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.
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.
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!