The thrilling waterfall with a back view
Located in Oguni Town, Aso District on the border between Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures, Nabegataki Falls became an overnight sensation in the town due to a tea commercial. It is a small waterfall with a height of 9m and a width of 20m, but it is also an unusual waterfall since people can walk behind it to get to the opposite shore, so it has also been called “The Waterfall with a Back View”. The pyroclastic flow consisting of volcanic ash and small rocks from a huge eruption about 90,000 years ago which created the Aso Caldera accumulated in great amounts in this area which resulted in hard bedrock formed from the heat and pressure. Water flowed over this bedrock to create the waterfall, and over many eons, the back of the waterfall which extends for over 10m has been eroded away to create a huge space.
The exceptional scene from the curtain of water
As seen from the back, Nabegataki Falls has the beauty of a curtain of water with sunlight filtering through. Seeing the trees and the sunlight going through them beyond this curtain has an incredibly beautiful and mystical quality. The amount of water flowing over the falls changes, and depending on the season, the waterfall can express a variety of looks with the fresh greenery of early spring and the colorful leaves of autumn. In the spring, there is also an event in which the waterfall is backlit for a limited time (around early April). The footbath which can be accessed from a road going down for 500m from the parking area gets wet and slippery from the spray and with moss growing in that area, it is advised to wear sneakers.
Also visit Soba Road and a famous onsen
Oguni Town is famous for its buckwheat which has given rise to Soba Road so that there are many delicious noodle shops which make use of the local spring water. It’s fun to compare tastes at the different shops. Also, there are also a couple of popular onsen areas close by with Kurokawa Onsen just 30 minutes away from Nabegataki Falls by car and Yufuin Onsen about an hour away, so that if you spend a leisurely time overnight at a ryokan, you will also be able to visit the falls.