The best short hike in Kansai

Planning a day trip from Osaka? How about a short hike?

Now that cherry blossom season is almost over, it’s officially the hiking season! Today I will introduce one of the most beautiful hiking spots in Japan.

Akame 48 Waterfalls (Akame Shijuhachi Taki) are located in Nabari City, home to ninja. Wait, isn’t Iga or Koga the place that is famous for ninja? Yes, and Nabari is a part of the Iga district. Actually, Akame 48 Waterfalls is where the ninja trained in ancient times.

About 1-hour train ride from Osaka-Uehonmachi, one of the major stations of Kintetsu Railway, takes you to the nearest train station, Akameguchi. From there, you take a bus to the destination (a 10-minute bus ride). In front of the bus stop, there are some rest houses and souvenir shops, where you can eat in or buy lunchboxes to eat during the hiking.

Akametaki Bus Stop
One of the rest house owners speaks English

 

A few minute walk from the shop area, you finally get to the trailhead, which is Japan Salamander Center. Pay the entrance fee at the booth, say hi to cute salamanders before you head off.

Trailhead and Japan Salamander Center. Entrance fee is 500 yen per adult, 250 yen per child (age 6-12).

 

 

Akame 48 Waterfalls is a 4km long hiking trail which consists of approximately 50 falls (there are actually more than 48 if you count small ones!) . As you walk along, you will encounter large and small different waterfalls. Each one of them has its own name that describes its feature.

 

The overall course can be roughly divided into two parts. The first half is mild and moderate, which almost everyone can enjoy. Although the last half is relatively hard with lots of steps and narrow paths, it’s really fun! If you are prepared for those conditions, I strongly recommend taking the whole trail. It takes about 1.5 hours to get to the last waterfall, plus 1 hour to get back. It should take you more If you are thinking about resting and relaxing.

Bilingual maps to check restrooms, SOS phone booth locations and where you are right now.

 

 

In case you get hungry, don’t worry, there is a food stand that offers Oden and drinks. At the table, you can eat your own lunch you brought as well as the food you bought at the stand. After you eat, you might want to go to the bathroom. There are two restrooms along the trail, so plan and be prepared.

Lady at the oden stand. She is so friendly.
Oden stand and rest area

 

Depending on how much time you can spare for hiking, decide how far you want to go. But remember, I recommend that you see the five main falls if you have time. Happy Hiking!

Me and my friend, Leeia in front of Ninai Falls, which is my most favorite waterfall among the "48".
Mini info:

For those who are interested in a stamp rally to win a prize (if you’re not familiar with it, this article explains very well), make sure you take one of the stamp sheets. After you get the first stamp on your sheet at the entrance, try to find other stamp checkpoints as you walk along the paths. And don’t forget to submit the sheet at one of the souvenir shops near the trailhead.

There are hotels, inns, and a campsite near Akame 48 Waterfalls. If you prefer a longer stay, contact us.

Suggested Itinerary from Osaka
9:11 AM Osaka-Uehonmachi Station to Akameguchi StationKintetsu Railway
10:16 AMArrive at Akameguchi Station
10:25 AMAkameguchi to Akametaki (the falls trailhead)Mie Kotsu Bus
10:35 AMArrive at Akametaki bus stop.
Buy lunch at a souvenir shop and walk to the trailhead
10:45 AMArrive at trailhead (Japan Salamander Center).
Meet salamanders
11:00 AMStart hiking - includes lunch break and rest periods
1:00 PM - 1:45 PMArrive at the last falls, eat lunch at Gankutsu Square
1:45 PMStart hiking back
2:45 PMArrive back at the trailhead, visit souvenir shops and take a break
3:15 PMLeave for Akameguchi StationMie Kotsu Bus
3:25 PMArrive at Akameguchi Station
3:43 PMAkameguchi station to Osaka-Uehonmachi stationKintetsu Railway
4:48 PMArrive at Osaka-Uehonmachi Station

This itinerary is based on weekday timetables during the spring-fall time.
The transportation timetable may be updated.

Learn more about Akame 48 Waterfalls on our site.