The Akagawa Falls are located just out of the hot spring town of Iizaka Onsen in northern Fukushima. After following a very narrow and windy road, we found the small shrine from which a short trail leads down to the waterfall.
As with many waterfalls, it is not just the falls themselves but the location that makes for great photos. In the case of Akagawa Falls, there are some lovely cascades just downstream of the falls which added a great deal to the photos, especially given that water levels seemed to be quite low.
In addition, the river passes through some lovely cool and green forest which is always a joy to visit and photograph.
A unique factor when shooting in Japan is the quite unsettling fact that forests like this are home to Japanese black bears! While in Tasmania, visiting nature is often about the quiet and solitude, in areas where bears can be encountered it is advisable to make a lot of noise either by talking loudly, singing, listening to music and/or carrying a bear-bell. I sent a lot of time in between shots looking nervously over my shoulder…
Due to the low water levels it was quite easy to wade into the river and grab some shots of the cascades, the rocks and the water flow. It was also quite a nice little escape from the summer temperatures!
I can imagine things could be quite different here after significant rain, and given that northern Japan is just about to enter into the rainy season, I might just have the chance to see for myself!