The Most Refreshing Waterfall in the World

This month’s destination: Sharaito-no-taki, near Lake Kawaguchi

Shiraito-no-taki waterfall

Just looking at pictures of this astonishing waterfall is enough to beat the summer heat, and being surrounded by its 180° music is one of life’s truly sublime moments. This natural wonder is beautiful in every season—in the summertime, when the June monsoon sends cascades of rainwater coursing into its grotto, but even more so in drier months, when the rivulets thin to the “white threads” it’s named for.

Otodome Waterfall
You can’t see Shiraito-no-taki from the visitor parking lot, but as you walk down the trail, you might think the magnificent Otodome cateract is the main attraction…
View of Shiraito-no-taki waterfall from the overlook
Until you round the bend and come through the trees and get a view of the real Shiraito-no-taki
Shiraito-no-taki waterfall from the bridge
As you cross the bridge, it just keeps getting better
Shiraito-no-taki waterfall
Until finally, whoa, there you are, surrounded by gorgeous cascades all around!
Shiraito-no-taki waterfall panorama photo
This panorama gives you an idea of just how extensive the wall of falls really is!

And finally, a few moments of the actual experience, for your relaxation pleasure!

Here’s where the Shiraito-no-taki waterfall is:

Map of Shiraito-no-miya Waterfall location
This waterfall is on the Western periphery of Mt. Fuji

Here’s how to get to Shiraito-no-taki Falls from Shinagawa Station in Tokyo:

To be honest, I would not go all the way to Mt. Fuji just to see this waterfall, but there are lots of other great things to see in the area, and lovely inns to stay at. It’s easier and fastest to get to the falls by car, but if you want to take the train, here’s how you do it:

Train Route to Shiraito-no-miya Waterfall from Tokyo
Shiraito-no-miya Waterfall local map from Fujinomiya Station

From outside of Fujinomiya Station, you can take a bus that goes to Shiraito-no-taki waterfall every 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the time of day), and it takes about 30 minutes to get there.

When you get off the bus, follow the signs to the trail leading to the falls. Walk past the shops selling souvenirs and ice cream, past Otodome Falls, and you’ll soon be at the overlook where you can see Shiraito-no-miya Falls. Then entire walk to the falls takes less than 20 minutes. Admission is free.

I used the Japan Navigation phone app to figure out this route, and you can easily use it too, when your actual date and departure time. It’s also good for finding the easiest way to get to Gyōda from where you’re staying. Here’s where to get the app and how to use it and here’s where to buy a Japanese transit card and how to use it. (I searched the route from Shinjuku Station, because it’s huge and central, but you might find a closer place to catch the Shonan-Shinjuku Line, if you search from where you’re staying.)

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Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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