ensure safety.

Water, water everywhere

The abundance of water in Yakushima is not limited to its waterfalls. In fact, the nearby Oko Springs is ranked as one of Japan’s superior natural sources of drinking water. The purity and quality of the water from these springs are highly regarded, making it a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.

Flooding cautions

While Oko Falls is a sight to behold during normal weather conditions, it is important to exercise caution during rainy periods. The gorge leading away from the waterfall can quickly flood, making it impossible to access the falls. During these times, the waterfall becomes quite dangerous, and swimming in the local river is not recommended. It is crucial to check weather conditions and local advisories before planning a visit to Oko Falls to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Recommended for You

In addition to Oko Falls, there are other attractions in Yakushima that are worth exploring. Two notable recommendations are Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine and Sekinoo Falls.

Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine is a picturesque natural wonderland filled with lush greenery, moss-covered rocks, and crystal-clear streams. It served as the inspiration for the forest in the famous animated film “Princess Mononoke” by Studio Ghibli. Visitors can explore the ravine through various hiking trails and immerse themselves in the serene beauty of nature.

Sekinoo Falls is another stunning waterfall located in Yakushima. It is known for its impressive height and the powerful rush of water cascading down the rocks. The surrounding landscape is equally breathtaking, with dense forests and towering cliffs. Sekinoo Falls offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, allowing visitors to reconnect with nature and find inner peace.

Both Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine and Sekinoo Falls are easily accessible from Oko Falls, making them ideal additions to an itinerary when visiting Yakushima. Exploring these natural wonders will provide a deeper appreciation for the island’s extraordinary beauty and its rich biodiversity.

In conclusion, Oko Falls in Yakushima is a magnificent natural wonder that should not be missed. Its towering height, cascading waters, and emerald-green plunge pool create a mesmerizing spectacle. While visiting the falls, it is crucial to exercise caution, especially during rainy periods when flooding can occur. Additionally, exploring other attractions such as Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine and Sekinoo Falls will enhance the overall experience of visiting Yakushima. Whether you are a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply someone in search of tranquility, Oko Falls and the surrounding attractions in Yakushima will leave you in awe of the beauty of the natural world.

Address And Maps Location:

Kurio, Yakushima-cho, Kumage-gun, Kagoshima-ken

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