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Photo By: PIXTA/ Nakasaku
Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Kagoshima
Population
1,786,214

Ogawa Falls

Take a trek to see Kagoshima’s majestic emerald green waterfall basin

By Elizabeth Sok

Located about two hours by car from the heart of Kagoshima City, Ogawa Falls rewards hikers who embark on the 1.2-kilometer trail with a stunning waterfall at the end. Make the drive to steep yourself in nature and refresh your body and mind.

Osumi Peninsula

Ogawa Falls

Photo by: PIXTA/ kwmn A road trip around Kagoshima wouldn’t be complete without a drive around this peninsula.

Ogawa Falls lies on the Osumi Peninsula which is the southernmost part of Kyushu, Japan’s southwestern region. While the site has been known for centuries, even earning a place in the Edo period publication Sangoku Meishozue (The Illustrated Guide to Famous Places in the Three Countries), it did not become a tourism draw until the early 21st century.

At the beginning of the 2000s, accessibility to the waterfall improved, but it was its inclusion in the opening credits of the 2018 NHK morning drama, Segodon, that secured its reputation as a place not to miss for nature lovers able to make the road trip.

Takimiohashi Bridge

Ogawa Falls

Photo by: PIXTA/ KiMSTA The grand Takimiohashi Bridge.

With no public transportation option to reach the remote location, a car is your best shot at visiting Ogawa Falls. From the parking lot, the way forward is about 1.2 km long and should take you about 15-20 minutes to complete. As the trail is slightly sloped, hiking shoes or other comfortable footwear would be best.

Halfway to the falls, you’ll come across a small rest area alongside a stream. If you’re not in a rush, give yourself some time here to take in the surrounding nature. Another highlight of the trek is the 150-meter-long Takimiohashi Bridge which towers over you at around 80 meters above the valley. The end of the trail leads to an observation deck from where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the falls.

Ogawa Falls

Ogawa Falls

Photo by: PIXTA/ TOSHI.K Turquoise waters

When you reach Ogawa Falls, you’ll come upon a gigantic granite wall through which water flows down from above. Measuring 60 meters wide and 46 meters high, the falls can offer visitors a surreal turquoise waterfall basin on sunny afternoons when the nearby dam has not been released recently. Otherwise, the waterfall is still a magnificent sight with its powerful flowing water. There are two places from which you can enjoy the view.

The most popular vantage point is from the Ogawa Waterfall Observatory built in 2017 which provides a straight-on view of the site. The other perspective is at the Upstream Observatory, a lookout that allows you to see the water making its way from the river down to the falls.

Things To Know

HOURS AND FEES

While there are no specific opening hours, the official website requests that visitors refrain from coming at night. The falls don’t require any entrance fees.

How To Get There

Address

By car

Via the Sakurajima Ferry or Tarumizu Ferry, Ogawa Falls is about a two hour drive from Kagoshima Chuo station.


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