2016.3.21
Art Tokushima

Ogama Falls: A Giant Serpent Lives in the Waterfall Basin?!

Did you know that Tokushima prefecture has numerous beautiful waterfalls? Located deep in a secluded mountain area far from any urban communities, this time we’d like to introduce Ogama Falls.

Flowing through Kamagatani Gorge, which is located right in the center of Tokushima prefecture, the area along Kamagatani River, a branch river of Naka River that originates at Mt. Kumoso (1496m), is known for its autumn foliage.

National highway No.193 runs along the Kamagatani River. It is quite narrow as it passes through Shikoku’s mountainous region, so narrow in fact that the stretch of road near Kamagatani Gorge has lost its national highway status. However, this creates an ambience fitting the description of “a secluded area” perfectly!

Ogama Falls is located slightly downstream in the gorge! Offering a great view of the falls right before yours eyes, an observation area has been set up along the highway.

Though the road is particularly narrow just here, an evacuation area with room for several vehicles has been created near the waterfall.

If you take the stairs down (on the right in the photo), you can see the Falls close up. 

This is Ogama Falls as seen from the observation area! True to its name (‘Ogama’ = ’large iron pot’), the bedrock is shaped like a large pot around the waterfall, and the water drops down with a roar.

With a height of only about 20 meters, the waterfall is not so big, but the amount of water flowing down has quite the impact, so much so that it has been selected among the top 100 waterfalls in Japan. 

Due to the violent current, the depth of the waterfall basin is around 15 meters, and according to legend, a giant serpent lives there. Whether the legend is true or not, this majestic waterfall allows visitors to feel the sacredness of nature! 

When I visited, the autumn foliage season had almost finished, but at its peak, it’s the most beautiful viewing spot along the gorge. 

During the winter season, you can also see silver frost after very cold nights! Creating a dream-like scene, when the waterfall freezes a mist rises and also freezes on nearby  trees.

Downstream, you can also see Otodoro Falls. Though it’s smaller than Ogama Falls, water drops down in three stages creating a delicately beautiful tiered waterfall.

Surrounding the waterfall almost like folding fans, on both banks of Ogama Falls are rock cliffs with a height of around 100 meters. Their scale just overwhelms you!

(*During the winter season the road may be closed for long periods due to heavy snow, rain or other hazards.)

  

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Ogama Falls

Location: Sawadani, Naka, Naka district, Tokushima prefecture
Parking: None (spaces for several vehicles are available along the highway)
http://www.town.tokushima-naka.lg.jp/docs/2011041400061/ (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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