Photo By: miomio2006
Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Kumamoto
Population
1,859,451

Meoto Falls

Where two waterfalls become one.

For better or worse, these two waterfalls will spend eternity together.

If you’re around northeast Kumamoto Prefecture bathing in the famous waters of Kurokawa Onsen, make sure to check out Meoto Falls while you’re there. This nature spot with a hint of romance is where two facing waterfalls flow into the same river and combine into one — hence the name meoto meaning married couple in Japanese.

Photo by: japanlives One of the two waterfalls; The fall on the left is the “husband.”

The fall on the left is 15-meter-high and is said to be the husband, while the 12-meter-high fall on the right is the wife. According to local folklore, a lowly farm girl fell in love with a young samurai after he spent three days to fight and rescue her from a giant snake’s capture. Touched by the love story, local dragon gods arranged the two to get married at a unique spot where two waterfalls intertwine with each other — where we call Meoto Falls nowadays.

Getting to Meoto Falls

The falls are most easily accessible by car, and you’ll first walk through a souvenir shop ceilinged by hundreds, maybe thousands, of heart-shaped messages of love at the waterfall entrance. Besides sweet sayings, of which you can buy your own to hang as the ultimate romantic gesture, there is also a variety of local produce and snacks for sale, or you can get some ice cream from the cafe inside the shop.

Photo by: Cara Lam Follow the path of hearts down to the falls.

Follow the hearts (and sounds of rushing H20) down the path, which only takes a couple minutes and not too much effort to get to the falls. As you reach the bottom of the staircase, the falls will appear along with water pools and mossy rocks in between.

Visiting Meoto Falls won’t take long, but if the weather is fine it’s nice to hop on the rocks and get closer views of the waterfalls. The surroundings are especially rejuvenating when trees are lush green and give you a chance to escape from the heat and humidity of the Japanese summer. If you visit in the morning, you may be able to capture an otherworldly scene of sun rays filtering through the trees. Whatever time you decide to go, do it with an open heart!

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Things To Know

Hours

The waterfall itself is free for access and open all year-round. The souvenir shop, however, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Thursday.

How To Get There

Address

7896-1 Manganji, Minamioguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto-ken 869-2402, Japan

By train

 

 

By bus

From JR Aso station, take the Kyushu Sanko Bus for an hour towards Tsuedate Hot Springs. Get off at Yuu Station and Meoto Falls is another 15-minute car ride away.

By car

Meoto Falls is most easily accessed by car and it’s located very close to Kurokawa Onsen. Get off at Hita Interchange on the Oita Expressway and follow national routes 212, then 442 for about 42 kilometers. It takes about 50 minutes to reach Meoto Falls.  

Where To Stay

Oyado Hanabou
  • Manganji 2805-3 Aso-Gun Minamioguni-Machi, Kumamoto 869-2402
  • 8.9/10
  • 0.5 km
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Tobise Onsen Tenga Sanso
  • Tobise 2820 Aso-Gun Minamioguni-Machi, Kumamoto 869-2400
  • 9.3/10
  • 0.8 km
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Ryokan Yunosako
  • Manganji 7152-2 Aso-Gun Minamioguni-Machi, Kumamoto 869-2402
  • 8.2/10
  • 1.0 km
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Oogi Onsen Oogiso
  • Manganji 2871 Aso-Gun Minamioguni-Machi, Kumamoto 869-2402
  • 8.8/10
  • 1.1 km
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