Distance: 5.2 km
Elevation change: 300 metres
Highest point: 440 metres
Start: Tomijiro-shoten mae bus stop
Finish: Tomijiro-shoten mae bus stop
Map: Karataki Waterfall hiking map
Enjoy Quiet Contemplation at Hachijo-jima’s Highest Waterfall
What Hachijo-jima lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in unspoilt nature including several terrific hikes worth checking out. Besides hiking Hachijo-fuji from sea-to-summit, I spent another morning in pursuit of the highest waterfall on the island, the Karataki Waterfall.
Using the cheap if irregular bus service it takes around 30 minutes to reach the Tomijiro-shoten mae bus stop from Demawari near the Sokodo Camping Ground. At the bus stop look for a sign pointing to Ionuma Pond and Karataki Waterfall 硫黄沼･唐滝. At first the hike remains on bitumen roads for around 20 minutes. As you head up to the first small intersection you should see a walking trail and sign indicating the way to nearby Hachimanyama 八幡山 on the left. Continue straight here for 300 metres, turning right at the next road juncture which leads down to the river. After crossing the bridge turn left where you will soon pass the road heading to Mt. Mihara 三原山 and a little further you will arrive at the car park. From here onwards the trail follows an unsealed road taking 30 minutes to reach the turquoise coloured Ionuma pond, a short detour down to the left. Continuing along this trail eventually pops outs at the 36-metre-high Karataki Waterfall. The waterfall doesn’t see a lot of visitors and thus provides a nice opportunity to enjoy some quiet contemplation amongst the tranquil surrounds.