Yuzawa is surrounded by mountains and is a popular destination with hikers looking to get out into nature, but you don’t have to go far to find some yourself in an area of outstanding natural beauty. A short (uphill) stroll off the main street on the west side of the station is Takinozawa Park with two towering waterfalls.
You don’t need to be fit or adventurous to enjoy this short hike up to the main Fudo Waterfall. The track is paved almost all the way up. You start off in the main street and then take a little path up the side of a small stream. This has been landscaped and is quite picturesque in its own way. It runs alongside the Nunoba Family Ski Slope and you can see the Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway cruising along high above you. This path pops out at the main Takinozawa Park area with some restrooms and a little bridge over the river. Further up there is a large concrete wall with the first waterfall of the hike - man-made but pretty nonetheless, though no match for the two natural ones to come.
From this point the uphill section of the hike begins and the path starts to snake into the bush as it follows the little valley deeper into the mountains. Although you are walking a concrete path, there is greenery all around and you do feel surrounded by nature. After this short hill climb you come to a fork in the path. The dirt track to your right takes you to the first, slightly smaller waterfall and the stairs up take you to the main one. What we noticed straight away as we headed to the smaller waterfall was how cool it was. The sound of crashing water, the spray and the breeze kicked up by the torrent, as well as the shade from the trees, offered a really refreshing break from the heat. To get a closer look at the waterfall you have to wade through an ankle deep stream and it is surprising how chilly the water feels.
A further five minute hike takes you up to the main waterfall. There is a sacred spring just before you arrive so gulp down a cup of icy cold, delicious water to slake your thirst. Cross a bridge and up a few more rough hewn steps and you are at the base of the Fudo Falls. It is an impressive sight and well worth the stairs and uphill walk to get there.
Follow the recommended course back down and you find yourself at a foot onsen on the main street again to soak your weary feet.