Among Japan’s most beautiful waterfalls, Akiu Otaki or Akiu Great Falls are certainly one of the most scenic spots in the greater Sendai area. Enter through a torii gate and into another world, surrounded by nature. Especially stunning when alight with autumn colors, the beautiful waterfall pours from a height of 55-meters down into the river below. Located in the Aki Onsen region, this hot spring town has enjoyed natural mineral waters free-flowing for over 1500 years, making for a luscious dip in an onsen. Another treat for nature-lovers, just across the way, the Akiu Falls Botanical Gardens celebrates the beauty of flowers, featuring a water lily pond that’s spectacular in summer. Paired with the Rairaikyo Gorge, Futakuchi Canyon, and Banjiwa Rock, the Akiu area offers a number of natural sites just waiting to be explored, only a 30-minute drive into the countryside from Sendai. After immersing yourself in tranquility of Akiu Great Falls, relax in the on-site tea house with drinks and Japanese snacks. Or, make the most of Akiu and enjoy fresh seasonal food at a farm-to-table restaurant or taste high-quality wines from the local vineyard.