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Ginga-no-taki/Ryusei-no-taki Falls

Hokkaido

A pair of waterfalls also collectively called Meotodaki, which is a popular spot for ice climbing

Sounkyo is one of the largest canyons in Japan, formed by Ishikari River digging through the Daisetsuzan Mountains, a range of peaks at a level of about 2,000 meters. There are many waterfalls in the region, and two of the most beautiful are Ginga No Taki and Ryusei No Taki. Ginga No Taki is a graceful waterfall with water flowing like white threads, while Ryusei No Taki shows a robust appearance with water strongly falling about 90m. The falls are also referred to as Otoko Taki (male waterfall) and Onnna Taki (female waterfall) for their contrasting appearance, and also jointly as to as Meotodaki (meaning "husband and wife waterfalls").

Because the two falls flow at an angle, facing one another, you cannot observe them at the same time unless you stand between them. The best observation point is the parking space on the way from the hot spring town to Taisetsu Lake. The view of the waterfalls falling from the high-rise cliffs against the background of the blue sky is overwhelming. The leaves of the trees turn red in the winter, presenting a picturesque scene combined with the white flow of water.

Both falls are popular spots for ice climbing. When the waterfalls freeze up in winter and form massive ice pillars, climbers from throughout Japan visit the place, aiming to reach the peak. You can watch or climb these waterfalls to feel their magnificence.

Information

Address: Sounkyo, Kamikawa-cho, Hokkaido
Phone: 01658-2-1811 (Tourism Association of Sounkyo)
Directions: Train: 30 minutes from Kamikawa Station, which is on the JR Sekihoku Main Line (3 hours 50 minutes from Shin-Chitose Airport) by the Dohoku Bus (destination Sounkyo); transfer to the Dohoku Bus bound for Taisetsu-ko (*operated from May to October only); after a 14-minute ride, get off at Takimidai bus stop, which is a short walk from the waterfalls
Car: About 30 minutes from Kamikawa Sounkyo Interchange on the Asahikawa-Monbetsu Expressway *Free parking lots available

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