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Chokai Waterfalls

Yamagata Prefecture

Accessible year-round, these waterfalls are a great place for a picnic during the warmer months or a spot of adventure during the snowy winter.

If you are inkling to head out into nature or simply want something exciting to do, the waterfalls on Mt. Chokai are an excellent proposition. Accessible year-round, these waterfalls are a great place for a picnic during the warmer months or a spot of adventure during the snowy winter.

The aptly named Ichi-no-taki, Ni-no-taki, and San-no-taki, are a set of waterfalls located on the southern side of the mountain that have been adored for centuries, and if you’re wondering about the names, they are literally the order in which you come across them as you head up the mountain, what better way to learn how to count in Japanese?

To get there, head north-east on route 60 out of Yuza Town, and you will soon find yourself in the deep forests of Mt. Chokai. Be careful not to get in the way of other motorists if you’re tempted to take photos of the amazing view!

Stop by at Dohara-no-taki halfway up the mountain to fill up your water bottle; there are two natural springs 100 meters apart from each other that have completely different-tasting water, and the car park for the falls is only a short drive from there.

Dohara Falls of Mt. Chokai

Quick Info



Opening Hours

Accessible year-round even during the winter. However, this area may be difficult to access after heavy snowfall in January and February.  

Average Duration

1-2 hours if you see ichi-no-taki and ni-no-taki. 
3-4 hours if you also want to see san-no-taki.


These are the coordinates of the parking lot and trailhead.  
39.054624, 139.990254

Other tips

  • A taxi or rental car is needed to reach here. See available rental car options here.
  • A parking lot is available with bathrooms.
  • We recommend bringing a bear bell if you plan on hiking alone.

The Hike

The trailhead of the Mt. Chokai Waterfall Hike

From the car park, there are two main walking routes you can take; the unsealed road heading up or the path on the steps through the shrine gates heading down. We recommend going through the shrine gate as the other route can be unnecessarily hard to climb.

Roughly five minutes from the shrine gates, Ichi-no-taki waterfall is very easy to reach and is a great destination for those who are short on time or have trouble walking long distances. Follow the path down through the gates where you will come across the shrine for Ichi-no-taki waterfall.

Once you pay your respects, it is a short walk to the stairway for the viewing platform that offers an excellent view of the waterfall!

Although this waterfall is smaller than the others, the flow sure is powerful, and the cave beneath the falls actually goes quite deep.

Ichinotaki Falls

Continue up the path for a further 15 to 20 minutes and you will come across the awe-inspiring 20m tall Ni-no-taki waterfall.

If you are feeling a little adventurous, climb down onto the rocks and have a taste of the extremely fresh water. The water on the southern side of the mountain is safe to drink, however, be aware that on the northern side the water is unsafe due to its high acid content.
The red bridge offers excellent views, and there is also another viewing area off the path to the right of the falls, so make sure to check that one out too.
Follow the path past the waterfall and up further into the mountain, after about another 15 to 20 minutes you will come across San-no-taki, another picturesque waterfall that is well worth the hike up.

Sannotaki Falls

Experience Chokai Waterfalls in Winter

Although by far the easiest time of year to reach the waterfalls is summer or autumn, it is also possible to reach them in the winter, however, the roads leading up to the parking lot are covered by meters of snow and a route through the forest must be taken instead. This is a hike that easily takes over two hours each way and we highly recommend an experienced guide who can guide you to the falls and definitely bring snow shoes.

Also, note that the hiking trail is marked by red arrows and ribbons. Keep an eye out for them if you are ever in doubt.

Generally, though, the trail is well maintained and you need not worry about getting lost.
This waterfall freezes solid in the winter and makes for an incredible sight to see.

The Frozen Falls in Winter

What's Included

An experienced guide who can guide you to the falls.
Snow shoes.


Inquire with booking form below

Experience Availability

Winter. Availability varies due to weather conditions. 

Average Duration

2 hours +

Meeting Location

These are the coordinates of the parking lot and trailhead.  
39.054624, 139.990254

Important notes

Experience availability may vary. Reserve to confirm availability.
Please notify us at least 3 days before if you must cancel or modify your reservation.

Reserve your Winter Chokai Waterfall Hike today!

You can send a booking inquiry for your experience below. After we receive your inquiry, we will confirm the booking with our partners and send you a booking confirmation email at least 3 days before your desired date.
Please note this form does not confirm the availability of an experience or reserves an experience straightaway.

Cancelation policy

Our general cancelation policy for our experiences is below. Cancelation fees may vary according to exceptional circumstances.

3 days before


2 days before

30% of experience cost

Day before

50% of experience cost

Day of

100% of experience cost