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Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Kijoka Falls – Ogimi Village"

Kijoka Falls (Nana-taki - foreground)


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Kijoka and Nana Taki

     GPS
     LatitudeLongitude
     N 26 42.125E 128 08.937





Kijoka Falls – Ogimi Village


Often referred to as just Kijoka-taki, this waterfall in the Kijoka district of Ogimi Village is broken up into two parts. The Kijoka residents call the smaller of the two waterfalls, Nana-Taki (foreground waterfall), and the much bigger of the two, Kijoka (background waterfall). Together, they make one beautiful couple and a wonderful scene. The location of Kijoka mimics that of its sister waterfall to the south, Todoroki of Nago City. Both are tucked away nice and neatly at the corner's edge of their respective towns, and both are relatively a short walking distance from the parking area.

Kijoka's beauty also rivals that of its sister, Fukugawa, also in Nago City. But Kijoka is unique in one respect. There is a Torii Gate at the entrance about 50 meters to its front, and to the right is an utaki (place of worship) for the local residents. The Kijoka Falls is a very peaceful place, and one of many waterfalls you should see during your stay here on Okinawa.

Author's note. Because Kijoka (and Nana) reside very close to a sacred area, one must conduct him or herself accordingly. Loud noise and 'energetic' behavior i.e. swimming, climbing around, shouting etc., that you could normally do at other waterfalls is probably not a great idea here. Initially, it is best to have the same mindset as if you were going into a temple, but one has to gauge the atmosphere to get a feel what is acceptable or not. As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

Ceremonies. It is understood by the local community that visitors come here to see the Kijoka Falls, but if in the event there is some kind of worship or prayer ceremony in progress, you may want to consider coming back at another time — unless the local residents say it is okay to stay. Taking photos of any kind during prayer ceremonies is highly advised against unless given 'expressed' permission by the people involved. It perhaps... is best not even to ask, just better to come back at another time. This kind of visible restraint sometimes goes a long way in showing and winning respect.

Directions. Kijoka Falls is approximately 4km to the south of the Okuma Recreational Facility and near Highway 58. If driving north, you will notice a 'Y' fork off the 58. This is where your route starts. See blue route above. As soon as you turn right at the 'Y' fork, turn on the first right. If you go pass the 3-Story building with a large 'Family Mart' billboard on top (picture of this landmark is not available at the moment), then you have gone too far. After the right turn continue straight. The road will be tight. Look for a greyish building as a cue for the next turn-off. At this landmark, you will make a right. The road will narrow and you will see a small parking area to the right. If you go any further you will see the Torii Gate. Do not park in this area. It is too narrow.

Other waterfalls of Okinawa (沖 縄 滝)
Azaka Falls (Ogimi Village), Fukugawa Falls (Nago City), Meoto Falls (Higashi Village), Ogimi Waterfall (Ogimi Village), Taa Waterfall (Ogimi Village), Todoroki Waterfall (Nago City), River Trekking to a Nameless Waterfall (Nago City). (Aha and Hiji Falls not listed at the moment).