One of the bigger falls was Hottai no taki. Located in the eastern foothills of Mt Chokai it is a great place to camp. There is a beautiful gorge stretching from the end of the bridge pictured above for around 45 minutes along the river above Hottai Falls. When we visited a fairly large tree had crashed down across the track meaning we turned back after only 15-20 minutes, but the best photo opportunities were in the vicinity of the waterfall itself anyway.
One of the characteristics of waterfalls in Japan that makes them so enjoyable to photograph is the bright green leaves of the Japanese forest. Australian eucalypts and rainforests, particularly in Tasmania have very dark green leaves whereas in Japan where most trees are deciduous, the leaves range from brilliant oranges and reds in autumn to a very bright green in spring. We visited in late spring so the leaves still had that lingering bright freshness to them, especially in the vicinity of Motodaki.
Motodaki is located in Nikaho, southern Akita prefecture. This waterfall is apparantly part of a subterranean river which bubbles to the surface in this location. For our entire stay in the area, this is where we encountered the most people – and all of them were armed with a camera and tripod. Obviously a popular waterfall for photography in Japan!
The final waterfall we visited was a series of cascades surrounding a shrine and a number of mossy stone carvings – another unique aspect of photographing waterfalls in Japan that you wouldn’t get back in Tasmania! There was a light mist above the water and I thought for a minute it might be a hot spring creek – it wasn’t.
This will be my last post from the Mt Chokai area. We had a great few days in the region but alas thoughts are now turning to home as we return to Tasmania next week. July is basically the coldest time of year at home so it will be a bit of a shock returning from 30 degrees every day to single figure maximums, snow and wind. Hopefully I can catch a repeat performance of the Aurora Australis when I return – apparently there was a great display last weekend.
Thanks for reading everybody!