Nature Trippin' in Fukuoka, Japan - Travel to Kiyomizu Water Falls

12:22:00 PM Pinoy Boy Journals 14 Comments

ALL-TIME FAVORITE POST FROM 2011 RE-BLOGGED: With so many places to check out in Yanagawa, sadly i can only visit one. But, boy did i pick the perfect destination. During this time when i went, there was also a Hot Air Balloon Festival going on in Kase Riversite, Saga City. But because of the impenetrable crowds and my travel clock ticking, i sadly had to skip it. While cruising the highway, the view of flying balloons put a smile on my face early in the morning. It's a must for those traveling to Saga Ken during the first week of November. So keep this in mind. I also took a mental note that i'll come back soon.
Earlier that day, i asked my gracious host if we can squeeze in some time going to the mountains. After traveling to big cities around Japan for days, i was in need of some nature trip, and i was hoping to visit the countryside, check out mountain peaks and spectacular waterfalls. My host had the perfect place in mind.

One of the best ways to travel around Saga Ken is when you go on a road trip. After a few minutes en route, we have arrived at the entrance of Kiyomizu Waterfalls.

When we arrived at the site, we were the only ones there. I realized how absolutely breathtaking this place is, where plush gardens are adorned by wild flowers and moss green plants. It's eerie but breathtaking. It's like finding yourself lost in the woods but you're less than an hour away from Fukuoka. There is no entrance fee to go in but transportation may prove to be a hassle for commuters. Good thing, my host had a car so we were able to visit  without any problem.

Fukuoka is arguably the oldest city in Japan. You're bound to spot hundreds of year old trees. This Cedar tree, in particular, is about 500 years old. Can you imagine that? Its massive size and towering height is a must see for all nature lovers. It's huge!

"The Kiyomizu Waterfall itself is pretty spectacular. Fed by waters from Mt. Tenzan, the falls is a 75-meter drop. Additionally, there is a temple above it, many Buddha images, a nearby dam, and several bungalows available for rental, making it a great escape from the noise and bustle of Saga. Unfortunately, it is not near any train or bus line, so you will need a car or very strong legs to get there. The way is well marked from Route 203."

Very few articles are available online about Kiyomizu Waterfalls. Historians will love this place because there are ancient relics found, and some still not excavated. A troop of statues and different ancient carvings are still in sight. For archaeologists and adventurists, Kiyomizu Waterfalls will probably be a delight to go to.

The trip is a cool 15-minute hike up the steps. Continue on until you reach the summit with a small temple for worshipers. Here you can offer a time of peace and indulge in Buddhist rituals. Once you walk further down the hill, you'll reach the edge of the waterfalls.

The wind gets stronger as you reach the highest most point of the waterfalls. And touching the water in Mt. Kiyomizu is a must experience. I felt like Indiana Jones exploring a historical relic from thousands of years ago. It's like mini Angkor Wat, only that it is a waterfall, it's in Japan and it's about 10 degrees. You know what the best part was? We get to enjoy this natural wonder all to ourselves for the rest of the afternoon.

"While Mt. Tenzan is not the highest mountain in Saga-ken, nor does it afford the best views, it is strategically located right in the center. You just can’t miss it. While the mountain actually occupies parts of Taku, Kyuragi and Fuji as well, the main road to the top begins in Ogi. Follow the signs from Route 203. During the summer Tenzan offers good hiking, and during the winter people attempt to ski and snowboard here. When the winter weather gets a little too warm they make their own “snow,” so the conditions can be a little bit harsh. Adapting to the Japanese workaholic culture, the mountain offers night skiing, staying open until around 10 p.m. Apparently the weekend is the worst time to go, as it is next to impossible to make it down the slope without running into someone. Rentals are available and so are season tickets."As the fading sun begins to appear, the light rays touching the stream was just ZEN! I felt stopping for a while to take these all in with me.

