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Tataki Falls: Beautiful river hike & Waterfall on Okinawa Island

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Tataki Falls in Okinawa is one of the most popular waterfalls on the main island. It’s got the highest drop of the bunch and stands at 50 feet tall. The falls are located near the town of Ogimi, near Kunigami-Gun

In order to reach this stunning waterfall you’ll need to trek through the tropical Okinawan landscape along the Henan River. You’ll likely see native wildlife that calls the island home along with butterflies and lizards.

Visiting this waterfall you get to spend your time outside in nature combining two of my favourite things – natural views and hiking. As well as getting to enjoy the natural wonder that is Tataki Falls, you’ll also be getting your steps in and can even try your hand at a little bit of rock climbing. Not too bad for a fun day out.

There are many different waterfalls on the main Island that you can easily visit on an Okinawan road trip!

Country:Japan
Currency:Japanese Yen / JPY
Do you need a visa to visit as tourists?Check here

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the path towards tataki falls
The path between the car park and the river trail entrance
Teh signs at the entrance to Tataka waterall
The signs at the entrance to the river trail to the falls

Trail Stats

Height of Tataki Waterfall:

Approx. 50 ft (15 m)

Length of Trail:

1.3 km (0.8 miles)

Time to Complete:

15 – 20 minutes to reach Tataki Falls

Want to visit some other waterfalls in the area?

Or if you’re feeling extra ambitious, head to Okinawa’s Iriomote Island for these more impressive waterfalls:


One of the deep blue pools on the river trail for Ta-taki falls
One of the deeper sections of the river trail

Location of Tataki Waterfall

Parking Location: Ta-taki Waterfall, Tsuha, Ōgimi, Kunigami District, Okinawa 905-1318, Japan

Getting there – By Car

The address above takes you straight to the car park and then there is a short walk to the waterfall.

The best way to reach the stunning Tataki Falls in Okinawa is to drive because it is down a quiet narrow lane. There is an option to take a bus part way but it is not convenient as you will be required to walk for almost half an hour.

If you have an IDP and do decide to drive and you can easily rent a car in Okinawa. Check out these car rental options below:

300*250 RentalCars English

Getting there – By Bus

If you are in Nago, there is a public bus that can take you part of the way to Tataki Waterfall from Nago City. It is really not a convenient option as you will need to walk almost 30 minutes to reach to falls from the bus stop.

  • Arrive at the Hokubu Godo Chosha Mae bus stop outside the Okinawa Prefecture Government Office
  • Get on the # 67 bus towards Onishi and ride for 26 stops (roughly 25 minutes)
  • Get off at the Daiichi Tsuha stop
  • Walk 25 minutes to reach the Tataki Waterfall

Parking

There are roughly 35 parking spaces for regular cars but it was completely empty the first time I visited although it was a weekday. The second time I went to Tataki waterfall was on a weekend and there were only 3 spaces available.

Like many popular tourist sites, I’d recommend arriving earlier in the day so you can guarantee a place to park. Not to mention that if you go in the morning, the weather will be slightly cooler than in the afternoon.

The car park with some cars parked in Okinawa
The car park

Enjoy visiting waterfalls? Check out some of my other favourite falls from around the world:


a shallow section of the Henan river with rocks and foliage in Okinawa
The rocky river trail to the falls
A rocky section of the Henan river on the way to Tataki Waterfall with fast flowing water
Rocks you need to walk over on the way to the falls

The hiking Trail

Due to the slippery terrain, it is recommended to wear water shoes for the duration of the river hike.

Walking through water

You will need to walk about 3 minutes along a flat path from the car park to the river trail entrance. It will be on your right-hand side and you can’t miss it. There is an opening in the trees, 2 small billboards and a sign all directing you in the right direction.

When you enter the river the water starts very shallow. You will turn left down the river AWAY from the car park direction you would have just come from.

What’s great about this trail is you can’t really get lost. You just have to follow the river in one direction as far as you can, as the rushing Tataki waterfall is found right at the end. You should be prepared to climb over slippery rocks and large boulders while also wading through varying levels of the running stream.

Please be aware: The river rose to near my hip at the highest point so if you are travelling with children it could be very deep for them.

Lots of large boulders and rocks with an orange rope to help people climb up - the trail to Tataki waterfall
An orange rope you can use to pull yourself up over the rocks

Climbing over rocks

About halfway along the river trail, you’ll find a small but deep pool where some visitors will be taking a swim. Just to the left of the pool, you’ll see a large pile of boulders into a small hill that looks difficult to get over.

You should see a bright orange rope (like the one pictured above) that you can use to help yourself climb up over the rocks. Once at the top, you’ll find a clearly walked path so you can continue along the journey towards Tataki Waterfall.

The rest of the river journey is back to shallow water again but there are some areas where the water rushes quickly which could mean you lose your footing. You need to make sure you take your time so you don’t fall over and you’ll likely need to use your hands along the way.

I would recommend bringing a bag to carry any towels or belongings so you can keep your hands free.


Me standing in the pool beneath the 50 feet high Tataki Waterfall in Okinawa
The falls with a small rock pile

Tataki Waterfall & Natural Pool

After 15 – 20 minutes of walking through the water, you will turn a corner and see the towering Tataki waterfall rushing down a cliff face.

There is a large pool underneath which is big enough for people to swim in and it is very possible to get right underneath Tataki Falls if you want to. On the edge of the pool the water is shallow so many people choose to sit down here to relax.

The closer to Tataki Falls you get, the deeper the pool is. Also bear in mind that directly underneath the falls by the cliff face, I was unable to touch the floor.

There is a log that has been used as a bench, and some previous visitors added a small rope swing from a tree that hangs above the pool. This is a busy place during the hot hours of the day where people of all ages come to enjoy the fresh water.

Caution: Please supervise any children or people who cannot swim well. There are no lifeguards.

If you enjoy hiking, you should try climbing to the peak of Mt Katsu near Nago.


A rocky terrain along a shallow and narrow river on the Tataki falls trail in Okinawa
A view down the river you will be walking through when hiking to Tataki Waterfall

Amenities

In the car park, you’ll find a small building with access to showers and restrooms for visitors. The showers cost 100 JPY (£0.55p) to use so you should make sure to have some change on you.

There is also a vending machine in the same cabin where the parking attendants sit, If you have some cash you’ll be able to purchase some basic drinks or snacks here. Across the car park, towards the showers, there is also a sheltered seating area with some picnic benches for people to use.


Safety Tips for Hiking to Tataki Waterfall

Check the weather.
There are multiple signs that warn about flash floods during rainfall. Don’t let yourself get stranded or worse if the water levels rise.

Wear water shoes.
The river trail is hazardous and you could hurt your feet if you attempt barefoot. It would be easier if you have footwear with a good sole grip.

Bring a dry bag or backpack.
If you have a bag you can keep your hands free to use while climbing which helps you stay safe.

Take your time.
If you rush during the river hike you could get sloppy and get injured. Take your time so you can reach the falls safely.

Watch out for wildlife.
Okinawa is home to the venomous Habu snake and a few other animals that could be a risk to humans. Always stay aware of your surroundings when enjoying the outdoors.

Have you been to Tataki Waterfall? What did you think?

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