Kanba Falls (神庭の滝), a 20-meter-wide waterfall with water falling from a 110-meter cliff, is the biggest waterfall in Western Japan and one of the Top 100 Waterfalls in the country! Together with the surrounding nature, the spot was also designated to be one of the 100 Landscapes of Japan (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
The waterfall can be easily accessed if you are driving as it is only a 10-minute walk away from the closest car park – Jinbanotaki Daiichi Parking Lot (神庭の滝 第1駐車場), and the promenade is really flat!
Along the promenade, a few other smaller waterfalls serve as “entrée”. One of them is the gorgeous Tamatare Falls (玉垂の滝) in the photo. From how the water falling sounds and looks like raindrops from a roof, the waterfall is named “Tamatare”!
After a rainy day or in early spring when the snow in the mountain is melting, instead of “dripping”, the Tamatare Falls will look more like a white piece of cloth growing out from the bottom of the plants on the rock!
The Wild Monkeys at Kanba Falls
If you are lucky, you might be able to meet a flock of monkeys on your way to Kanba Falls! There are around 200 of them, and some might even bring their babies along to say hi (*´ω｀).
These wild monkeys that live close to the waterfall are most likely to come out from December to March when the mountain’s food supply is the lowest.
With that being said, it is prohibited to feed them as they are wild animals. It is also highly advisable that you don’t carry any plastic bags when they are around because the monkeys will think there is some yummy food in the bag and try to rob it from you. It goes without saying that eating in front of them is an absolute no-no!
If you are spending a day or two in Maniwa City, check out the video footage of the live camera HERE and head straight to Kanba Falls as you start to spot monkeys coming out to increase your chance of a monkey encounter (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
But we would like to stress that these are wild animals. They may hang out around the promenade throughout the day or disappear the next second!
Demon’s Cave (鬼の穴)
For those who are fit and love adventures, on the way back from Kanba Falls, hike up to the limestone cave – Demon’s Cave.
It is only 260 meters from the Kanba Falls Nature Park’s ticket office to the cave’s entrance, but it can be quite tiring with non-stop climbing on the less maintained staircases.
At the end of the staircases, you will even need to use the chain set up in advance to help you climb up a rocky area of a slippery surface. So, be prepared!
HERE is the park’s map for your reference (in Japanese). You can see the promenade split to the left at the toilet closest to Kanba Falls. A return trip takes around 30 – 50 minutes, depending on how fast you climb up and down and how much time you spend inside the cave.
The cave’s entrance just looks like a crack on a cliff wall. If there isn’t anyone who went into the cave shortly before your arrival, inside the cave might be completely dark.
But don’t worry, it is not an electrical problem. A motion sensor at the entrance actually controls the lighting inside the cave. Once the sensor senses you, the lighting will be turned on for the next 20 minutes (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
So it will be a smart move to bring your phone with you. If you explore this 75-meter-deep cave for longer than you expected, you can still use the torch function of your phone to find your way out!
As you might have been expecting, the cave is home to many bats of different species, but do prepare yourself for a lot of bug encounters as well. This includes the journey to and from the cave.
Taking a Rest at the Cafe Close to Kanba Falls
There is a cafe called Taki-no-Chaya (滝の茶や) at the starting point of the promenade. The soba (buckwheat) noodles are handmade, which is why they are chewier and more delicious than normal soba noodles!
Also, their soft-serve ice cream is made from 100% Jersey cow milk. And the cone contains maple syrup, making it the cafe’s most popular dessert menu!
If you don’t take dairy, their Japanese desserts are quite delicious too (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
You can refer to the official website HERE for some photos of what the cafe looks like.
Autumn Foliage at Kanba Falls Nature Park (神庭の滝自然公園)
The color of the foliage will start changing from late October to early November. Mid-November is usually the best time to adorn the autumn color. If the year is warm, the color will peak in late November instead.
Kanba Falls Nature Park’s Opening Hours, Entry Fee, and Access Information
- The park is open from 8:30 am to 5:15 pm daily except from the 29th of December to the 3rd of January.
- The entry fee is
- 300 yen for adults
- 150 yen for elementary and junior high school students
- Free otherwise
- From JR Chūgoku-Katsuyama Station (中国勝山駅), it is a 10-minute drive. If you are catching a taxi, it will cost around 2,000 yen one-way.
- From JR Chūgoku-Katsuyama Station, you can also take Maniwa City’s Community Bus – Maniwakun (まにわくん) and get off at Kanba-Guchi (神庭口), which takes around 6 minutes. From there, it will be another 50-minute walk before you reach Kanba Falls.
HERE is the current timetable for the bus service for your reference. The timetable is in Japanese, so please use the Japanese characters of the bus stops’ names to read it. If the link doesn’t work, refer to HERE and click on the PDF under “蒜山久世ルート (蒜山高原休暇村～真庭市蒜山振興局～湯原温泉～中国勝山駅～真庭市役所)”.
Find out where else to Go in Maniwa City
Maniwa City, where the Kanba Falls is located, is also known as one of the best places to be during cherry blossom seasons. Spots such as the cherry blossom tunnel and a gigantic cherry tree that is a thousand years old up on a hill are the places you won’t want to miss out on when you visit Japan when the flowers are blooming. There are even a few places where you can enjoy the cherry blossoms and the fall foliage at the same time (*’▽’).
And if you happen to come to Japan in summer, let the fireflies in limestone cave or along the river astonish you at night before you rest up in your hotel room (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
To know more about where else to go around Hiruzen Highlands, check out our Maniwa City article!