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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"The Taa Falls"

The Taa Waterfall


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The Taa Waterfall

     GPS
     LatitudeLongitude
     N 26 38.048E 128 05.682





The Taa Falls


This is Taa-taki or the Taa Falls of Ogimi Village. It sits about 1.5 km south from its sister waterfall, Azaka. And unlike the cascading Azaka Falls, this waterfall drops straight roughly 50 meters below. To get an idea of the scope and size, click on this photograph with two people standing next to it. The Taa Falls is unique among the many known waterfalls here on Okinawa in one aspect; there are no man-made trails to get to it. You have to hike along (and sometimes) in the river to get there. With the exception of a few guide ropes along the way, you are on nature's terms. The walk is not that bad, only about 20-30 minutes depending on your pace. However, the walk does require some balance and coordination skills because of the sometimes awkward rock formations you must negotiate over. This venture is not recommended for very young children, but use good judgment as you see fit.

Once you get there you have no choice to embrace the beauty. Sit and relax with the family. On a hot summer day this place is ideal to cool off.

Getting to the top. PLEASE READ. There is a path that takes you to the top. It is to the left as you are facing the waterfall. There is makeshift rope to aid in you climbing up the slope. Once you get on top of the initial slope, there are two more trials that split but both get you to the outlet of the waterfall. One trail continues straight and down while the other to the right and up. RECOMMENDATION. I highly recommend you do not take the one that goes to the right. Although it seems closer to the outlet, it can be quite a task. There are many roots to trip on and can be very slippery, and in most cases, you are required by the assistance of a makeshift rope along the way. This route can be very painful on your hands as you balance your weight while holding the rope. I recommend taking the other route. You will only have to travel about 50 meters till you meet the river stream. Once you get on the stream, take a right and walk along the stream till you get to the outlet.

Advisement. PLEASE READ. Again, this hike is not recommended for very young children with low coordination skills. Use sound judgment. You will get wet. On a normal day of good weather, at most you can get wet up to your knees. Recommend having an extra pair of shoes and/or socks and a towel in the car. It is also recommended that you do not wear any soft sole shoes. If you do, you will feel every rock along the way as if you were walking barefoot. Tennis shoes should be find. Have shoes with good traction. If you already have some kind of hiking gloves, bring those as well so as to help you with grip and protection. During colder months, the gloves will also keep your hands warm. Recommend also bringing a small backpack to stuff food or other items like small towels or extra pair of clothing. You can take a short swim at this waterfall.

Directions. The route is almost identical on how you get to the Azaka Falls. If you drive north on Highway 58 just as you pass into Ogimi Village you will approach the Henan Bridge (there is no sign marker of the Henan Bridge in English characters on the southern side). But look for the bridge that has two Okinawan traditional flower hats known as 'hanagasa' on each side. You can either take the turn-off immediately before the bridge or immediately after the bridge. Continue along the road. About 1 km you will run into a 'Y' Fork in the road. Continue on the road to the right. At some point will see a very visible parking area next to the stream. You can park here. If you are facing the stream from the parking area. You hike to the left going up stream. There may be a sign hanging on the tree limb pointing you in the right direction.

Other Places of Interest Nearby: Azaka Falls.

Other Waterfalls of Okinawa (沖 縄 滝). Azaka Falls, Fukugawa Falls, Hira Falls, Meoto Falls, Ogimi Waterfall, Todoroki Waterfall, Nameless Waterfall (Fukugawa II), Kijoka Falls, Nameless Waterfall (Kunigami).