Joren-no-Taki in Izu, Shizuoka (Travel): Welcome to the Mystic Waterfall, a Best 100 in Japan!
Joren Waterfall is located in Mt. Amagi of Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture; it is a place many Japanese literati loved in the old days. Joren-no-taki even appears in the lyrics of a traditional Japanese popular song, “Amagi-goe (Crossing Amagi), and it leads us to a mysterious world. This time I would like to report on our visit of Joren Waterfall. Izu City is a very famous sightseeing destination for onsen hot springs, but many Japanese people also associate it with the Joren Waterfall.
Information Board is Multilingual!
Landmark signboard includes a photo along with English captions, and it is easy to understand for international visitors, too. On the day I visited, a bus carrying a group of Chinese visitors were there, too. They were having a good time, taking photos and looking around souvenir shops.
Remembering Yasunari Kawabata, Let’s Start the Tour!
On the side of the parking area beyond the signboard, there is a statue of “Izu no Odoriko (The Dancing Girl of Izu)”, a masterpiece novel written by Yasunari Kawabata. Beyond this statue, “Odoriko Hodo (Dancing Girl Pedestrian Road) starts for a total distance of 18.5 km. You can visit various literary monuments of Toson Shimazaki, Yasushi Inoue etc., and also enjoy the forest. I would like to try this hiking course next time.
Yasunari Kawabata is the first Japanese who has received the Nobel Prize in Literature. He has left many masterpieces and they are still read and loved by Japanese people today. The nature of Amagi must have greatly inspired the novelist’s sensitivities.
Our Hearts Leap at the Sight of Mioroshi-no-Taki Waterfall!
Ahead of the statue of dancing girl, there is a spot where you can capture a distant view of the Joren Waterfall through a gap of trees. If you have difficulties walking, you can enjoy the view from here without going down all the way. The green signboard of “Mioroshi-no-taki” in the photo indicates the spot.
You will go down the stairs about 180 steps while enjoying the surrounding greeneries. The air is so fresh that a deep breath will feel refreshing and bring about a smile of satisfaction.
I saw a shop offering grilled trout on the way. Fresh trout caught in a beautiful stream was full of charms and it looked delicious.
Mysterious View of the Waterfall Makes You Feel Like You Are in Another World!
When I climbed down all the way to the bottom, finally Joren-no-taki showed its full view. Looking from a short distance, its beauty was exceptional. The water fell down in graceful forms and the sound of the stream felt more gently to my ears than any music.
I felt as if I had wandered into a world of folklore story when I was listening to the babble of the stream in the chilly air, surrounded by trees.
The height of the Joren Waterfall is 25 m and the width, 7 m. There used to be a temple by the name of Joren-ji around here a long time ago, and the waterfall’s name was apparently derived from it.
A legend tells us that a beautiful incarnation of a silk spider used to live in the basin of the Joren Waterfall. This place is graced with a pure stream and clean air of deep mountains, and it didn’t feel farfetched to imagine that other spirits of nature may have been quietly living here, too.
Such mysterious and delicate beauty of the waterfall stirs up our imagination, and it is perhaps one of the charms of the Joren Waterfall.
On the opposite side of the waterfall I saw a wasabi horseradish field. Souvenir shops nearby were offering sweets made with wasabi horseradish. Natural wasabi is worth trying at least once when it has grown in crystal clear high-quality water.
The Trip Reminded Us to Be Grateful for Nature
This time I delivered my report on the Joren Waterfall, one of the 100 best waterfalls in Japan. Honestly, the silk spider incarnation may be still living there, quietly hiding from us.
When we looked at the waterfall and views around it, trying not to disrupt nature while feeling gratitude for its existence, we felt our hearts were soothed by the power of nature in return. Please visit the Joren Waterfall once to see its beautiful view with your own eyes. You can experience Mother Nature closely and feel thoroughly refreshed. Information: Map