This is the second in a two-part entry about the Sevenfold Waterfalls (Nanae Falls) in Dobaru, Kokura-minami. Today is the grand finale, with photos of the tallest waterfall of the bunch. You also get to see a picture of me. If you haven’t read it, you might want to have a look at yesterday’s post, where I talk about most of the stages of these waterfalls, as well as the challenges of the trail.
This navigation section doesn’t seem to want to stop growing. This is yet another in a long series of posts about bicycle trip I took on April 30th. If you haven’t yet read the earlier posts, you can find them here: Introduction, Part 1: Snakes, Part 2: Not A Temple, Part 3: Frogs, Part 4: Farming Grannies, Part 5: Reservoir Mobs, Part 6: Dammed Rivers, and Part 7: Sevenfold Waterfalls 1.
Since you’ve probably read the background info, I’ll skip the boring exposition and go straight to the photos. These are the final falls, which were marked in Japanese as “Big Falls” (大滝, ohdaki). They’re about fourteen metres tall.
This is a close-up view.
Here’s one from the side, with me doing my impression of a beginner
Iyengar-style yoga student doing his best tadasana—mountain pose—for inspection by the drill sergeant adjustment by the teacher. I was trying to stand still for the longish exposure, and had to keep my balance on some uneven rocks. It looks like I was cut out of a photo of a cycling commando unit standing at attention, and then pasted into the picture digitally, but I really was there. To pre-empt the inevitable questions, no, that isn’t dirt on my chin. I have a goatee again. And under my unfashionable green hat is about an inch of hair, which is about how long I’ve been keeping it lately.
This photo was taken from above the falls, on the trail that continues into the mountains. The rocks that are visible in the gap between the trees are approximately where I was standing in the picture above.
Beyond the big falls are a couple of hiking trails that lead further into the mountains. This is the next clear area above the final stage of the falls. The landscape levels off a bit, and there’s a simple wooden bridge and a large clearing. Just past the bridge there was a fork in the trail but since
I was tired and sore, had run out of munchies, and was dreading the 25km trip home on my bike I’d seen as much as I wanted to for the day, I didn’t explore further.
On my way back down to my bike I encountered a couple of groups of hikers on their way up. Judging from their big packs and camping gear, I think they were planning to stay a couple of nights. I didn’t take any pictures of them—I was too busy replying to their apologies for being rude as I let them climb past me—but I did take this photo of the path. Yes, that is a path at the bottom centre of the picture, weaving its way between the trees. And the trees are growing almost vertically. Most of the trail was like this, though as I showed yestereday there were areas that were more extreme.
A final note about the trail. Because of the mild winter here—mild that is, compared to Canada (see my rant about inadequate insulation)—many trees don’t lose their leaves in the fall. Instead, their old foliage gets pushed off by new growth in the spring. As a result, you can see a thin layer of leaves covering the ground, which made the path even more treacherous. The net result of the slippery leaves on a steep, sometimes muddy sometimes rocky track through the bushes was that the next day my legs were extremely stiff. Especially my achilles and lower quadriceps. Still, it was worth it. And at least there was a trail, unlike my climb to take pictures of the Kirifuri Falls in Nikko last year.
[The next post in this series is Rural Kitakyushu: Nishi Ono Hachiman Shrine, Part 1]