Akame 48 Waterfalls
Find yourself on a tranquil hike or go full-on ninja in Mie Prefecture.
The Akame 48 Waterfalls is a valley of numerous falls with a relatively-easy hiking trail running alongside them in Nabari City, Mie. There’s a giant salamander museum at the head of the trail, and a “ninja forest” nearby where you can rent a costume and practice the stealthy art.
Mie Prefecture, in south-central Japan, has long been a hub for enlightenment and self-reflection. It’s home to Ise Jingu, Japan’s most revered shrine, and part of the sacred Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail. Undeniably, Mie is the place to visit if you need a quiet space to “find yourself,” and the Akame 48 Waterfalls is one of many spots within the prefecture to do so.
Hiking along the Akame 48 Falls
Akame means “red eye” in Japanese, alluding to the mystical story of the area. Around 1,300 years ago, the image of a fire god appeared before En no Gyoja, the sage who founded Shugeno (ascetic mountain worship), while he was visiting the falls. The deity was riding a bull with red eyes, hence the name akame.
In reality, there aren’t exactly 48 waterfalls. Apparently, the number was just chosen to represent “a lot.” They vary in size from small to powerful, creating a silent dripping or roaring soundtrack.
The tranquil sounds of the water and wind whistling through the trees will leave you at peace.
You’ll start the gentle hike at the Japanese Salamander Center, a quirky museum where you can see these strange-looking amphibians up close. They’re the second-largest species of salamander in the world, growing up to 1.5 meters long (about 5 feet). The unusual creatures were featured on the British TV show River Monsters, and it’s not hard to see why. They look like long, flat slugs with giant mouths.
It takes about three hours to complete the four-kilometer-long trail. Toilets and teahouses are dotted along the way, allowing you to enjoy the walk at a leisurely pace.
The tranquil sounds of the water and wind whistling through the trees will leave you at peace. Bring your lunch and find a place to sit down on the rocks for a quintessential outdoor experience, and maybe a little meditation.
Ninja training school
Not looking for a spiritual escape? It’s all good, Akame’s Ninja Training School will help you realize your dreams of becoming a Naruto character.
Become a Ninja in Japan
Dig hiking? Check out our hiking section for more places in Japan to get your outdoor fix!