Fukiware Falls -吹割の滝
In Gunma prefecture there is a quite unknown, yet wonderful tourist spot called “Fukiware falls“. As you can understand by the name, we are talking about waterfalls, and this place is surrounded by a lush and flourishing nature, and it is also a famous autumn foliage spoofing site among Japanese people in the nearbies.
What’s special about Fukiware falls?
These waterfalls are 7 meters high and have a span of 30 meters.
Just by saying this you may not make yourself well an idea about them, but they are called “The Niagara falls of Japan“.
Ok, but 7 meters are just nothing compared with the hugeness of the real ones in America. However if you take a look at these pictures you can make yourself an idea about this fact. Of course we are talking in relative terms, but the shape of the waterfall is somehow resembling the Niagara ones. They are much larger than high, as well as the shape of the step is irregular.
The view from the suspended bridge is also something you shouldn’t miss!
The forest around the falls can offer lots of hiking and walking trails, making this spot a very enjoyable side trip to enjoy nature from the sometimes too lively and noisy Tokyo.
How to reach Fukiware falls
The exact place name where the falls are located is Tone town, Numata city, Gunma prefecture.
The height of the falls is about 1000 metres and actually quite far from the center of Numata. As the public transportation is not so plentiful (but not absent), we would suggest you to get here by car (you can rent them quite easily in Japan ).
However, most of tourists like you probably will try to come here by public transportation, so here is how to reach them.
From Tokyo first we go to Takasaki. If you own a Japan Rail Pass (even the Kantō version is enough) you can take a Shinkansen, and from Tokyo and Takasaki it’ll take you less than 1 hour. From here you have to point to Numata station, on the JR Jōetsu line. From here take a bus (the bus company is Kanetsu Bus) that in 45 minutes will take you to the town of the falls. The JR pass doesn’t cover this bus, so you have to pay 1350 yen one way.
Take the Kanetsu highway and exit at Numata IC. From here take the national route 120 heading east for about 20 km
How is the area around the waterfall？
Around the waterfall you will find a little town, mostly made of souvenir shops and restaurants.
Some of them boast incredibly delicious dishes!
Also, an advice for you. During the autumn, when many people come to see the autumn leaves, parkings tend to be quite full, especially if you don’t arrive in the early morning, so be careful. Most of them charge about 500 yen, but there are some free. At each parking area it’s plenty of signs referring to the path to the waterfall, so you will find them for sure.
My impression of Fukiware waterfall
Fukiware waterfall are located along the course of a river in a gourge.
From the parking I walked down on the trail, and in front of my eyes there was a breathtaking view, especially because I visited the area during autumn, when the coloured foliage is in its full. Also, the sky was blue and limpid, and this made an idyllic view.
From afar I could hear the sound and see the mist of the waterfall, and I walked along the river to get close to them, and finally I thought “wow, the Niagara falls of Japan!” (though I have never been to the real ones). The water of the river was so pristine that I thought I could drink it, and the water shaped rocks were quite impressive.
I took some pictures with the friends who were with me, and I could spend a nice day visiting Fukiware falls.
This day (a Sunday), many people were here to see this wonderful scene, but I can’t say that it was crowded. There were many people, but there was space enough to enjoy and relax in front of this nature’s masterpiece.