Above you can see the little worship house which sits on the edge of the cliff in Kiyomizu Waterfalls. I stopped here for a bit to catch my breath, wander around and take photos. No one's there when we arrived. Imagine the feeling of finding a lost temple in the middle of the forest. It's literally right smack in the middle of nowhere. Very cinematic!

There's tons of other places to check out when you're in Saga! Check out the listing here!

Let's go Saga-Ken!

Saga Prefecture is located in northern Kyushu, faced by the Sea of Genkai to the north and by the Sea of Ariake to the south. The center of Kyushu is Fukuoka City. You can easily travel from Fukuoka’s major areas such as Fukuoka Airport, Hakata Station, and Tenjin to Karatsu in Saga Prefecture by taking the Fukuoka City Subway and JR Chikuhi Line via Meinohama Station. Fukuoka City Subway and JR Chikuhi Line operate on the same rail lines so that passengers can travel over both railway companies' areas without transferring at Meinohama Station. It takes about 90 minutes to travel from Fukuoka areas to Karatsu Station. The train ride is enjoyable and provides a magnificent and dynamic window view of the Sea of Genkai.

It didn't take me too long to discover the many facets and hidden gems of Yanagawa and Saga-Ken but i needed to go back to Fukuoka pretty badly. I've heard so many amazing reviews of the prefecture's nightlife. With a heavier load of clothing and memories, i leave Saga with a warm embrace from the family that showed what warm Japanese hospitality is all about. To Meanne, Marco and their two little boys, domo arigato!!! I feel the love! :) 

Additional text sourced from here and here


Eric said...

Japan was among of the countries in Asia that I love to visit because of their culture and fact, I sent my resume there for voluntary teaching but it so happened that the call in Poland came first. And I know traveling to Japan is so expensive kaya what I did is to apply as volunteer teacher here in Poland to travel narin partly of Europe....Couch Surfing style ba..volunteer.

@Eric that's nice! can you tell more about what you do? That's very interesting, volunteering and traveling all at the same time. i love reading your stories, very inspiring. Poland is such an off the beaten path destination and i would love to check out the country and eastern Europe. Japan is beautiful. i have only been to Asia and i consider Japan the most beautiful country i have visited. The more i remember about my trip, the more blessed i feel to be able to travel there.

Ed said...

there are beautiful scenes captured in your perspective, jerik!

but the black and white tree looked really creepy. hehe. wala bang Well jan? para Sadako effect naman. hehe

Parang gusto ko din makita yung 500 year old cedar tree, pero makapunta lang ako ng Japan someday, happy na ako :)


Wow, 500 year old tree!!! Ang dami ng pinagdaanan ng puno na yan.

@Ed first thing that came to my mind was the movie "the ring"... the deserted forest and century old trees. also, fyi... there was actually a well near the steps. pero naisip ko rin yung Blairwitch project ha ha ha katakot!

@lakwatsera de primera hope Japan recovers fast para boom na ulit ang tourism. right now, marami na talagang nagca-cancel ng trips there. actually one asked me for my opinion should he push through with the trip. i told him "Go" but use the trip to volunteer. it's such a rewarding feeling knowing you've actually visited the country and made a difference.

@Rizalenio if i had more time, i'll try to read the history of Fukuoka. it's the oldest prefecture in Japan and i'm pretty sure history is very interesting. thanks!

This Fukuoka series gives your readers a glimpse of what to see in the other cities of Japan... I say a taste of Fukuoka.

I know Japan will recover.

@Ian I love Tokyo and i will post the Tokyo series soon but i thought i needed to show what else is there to see in Japan and Fukuoka prefecture is a little unheard of for backpackers. It's truly an inspiring experience going there. I am one with the world praying for Japan's fast recovery.

Looks like Fukuoka is a awesome place worth visiting, I am so jealous! Those old statues have a mysterious appeal about them

Yup! and the best part is no other tourist in sight. I feel lucky and blessed to be able to visit the place.

This is an awesome place worth visiting, I am so jealous I want to go there too.

It's a lovely city. Fukuoka is one of the top most livable places on earth today. :)