Photo By: James Sharpe
Region
Kansai
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tsu
Population
1,857,365

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.

Whether you’re looking for some koyo (autumn leaves) action, an unassuming cherry blossom viewing spot, or winter trekking, the area is peaceful in any season.

Akame 48 Waterfalls in Nabari, Mie Prefecture Japan

Photo by: James Sharpe The falls have an evening light-up during autumn usually from Oct. 24 to Nov. 23.

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 48 Waterfalls in Nabari, Mie Prefecture Japan

Photo by: James Sharpe A quiet stroll.

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.

Akame 48 Waterfalls in Nabari, Mie Prefecture Japan

Photo by: James Sharpe Nunobiki Falls is one of the most unique in the valley.

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

For 90 minutes you’ll practice shuriken (ninja star) throwing and “intrusion techniques” while dressed in a classic ninja getup. If you really love the ninja suit, you can rent it to wear while you walk the Akame trail. You need at least two people in your party to take part in the training, and advance reservations (at least an hour beforehand) are required.

Dig hiking? Check out our hiking section for more places in Japan to get your outdoor fix!

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Things To Know

Hours and fees

From April to Nov. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; From Dec. to March 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Closed Dec. 29 to Jan. 3. Entry costs ¥400 which includes the salamander museum.

The ninja training costs ¥3,000 for adults and includes admission to the Akame 48 Falls. Renting the ninja costume costs ¥700. Check the official website to make your reservation.

How To Get There

Address

Nagasaka-861-1 Akamecho, Nabari, Mie 518-0469, Japan

By train

Take the Kintetsu line to Akameguchi Station. From there take the local bus going towards Akametaki (赤目滝行) for about 10 minutes to the Ametaki bus stop. It’s easily accessible from Nagoya Station, Kyoto Station (both about 90 minutes), and Osaka-Namba Station (about 60 minutes).

Where To Stay

Akame Onsen Yamanoyu Yumoto Akame Sansuien
  • Akamecho Kashihara 1203 Nabari-Shi, Mie 518-0464
  • 7.5/10
  • 2.5 km
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B & B Nishimine
  • Murou nishitani 513 Uda-Shi, Nara 633-0312
  • 9/10
  • 3.2 km
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Shorenji Lake Hotel
  • Shorenji Minenoyama 1652 Nabari-Shi, Mie 518-0443
  • 8.1/10
  • 5.1 km
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Kamakurayama Farm
  • Murousanbonmatsu 2756 Uda-Shi, Nara 633-0317
  • 9.4/10
  • 5.2 km
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