I’ve wanted to do this post for quite a while but at the same time, this is a post I’ve long wanted to keep under wraps. Why? Well, for both cases stated above, it’s because this is one of my favorite undiscovered places in Japan. I’d love for it to remain relatively “unvisited” but I also feel I have to share. This is one of those places that, if you take the time to get there, can be a very magical experience indeed.
Kawazu Nanadaru is a little village located in the center of the Izu Peninsula, a spit of land that juts into the sea about two hours south of Tokyo. This is a popular weekend getaway for city dwellers, although you’ll find that most of them stick to the coast and the well-trod towns of Atami and Ito. It’s a bit harder to head inland without your own set of wheels but the rewards are more than worth the trouble.
The Nanadaru part of Kawazu’s name stands for “seven waterfalls”. These waterfalls, from several massive shoots that plunge downward from a considerable height to a few more minor but still impressive cascades, form one of the most scenic corners of the Izu Peninsula. An easy-to-moderate hiking trail, just reopened after some extensive renovation, leads visitors from the largest falls at the base of town to the first set of cascades a good 45 minutes up the trail. Along the way, hikers will encounter statues from a famous novel that took place nearby, The Izu Dancer by Nobel-prize winner Kawabata Yasunari.
The hike along this incredibly scenic trail might be enough for some visitors, but if you really want to spoil yourself, couple it with a soak in an outdoor onsen (where bathing suits are actually required during the day) that’s located within a stone’s throw of the base of the largest waterfall. Managed by the Amagisou Ryokan (also a lovely place to spend the night), a small fee can gain anyone access to the series of pools where you are free to soak away your troubles in a rather majestic setting.
Want to arrange a trip to this oasis? Contact me for a personalized itinerary.