The Gorogotaki Waterfall is the largest falls in Yamato, Kumamoto with a 50m drop into the basin below. The beauty of this waterfall on Kyushu Island is that often it is crowned by a rainbow as the water crashed down onto the rocks, spraying up and catching the light perfectly in a stream of color.
HOW TO GET TO GOROGOTAKI WATERFALL
Gorogotaki Waterfall is just about an hour’s drive from Kumamoto Town. The pin below shows exactly where in Yamato you can find the falls. There are a number of different parking lots you can choose from and when we visited they were fixing the bridge, which gave us a bit of a detour but it’s a small area so it isn’t too important about where to park.
Depending on where you park, you can follow the trail to the suspension bridge, which is where the best viewing spot is for the waterfall. You can also take the trail on one end of the suspension bridge, which leads down to the basin of the waterfall. I’ve included the Gorogotaki Waterfall map below.
MY EXPERIENCE AT THE GOROGOTAKI WATERFALL
After an hour-long drive from Kumamoto, we arrived in a parking lot in Yamato. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as there wasn’t too much posted online about Gorogotaki Falls and I didn’t really know how to find the falls either. We set off down a trail that had ‘Do not Enter’ signs. It was the correct trail but it was closed as they were fixing the bridge. We turned back and this time did a huge lap on the roads to enter via the tourist center and the small bridge near the rice paddies.
It turned out to be a long way round but it was a beautiful area for a walk. The trail began with lots of small rice paddies as we passed by the Tsujun Bridge, which is an 84m-long stone bridge built in the year 1854.
After a short walk up and over the hill, we made our way down to the suspension bridge, which spans across the river that is fed from the falls. This is where the Gorogotaki Waterfall is best viewed. It was very sturdy and probably my favorite spot on the whole adventure.
What are my favorite pieces of gear for waterfall adventures?
There are four pieces of gear that I simply never forget when I go on a waterfall adventure. These are four items that I using right now and this list gets updated every year! Here are my waterfall adventure essentials.
- Arcteryx BETA AR Rain Jacket: This is my go-to rain jacket. It’s super light, folds down into a tiny ball, and protects brilliantly in a storm. This one never leaves my backpack.
- Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack: Waterfalls get wet and wild so having this ultralight dry sack for cameras, phones and valuables means you don’t have to hold back!
- Quick-Dry Towel: A quick-dry towel is a must for travelers. It hardly takes up any room and dries in seconds.
- GoPro Hero 12: The best and easiest way to capture your underwater and snorkeling adventures.
As we walked out across the suspension bridge we could hear the thunderous roar to our right. Once we neared the middle of the bridge the epic Gorogotaki Waterfall revealed itself complete with its trademark rainbow creating a magical scene.
After admiring the waterfall from the suspension bridge we headed to the other side of the bridge (left-hand side when facing the waterfall) and then we were met with two signs. One led up to the right, which was back to the parking lot to complete the loop or one led down to the waterfall basin. We decided to go explore down at the base of the waterfall.
It was a beautiful atmosphere down here at the river level with no other tourists (not that there were any above on the bridge) and just the birds chirping. A few rays of sunlight burst through the dense forest. We wound our way down the stairs before walking along a stunning boardwalk that leads you through the small gorge to the waterfall basin.
The boardwalk leads you straight into the waterfall basin where you can truly see the power of the falls as it pounds down on the rocks below. It’s a great spot to relax for a little bit although the benches and tables provided seem to have succumbed to a flooding incident as they were damaged and trees and rocks were strewn everywhere.
According to the maps along the trail, there is meant to be a second waterfall. We searched for it but we didn’t find another waterfall that was pictured on the map as one that falls down off the cliff. We did find a small waterfall but I’m not sure it is the ‘second falls’. Leave a comment below if you can confirm that or not.
After finding this waterfall, we then looped all the way back to the suspension bridge and trekked up the stairs to the parking lot to complete our adventure at Gorogotaki Waterfall in Yamato, Kyushu.
WHERE TO STAY IN KYUSHU
- Best Luxury Place to Stay in Fukuoka: Hotel WBF Grande Hakata (Value): This is by far the most popular hotel and one of the most luxurious in Fukuoka.
- Best Value Place to Stay in Kumamoto: Hotel The Gate Kumamoto (Value): Hotel The Gate is a well-situated accommodation in the heart of Kumamoto, just across the train station and within walking distance to shops and restaurants.
- Best Luxury Place to Stay in Kumamoto: Kumamoto Hotel Castle (Luxury): Set near the infamous Kumamoto Castle, this luxury hotel features a wide range of carpeted rooms from standard rooms to suites fitted with plush amenities.
For a full list of the top-rated places to stay in Kyushu, you can check out my comprehensive guide: WHERE TO STAY IN KYUSHU: BEST REGIONS & HOTELS
ARE YOU FOLLOWING MY KYUSHU BLOG SERIES?
I spent over three weeks exploring Kyushu and visited some incredible waterfalls, hiked some amazing trails, and visited a number of epic volcanoes. I created a number of guides to help travelers find the best spots in Kyushu. You can explore the articles by clicking on the links below.
- The Ultimate Kyushu Bucketlist: 30 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN KYUSHU
- The best places to stay in Kyushu in each region: WHERE TO STAY IN KYUSHU: BEST REGIONS & HOTELS
- How to plan your Kyushu vacation: THE ULTIMATE KYUSHU ITINERARY: 5-DAY, 7-DAY & 10-DAY
- Interested in chasing waterfalls?: 12 AWESOME WATERFALLS IN KYUSHU
- Keen for some epic hiking?: 11 AWESOME HIKES IN KYUSHU
- Everything you need to know about Oita: 11 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN OITA
- Your Ultimate Guide to Kumamoto: 13 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN KUMAMOTO
- My favorite waterfall in Kyushu: TAKACHIHO GORGE – MOST BEAUTIFUL WATERFALL IN JAPAN