[Hagoromo Falls in Higashikawa] Highest Legendary Waterfall in Hokkaido
August 6th, 2019
Hagoromo Falls (羽衣の滝) is a famous waterfall in Higashikawa town located in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city, and has been chosen as one of "100 Selections of Japanese Waterfalls". The waterfall 270 m high, and it is the highest waterfall in Hokkaido. The water drops while it is divided into 7 parts. The falls used to be named "A couple falls (夫婦滝)", but it has been renamed as "Hagoromo Falls" by Mr. Keigetsu Omachi (大町桂月), a famous Waka poet, since 1918. Maybe a look of the foaming waterfall reminded him of a robe of a heavenly maiden, so I guess that a swan maiden was born. In Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園), Tenninkyo Onsen (天人峡温泉) is an entrance of the falls. The onsen is called a back room of Asahikawa (旭川の奥座敷). It is said that secret onsen is easily accessible by a road in the mountain. By the way, a road to the onsen sometimes is closed by disaster. The onsen has 2 onsen ryokan, Tenninkaku (天人閣) and Oyado Shikishima-so (お宿敷 島荘), and Footbath "Tennyo-no-Ashiyu" (天女の足湯) is built beside a public parking lot. Hiking can be enjoyed in a summer, and fall foliage can be enjoyed in an autumn. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge.
The Tenninkyo has the swan maiden. When a young man called "Yumihirto (弓人)" from Higashikawa (東川) walked along Chibetsu River, he met a crying heavenly maiden (天女) by chance. He asked her reasons, and she replied "My robe that can fly in the air freely was stolen by bandits, and can not go back to the heaven". He felt pity for her, and he succeeded in taking it back, and gave it back to her. The heavenly maiden performed dancing to thank, and behold! A waterfall with little water turned into a big waterfall like her robe, and she peacefully went home. I guess that the legend was born to support the Hagoromo Falls renamed by the Keigetsu Omachi in the early 1900s because the name of the Higashikawa originated from Higashi-asahikawa (東旭川) appeared about in 1900. The Tenninkyo has a lot of strangely shaped rocks, so an atmosphere makes a legend.
Tenninkyo Onsen (天人峡温泉) is a hot-spring place in Higashikawa town located in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city. In Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園), the Tenninkyo Onsen as well as Sounkyo is surrounded by columnar joints, and fall foliage can be enjoyed in an autumn, and is called a back room of Asahikawa (旭川の奥座敷). It is said that secret onsen is easily accessible by a road in the mountain. By the way, the road sometimes is closed by disaster. There are 2 onsen ryokan, Tenninkaku (天人閣) and Oyado Shikishima-so (お宿敷 島荘). Footbath "Tennyo-no-Ashiyu" (天女の足湯) and Takimidai Lookout (滝見台) are provided, too. Unfortunately, restraunts, cafes, cafes, souvenir shops and convenience stores are not built. There used to be 4 accommodations, and 2 accommodations, Tenninkyo Park Hotel (天人峡パークホテル) and Tenninkyo Grand Hotel (天人峡グランドホテル), has been closed, so the hot spring place looks a deserted street. Article is here
Daisetsuzan National Park
Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園) in the center of Hokkaido is the largest national park in Japan, the size of 226,764 ha, and has been designed as the national park since 1934, and is the oldest national park in the Hokkaido along with Akan Mashu National Park (阿寒摩周国立公園). A mountain named Daisetsuzan does not exist, and the whole area including the mountains with over 2,000 m above sea level such as Mt. Asahidake (旭岳), the highest mountain in Hokkaido, Mt. Kurodake (黒岳), Mt. Aibestudake (愛別岳), Mt. Tomuraushi (トムラウシ山) is collectively called "Daisetsuzan", and those are called "A roof of the Hokkaido" ,too. Rare nature such as active volcanoes, Lare Columnar joints, a sea of trees and permafrost even in the Hokkaido can be seen. About 250 types of alpine plants grow naturally, and various forms of life such as brown bear, blakiston's fish owl, dolly varden and pine grosbeak inhabit here. By the way, A right notation is "Daisetsuzan", but local people often call "Taisetsuzan". Article is here
Trip to Hagoromo Falls
A path to the Hagoromo Falls is built in the back side of the Tenninkaku. Namida-iwa Rock (涙岩) and Mikaeri-iwa Rocks (見返り岩) can be seen in the other side of the Chubetsu River. The Namida-iwa Rock was named after tears of the heavenly maiden because it is said that little by little dropping underground water on the surface of the rock looked sad. The Namida means "Tears" in English. It remainds me of Furepe Falls (フレペの滝) in Shiretoko Peninsula. It seems that the Mikaeri-iwa was a place to turn her head when she went back to the heaven. Tenninkyo Shrine (天人峡神社) established in 1932 is nearby an entrance gate of the path. By the way, Takimidai Lookout (滝見台) is also built along Tomuraushi Trail (トムラウシ登山道), and the whole of the Hagoromo Falls can be seen. But it takes about 60-90 minutes on foot, so I gave up the hiking .
The distance is about 650 m from the entrance gate to the Hagoromo Falls, and it takes about 15 minutes on foot. The path is not paved, so the path probably turns into a mud path if it rains. You had better wear comfortable shoes such as rain boots. The path was collapsed by landslips in 2013, but it has been rebuilt since 2018. I am happy to see one of the best falls in the Hokkaido again. Unfortunately, a path to Shikishima Falls (敷島の滝), a famous waterfall, is not rebuilt. By the way, the entrance gate is closed depenging on the bad weather or a collapsed path.
A bridge is built over a tributary river of the Chubetsu River, and Hagoromo Falls Open Space (羽衣の滝広場) that about 30 people can enter is built on the right bank of the river, and a public restroom is built on the left bank of the river. A lot of people take photos on the bridge and the open space. When I visited here in the early summer, so fresh green and the falls were comfortable. A conbination of columnar joint, the fresh green and splash of the water is also good. In the autumn, the falls with fallfoliage has a good reputation. By the way, a mosquito and horsefly attack the tourists in the summer season, so you had better do anti-bug.
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (100 cars)|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||796 739 835*57|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Tenninkyo Onsen. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Daisetsuzan National Park is here
Daisetsuzan National Park