Autumn Colours in Tokyo’s Hinohara Village

Guns, Momiji, and Waterfalls

If you’re in search of abundant nature Hinohara Village on the outskirts of Tokyo is a good place to start. Each year I make more than a few trips to the metropolis’s only village to escape the city and enjoy fresh air. The mission this past weekend was to continue my takimeguri waterfall tour and check off a couple more cascades as well as photograph the autumn leaf colour.

The first waterfall I hoped to visit was the Meoto Falls 夫婦の滝 or husband and wife falls – the rockface boasts two discrete waterfalls. Unfortunately, I never quite made it. While there are two ways in, it seems the trail heading up from the Kataaki River is the popular one. The other route which heads down from a minor road north of the river isn’t well maintained and a bit hard to follow. What is more, I also ran into a troop of hunters about a dozen of them contracted by Hinohara Village Office to cull inoshishi (Japanese boar) and Sika deer. To avoid inadvertently ending in their crosshairs and winding up as target practice I thought it wise to pull the plug and leave it for another day.

On the plus side I happened upon a seldom used footbridge which crosses the Kataaki River together with a rather fine momiji (maple tree) beside it on my way to the Hanamizu Falls 華水の滝. These falls are 30 metres high and an easy 25-minute hike in from the Koiwa bus stop on the main road. Thankfully, no hunters milling about this time nor other sightseers for that matter making for a much more relaxing time.