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Monday, February 13, 2012

"Meoto Falls (Tachigawa Waterfall)"

Meoto Falls

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Meoto Falls

     N 26 37.851E 128 12.866

Meoto Falls (Tachigawa Waterfall)

In Higashi Village there is a waterfall that is referred to by the locals as the 'Married Couple's Waterfall'. It is Meoto-Taki (or Tachigawa Falls), which flows from the Tachigawa River. The Japanese word 'meoto' in English gives reference to a 'married couple'. The main highway goes right over it, and you wouldn't know it if you were going on a Sunday drive. The Meoto-Taki is unique in that it has two separate waterfalls in close proximity, each having its own pool of water. And being that there are two, this may be the reason for the metaphorical description.

The Meoto-Taki is unique in another sense, in that part of it (or maybe all of it) sits on private property. At least the main entrance to the waterfall is on private property. There is a cafe and a pension on the same grounds. The gentleman who owns the land welcomes visitors. On his own time he does custom wood work for inquiring customers. He doesn't speak much English, but that shouldn't stop you from meeting a new friend and practicing some Japanese. He understands that people come here to view the waterfall. He is a very friendly gentleman.

Hours. Because the entrance way and part of the waterfall sits on private property, there are set hours where you can visit. Hours are from 11am to 7pm. Closed on Wednesdays. Cafe: 098-043-2186.

How to go about visiting. Because the waterfall entrance does sit on private property, it does provide an odd situation for many, and maybe a little uneasiness about walking directly into someone's yard visiting a waterfall. Just to make you feel at ease, recommend you go ahead and ask one of the staff if it is okay to see the waterfall. They know that people come here to see without asking, but it doesn't hurt to ask and it shows good manners and a sign of respect.

Cafe. The cafe menu is currently in Japanese, but they do have cheese-cake, tea, and coffee. There is a terrace with a nice view of the ocean and a chance where you can relax as you absorb the fresh air. It is not a bad place to enjoy your cup of tea.

Going for a swim. The pools of water are deep enough where you can take a short swim on a hot day. Keep in mind, that other families come here and visit. Though they did say it was okay to swim, I would just ask beforehand as a sign of politeness. Otherwise, it might be equivalent to going into your neighbor's swimming pool without first asking permission.

Directions. Look for a sign with a coffee cup on it along Highway 70. Behind the sign is the parking lot for the cafe. On the opposite side, you will see a two story building and an entrance. This is where you go in. You will see a walkway that takes you down the waterfall. Just remember there are two. To get to the first one, you will see a wooden walk-way that takes you down to the first level. If you skip the wooden walk-way and continue on the pavement, you will go further down to the second waterfall.

Another View Point. If you were to go 100 meters pass the cafe along the main highway you will see a visitor's stopping area. To the right of that is a road that takes you to another viewing area of the ocean. You can walk down to the beach but the steps are very uneven and may have overgrowth along the way. Use caution if you decide to go down. It is a nice view of the ocean down below however. Note: You are not allowed to take anything from the beach or its waters at this location, this includes lobster or clams. You can scuba dive but cannot take anything from the ocean. Spear guns of any kind are not allowed. There will be a fine if caught. Fishing with a fishing pole is okay. 

Other Waterfalls of Okinawa (沖 縄 滝).
Azaka Falls, Fukugawa Falls, Hira Falls, Ogimi Waterfall, Taa Waterfall, Todoroki Waterfall, River Trekking to a Nameless Waterfall (Fukugawa II), Kijoka Falls, Nameless Waterfall (Kunigami).

Other Places of Interest Nearby. The Higashi Museum, The Sakishima Sappanwood Tree, The Azalea Festival (March Only).

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