Walks in the Land of Water Six hiking routes that take you near wonderful water scenery

Picturesque route with the Koza-gawa River and waterfalls

The Koza-gawa River has extraordinarily clear water. Along the clear river, there are overwhelmingly beautiful waterfalls that will make you forget your travel fatigue, and soaring, strangely shaped rocks that display the grandeur of nature.

Time required Approx. 2 hours
A secluded waterfall that invites you to a mysterious worldUeuo Falls

This two-stage waterfall that flows down a course enclosed by cliffs combines with the jade-colored basin beneath it to engender a mysterious atmosphere. Going to Ueuo Falls, and Hario Falls, may require you to wade into the river to cross, depending on the water level, so you need to bring long boots with you.

Matsune, Kozagawa Town

The Ueuo Falls is near the source of the Koza-gawa River, and the water is so transparent you can see the creatures that live in the water.

Vivid contrast between
white waterfall and red rock face
Hario Falls

The waterfall drops about 20 meters. There is benimadara moss, which only grows in clear streams, on the rock face, giving the surroundings a red color.

Matsune, Kozagawa Town

A huge rock that's a nationally designated natural monumentIchimai-iwa Monolith

At 100 meters tall and 500 meters wide, this is one of the largest single rocks in Japan. Facing the Koza-gawa River, it soars over you and makes you feel tiny. In late April and late August every year, the shadow of a dog appears on the rock face. This dog was once said to protect the rock from a goblin.

Aise, Kozagawa Town

Perpendicularly falling
waterfall and clear basin
Shinsuibaku Falls

The best part is the waterfall flow that is so vigorous it looks like white cloth hanging down. It's fun to look at the whole scene from the forest path and see the waterfall mouth, and the forest scenery behind it.

Ichiburi, Kozagawa Town

A bridge created from the wisdom of people who live with the riverMyojin-no-sensui-kyo Bridge

What makes this bridge unusual is it has no guardrail, and it is designed to be underwater during times of high water, to reduce the damage done to it by driftwood and the like. To deflect the power of the flowing water, the upstream side of the bridge edge is curved. The current bridge was restored in 2009.

Myojin, Kozagawa Town

With water falling in stages
and spreading out at the bottom,
this waterfall looks magnificent
Nakatsudani Falls

The water follows a water-carved channel parallel to a river before plummeting down these falls. Viewed from below, it's apparent the water increases in force as it slides down each of the three stages of the falls. Behind these falls there are more multistage falls.

Nakazaki, Kozagawa Town

Mt. Dake-no-Moriyama and Koza-gawa River waterfall touring route

Mt. Dake-no-Moriyama soars on the other side of Ichimai-iwa Monolith. From the summit, see a grand panorama of the surrounding mountain peaks and the Koza-gawa River. You'll also want to include famous waterfalls in the area in your tour.

Time required Approx. 3 hours
A rocky ridge filled with satisfying sceneryMt. Dake-no-Moriyama

On the opposite side of the Koza-gawa River from Ichimai-iwa Monolith. Walking along smooth bare rock with flowing spring water and clawing your way up steep rockface using chains and ropes will fill you with a sense of adventure. Mt. Dake-no-Moriyama is composed of two summits called Odake and Medake.

Mine, Kozagawa Town

Mossy rockfaces hint at the water that probably flowed here in the past.

Nametoko Rock

This is one highlight of Mt. Dake-no-Moriyama, where you can walk next to flowing water. The rock surfaces are manufactured to make it easier to walk.

*Slippery after a rain. Be careful.

Mt. Dake-no-Moriyama has many steep slopes, but you can climb it following ropes and chains.

Odake summit

A sweeping view of the mountain range along the Koza-gawa River. Medake is on the eastern side. It is nicknamed "Rock Giant" because it looks like the profile of a giant.

Medake summit

Climb up the rockface - you'll feel like you're crawling - to reach the summit. To the west you'll have a view of Odake, which is covered in thick greenery.

Tofu-iwa Rock

Resembling stacked tofu, this rock seems like an artificial wall, but its appearance actually is the natural result of water dripping down in the cracks in the large rocks.

A huge rock that's a nationally designated natural monumentIchimai-iwa Monolith

At 100 meters tall and 500 meters wide, this is one of the largest single rocks in Japan. Facing the Koza-gawa River, it soars over you and makes you feel tiny. In late April and late August every year, the shadow of a dog appears on the rock face. This dog was once said to protect the rock from a goblin.

Aise, Kozagawa Town

Perpendicularly falling
waterfall and clear basin
Shinsuibaku Falls

The best part is the waterfall flow that is so vigorous it looks like white cloth hanging down. It's fun to look at the whole scene from the forest path and see the waterfall mouth, and the forest scenery behind it.

Ichiburi, Kozagawa Town

A bridge created from the wisdom of people who live with the riverMyojin-no-sensui-kyo Bridge

What makes this bridge unusual is it has no guardrail, and it is designed to be underwater during times of high water, to reduce the damage done to it by driftwood and the like. To deflect the power of the flowing water, the upstream side of the bridge edge is curved. The current bridge was restored in 2009.

Myojin, Kozagawa Town

With water falling in stages
and spreading out at the bottom,
this waterfall looks magnificent
Nakatsudani Falls

The water follows a water-carved channel parallel to a river before plummeting down these falls. Viewed from below, it's apparent the water increases in force as it slides down each of the three stages of the falls. Behind these falls there are more multistage falls.

Nakazaki, Kozagawa Town

Samoto-keikoku Valley circuit route

The Koza-gawa River flows between the cliffs of volcanic and granite mountains. This circuit brings to mind the aeons that created the dynamic beauty of the valley and the time when the Kozakaido was a busy road.

