Immortalized in woodblock prints and paintings, this waterfall is one of the most famous in Tochigi, and all of Japan. It stands just shy of 100m tall, and is usually rated among the three most beautiful in the country. Driven by the waters flowing from Lake Chuzenji to the west, it pours down over the cliffside, flanked by a semi-circle of mossy rock walls.
If you want to get close to the bottom of the falls, take the elevator to the viewing platform at the base where you’ll pay a small fee for entry. It’s worth heading down here rather than sticking to the free observation platform, as the views are much more dramatic.
If you’re going to be in nearby Nikko for a while, then it’s even worth a few repeat visits to see the waterfall change character throughout the seasons. Lush greens cover the cliffs in spring and summer, autumn leaves drift down into the basin in fall, and glistening icicles crystalize on the rocks in winter.