There are over 500 named waterfalls in Japan, and of those, 100 have been compiled on a list by the Ministry of the Environment as the best in the country. Tokyo has one sole entrant in that Top 100 list – Hossawa Falls, located in the Okutama region of the prefecture.
The falls have a drop of 62 meters, and a great incentive to visit them during different times of year is the incredible surrounding scenery as the seasons change. During spring and summer everything is lush and green, in autumn there is a bounty of stunning fall foliage to enjoy, and during the winter months it's not uncommon for the falls to freeze over as the mercury plummets. A winter festival takes place at the falls from December through January, and one of the highlights is a competition to guess exactly when the falls will freeze during the season. Prizes are awarded for those who guess correctly, so be sure to try your luck if you visit!
For those who work up an appetite after their hike to the falls, there are several restaurants and cafes located near the parking lot. Hinohara Tofu Chitoseya is one of them, and they serve up delicious tofu donuts, soft serve ice cream, and more.
Looking for more to see and do in the Okutama region? Explore sights and attractions in the area here.