Time required Approx. 3 hours
Experience the scenery of the Koza-gawa River and the history of the landSamoto-keikoku Valley

This is a section of the Kozakaido road that crosses a mountain pass and a former major traffic route. It is the shortest route between Tanabe and Koza. Here you can see the remains of Fukuidani Village with stone walls still in place and an accretionary formation that forms the foundation of the Kii Peninsula.

Samoto, Susami Town

These remains that tell the story of former Fukuidani Village life involving stonework terraced rice fields could be called the Machu Picchu of Wakayama.

The Samoto-gawa River, a tributary of the Koza-gawa River, has a place where you can descend to the water edge.

Hyakkenzan-keikoku Valley and Yasukawa-keikoku Valley route

This route consists of the Hyakkenzan-keikoku Valley with its diverse, unfolding scenery and ease of walking even for beginners, and the Yasukawa-keikoku Valley, where you can hear the murmuring of a brooklet while walking on the path. You will walk around two valleys positioned in a prefectural natural park.

Time required Approx. 2 hours
A series of rocks, waterfalls, deep pools and peerless natural beautyHyakkenzan-keikoku Valley

Huge rocks, strangely shaped rocks, thrilling waterfalls and deep pools appear one after another on this path a little longer than 3 km. Its appearance, which never bores backpackers, is like an amusement park created by nature.

Iya, Tanabe City

Umetarobuchi Pool

A deep pool between two huge rocks. A tree grows atop a rock. Legend has it that a branch, cut by a man named Umetaro, took root there long years ago.

Kaya Falls

The waterfall named after the fact that an old Japanese nutmeg tree ("kaya" in Japanese) once covered the top of the waterfall. The waterfall, whose water wets nearby tree leaves as it descends, is atmospheric.

Suspension bridge

There are three suspension bridges on the route. When you look down at the water from a swaying bridge, you feel like you are a part of nature.

Fuji-no-Nakajima

A lot of wisteria (fuji) grows wild throughout the area. In the spring, the wisteria flowers purple contrasts with the green of moss to create a beautiful spectacle.

Amagoi Falls(Hyakkenzan-keikoku Valley)

The basin under the waterfall sparkles emerald green when the sun shines on it. Ancient Shinto music and dancing in prayer for rain took place here in the past.

Inuochi Falls

There is a legend that a dog, that was chasing a boar, fell down the waterfall with it. It is also interesting that a rock is stuck midway down the fall.

Look out over a breathtakingly
beautiful valley
Yasukawa-keikoku Valley

The source of the Hiki-gawa River, which flows at the foot of Mount Otozan.
There is a walking path along the valley, on which visitors can stroll while enjoying the views of a forest with a variety of trees and Amagoi Falls.

Shimogawakami, Tanabe City

Time required Approx. 1 hours

The water reflected by smooth rock surfaces polished by the mountain stream glimmers with a mystical indigo blue when the sun shines on it. (The photos on the above and right were both taken from Point Ⓐ.)

Mt. Mazumayama aka Hidakafuji route

From the summit of a mountain more than 500 meters high, enjoy various scenery including a white-walled cape with an exotic ambiance and a port city of scenic beauty.

Time required Approx. 3.5 hours
Plenty of things to see and panoramic viewsMt. Mazumayama

Mt. Mazumayama has an elevation of 523 meters, and because of its beautiful shape, it is also known as Hidakafuji, which literally means the Mt. Fuji of the Hidaka District. While ascending the mountain, you will encounter Suzumi Falls and a observation deck, and on your way back down there are places where you can rest your feet such as a waterfall with a 25 meter drop and Otaki-jinja Shrine.

Hidakagawa Town

Suzumi Falls

The view from the bridge opposite the falls is of course beautiful, and when you stand in front of them, the spray and a cool breeze come down on you.

Tokuhon Shonin
Shogyo Dokutsu Cave
observation deck

This is a cave where it is said that the monk Tokuhon practiced asceticism. The view from the deck in front of it is outstanding.

Summit of
Mt. Mazumayama

From here, there is a 360 degree panoramic view. On clear days, you can see Koyasan to the northeast, the Enjugahama Coast to the west and Shirahama to the south.

25 meters high waterfall

There is a temple dedicated to Kannon on the path down the mountain, and after you go down steeper slope, there will be a tall and straight waterfall.

Otaki-jinja Shrine

When you get to the Otaki-gawa River, go east and you will be met by a large, wide waterfall.

Mt. Kasaneyama easy summit climb route

Mt. Kasaneyama is at the mouth of the Koza-gawa River. It's near the JR station, and there are roads running in every direction. Go do some fun, leisurely hiking on the mountain hiking trail.

Time required Approx. 4 hours
Look out on a river and the ocean from the easy-to-get-to mountainMt. Kasaneyama

This mountain is popular with beginners as well as more experienced hikers because it is easy to get to using public transportation. On the mountain you will encounter Shitchinpo Falls, and you will command a view of Kumano from the 302 meter elevation summit.

Kushimoto Town

Shitchinpo Falls

The water slides down and fans out here in an elegant manner. Legend has it mountaineering ascetics did their ascetic practice here.

Choshi Falls

Choshi Falls have a charming, bi-level stream with different angles. There is an arbor across from it from which you can view the falls.

Lookout point

The nearby Kii Oshima Island and Cape Shionomisaki can be seen clearly from the lookout point at the summit.

Walking path

This path leads from the lookout point to Shinno-ji Temple. The stone Buddhist statues that are the principal object of worship of the Shikoku Henro aka Shikoku Pilgrimage are lined along the path.