2016.6.21
Tokushima

Forest-Bathe while Touring the ‘Waterfall Gallery’! Todoroki Falls (Todoroki Hontaki Waterfall) & Todoroki Shrine.

Did you know that there are many lively yet elegant waterfalls in Tokushima prefecture? This time I will be introducing Todoroki Falls, which have been selected among Japan’s top 100.


The Falls are located in the southern part of the prefecture, upstream along Kaifu River. Often referred to as the Todoroki 99 Waterfalls, the area around Todoroki Shrine is dotted by several.


Today, in Part 1 of the series, I will be taking at look Todoroki Shrine and the main waterfall of the group, Todoroki Hontaki.

This is the entrance leading to Todoroki Falls. I walk up the stairs to first pay a visit to Todoroki Shrine. Although the stairs are steep, the enormous Japanese cedar trees growing in rows on both sides of the path give the surroundings a sacred ambience. 

I finish the climb, and reach the main shrine building. After saying a prayer, I head on down towards the waterfalls! (By the way, if you’d prefer to skip visiting the shrine, midway up there’s another path that leads directly to the waterfalls.)

After walking all the way down, I see a vermilion red torii gate and a sacred tree. The area is filled with the roaring sound of the waterfall. Suddenly, a ray of light beams down from the clouds, and miraculously I see this divine sight!

As I turn to look at the waterfall, I see a double rainbow over Todoroki Falls (Todoroki Hontaki)! As the waters had risen due to heavy rain on the previous day, there was a tremendous amount of mist rising from the waters, and these beautiful rainbows appeared as the sunlight shone on the mist!


The scene was so beautiful, I was lost for words… 

Nearby the waterfall’s plunge basin there is a stone monument with “Todoroki Shrine Enshrined Aratama” written in Japanese characters (‘Aratama’ refers to the wild spirit of the deity’). Actually, this waterfall is the object of worship at Todoroki Shrine!

As the rocks push out in front of Todoroki Hontaki, when the waters rise you can’t see the waterfall in its entirety. However, when water levels are normal, you can reach the end of the plunge basin, and have a good look at the whole waterfall.


At 58 meters, Todoroki Hontaki is the highest waterfall in Tokushima prefecture.

Right in the middle of the waterfall’s mouth an enormous stone splits the stream in two, and as there are cliffs on both sides, true to the name of the waterfall, its roaring sound (‘Todoroki’ = ‘roar’) echoes loudly throughout the surroundings. 


Most people who visit Todoroki Falls usually leave after visiting Todoroki Shrine and this, the main waterfall. However, as I mentioned earlier, upstream there are numerous waterfalls of varying sizes. Indeed, the whole mountain is almost like a waterfall gallery.


In the Part 2, I will be introducing the rest of the Todoroki 99 Waterfalls.

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Todoroki Falls (Todoroki 99 Waterfalls)

Location: Hirai, Kaiyo-cho, Kaifu district, Tokushima prefecture
Parking: Available (Toll-free)

http://www.kaiyo-kankou.jp/index.php/play2t/todoroki (Japanese) 


Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka

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Hironobu Matsuoka

Hironobu Matsuoka

Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.

http://www.healing-japan.tv/

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