Fukuroda Waterfall and Furumine Shrine 袋田の滝、古峯神社

April 12th. 2023

Michi no eki Mashiko gave us an unexpectedly quiet night. The toilet was a problem as expected. The morning rush was complicated by the shortage of paper as well as space as the facilities were much in demand.

Fukuroda no Taki (Waterfall)

Though not a huge fan of waterfalls, we opt to visit Fukuroda no Taki, as it ranks as one of the top 3 falls in Japan. We are visiting clearly out of season as the numerous car parks are empty and unattended. Autumn is the optimum time to visit as the maple trees are evident everywhere. Now they are a sheen of fresh, delicate green. I suggest a spring visit as there are virtually no other visitors.



The river below the falls is festooned with koinobori. Most of the traditional kind, but rather small and a few larger representing marginally more realistic Ayu and eels.

Fukuroda Waterfall

Fukuroda Waterfall

The falls are approached by a long tunnel and are, of course, an impressive sight. This tunnel offers 3 or 4 separate viewing spots. One from above, the others from different angles. If you strain your neck, you can see the earlier Edo or perhaps Showa era viewing platform that has been cut off by this tunnel construction.

The tunnel to Fukuroda waterfall

The tunnel to the waterfall

The falls drop 120 metres in four separate stages, In winter, when frozen, it is possible to climb the icy cascade.

*Fukuroda no taki ;300 yen / adult

Furumine Jinja

From the falls, we set off to visit Furumine Jinja. This shrine located in the mountains near Nikko has a spacious interior and a serious Tengu obsession. The interior is adorned with innumerable Tengu masks of all shapes and sizes as well as other Tengu paraphernalia. It is said all Tengu masks have been donated by the people whose wishes have materialized.

Tengu masks at Furumine shrine

Tengu masks at Furumine shrine

Furumine shrine houses a God of fire prevention, good harvest and the safety of villages. This makes for strong belief and is the basis for religious associations in the villages in Kanto and Tohoku. Research shows there were still more than 2900 such groups in 2003, Mainly concentrated in Fukushima prefecture. These villages associations built the stone monuments and selected a few people to worship at the shrine every year. Probably this explains the large interior. This kind of system is quite unusual these days.

Furumine shrine

Furumine Shrine

D. collects a Goshuin and we fail to view the famous garden. The entrance fee is 500 yen a head and it begins to rain seriously.

We took Prefectural Road 58 Ashio. This is supposed to be a difficult road to drive but proved to be no problem, quite easy and not busy.

Michi no eki Green Flower Bokujo Oogo

Over the mountains to our michi no eki, Green Flower Bokujo Oogo. We choose this over Akagi no Megumi which has onsen. It is quieter having no onsen and the facilities are vastly superior.

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