Kanagawa’s Hidden Gem: Yuhi Waterfall | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
Yuhi Waterfall

Kanagawa’s Hidden Gem: Yuhi Waterfall

By Jessica Pender Aug 25, 2023

Looking for a day trip outside of Tokyo? You should visit Yuhi Waterfall, the bath of the legendary super-powered boy Kintaro!

Japan’s Most Unique Waterfall

At the beginning of August, I took a trip to Kanagawa to visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Japan, Yuhi Waterfall! It was a perfect way to get a break from Tokyo and cool down in the summer heat. Yuhi Waterfall is surrounded by forest scenery and is supposedly the bathing site of the legendary Kintaro.

Who Is Kintaro?


Photo credits: J. Pender

Kintaro is a Japanese folk legend about a boy with superhuman powers who was raised by a mountain witch. In the legend, he became close friends with the creatures of Mount Ashigara before being recruited by the samurai Minamoto no Yorimitsu. He is said to have wrestled a bear and won! Nowadays, symbols of Kintaro riding a bear are used to symbolize strong, healthy children. Throughout the nearby town of Oyama, you can find depictions of him and his bear everywhere!

Where and What is the Yuhi Waterfall?

Yuhi Waterfall

Photo credits: J. Pender

The Yuhi falls (夕日の滝) are said to have been the spot where Kintaro had his first bath! Nowadays, it is a popular cultural and camping destination. The name means “sunset falls” due to the way the light reflects there during sunset. In January, the sun aligns perfectly with the center of the waterfall. 

From Tokyo, you can either drive or take public transportation out to Kanagawa. It takes around 2 hours by car to get there, so if you plan to eat lunch, I suggest you leave early! If you are traveling by car, there is a parking lot located at the base of the camping site. From there, it is roughly a ten-minute walk to the base of the waterfall. On the way, you’ll pass beautiful streams and a BBQ area.

What to Do and What to Bring

What to bring to Yuhi falls for you and your dog

Photo credits: J. Pender

Since there is a dedicated camping site nearby, there are plenty of hiking trails and BBQ stations! It is the perfect place for a picnic. 

I brought my dog with me as he loves hiking! There were plenty of other dogs in the area, from labradors to shibas! Make sure to bring plenty of food and water for your fluffy friend. In addition, remember to clean up after your pet.

If you’re planning to take a day trip from Tokyo out to the waterfall, here is what I recommend you bring:

For People:

  • Water shoes (the base of the waterfall is covered in mossy, slippy rocks!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Food & drink
  • Towel
  • Waterproof camera

For Dogs:

  • Water & water bowl
  • Snacks
  • Waste bags/containers
  • Cushion/mat 
  • Harness/swim jacket

At the falls, you can set up in the forest or climb down next to the water. We only had a backpack or two, so we were able to find a perfect spot in the corner. 

To go under the water like Kintaro, you have two choices: either swim across or climb over the rocks! Either way is (slightly) treacherous- either you bang your knees off the rocks or slip on the moss! It’s a beautiful location, but be careful, otherwise, you’ll leave with scrapes and bruises for souvenirs. 

Afterwards, you can dry off in the sun and enjoy the beautiful nature walk back to your transportation. 

Visit Kintaro’s Waterfall!

A trip to Kanagawa is perfect in the hot summer season! I definitely recommend this spot as a hidden gem in Japan- pictures don’t do it justice! Not only can you hike in beautiful Japanese scenery, you can also cool off just like Kintaro by taking a dip in the Yuhi waterfall. 

Related articles:

Top 5 Places Near Tokyo to Cool off This Summer

Featured image credits: J. Pender