Climbing 7 Waterfalls Part 1

We had a crazy idea after reading about the most exciting hike in Kansai, Japan. We thought we would do it. 7 waterfalls and 5 of us, we were ready for the challenge. That is of course until we get on a bus to the starting point from a nearby train station. We met an elderly gentleman who warned us against the treacherous conditions the rain from the previous day would bring, and he mentioned that people frequently die on the course. When we stuck to our guns and said we will hike it nevertheless, he offered to change his plans and hike with us on a different course so that we would avoid our original plan. After a promise that we won’t push forward if deemed dangerous, we went on our route, and he went on his.

The first part was a steady incline for a good while. Though tiring, I couldn’t understand where his warnings were coming from. If it were to carry on as so for the remainder of the hike, it would appear to be a piece of vegan cake. However, his warnings became clear as we were presented with the first waterfall.

A huge waterfall gushed down to a river with strong currents. It wasn’t too deep but deep enough that the rocks we could use to cross the river were mostly underwater. One wrong slip and it could be goodbye. Or just get absolutely soaked. We all remembered the promise we made the gentleman before we started the hike and understood that this was the precise moment he would expect us to turn back. Then we attempted the cross one by one. I was the last to cross and as I was wearing Vans, the rocks were extra slippery. I crouched down and shimmered my way down between a few rocks to the one at the edge of the river. It took me a few attempts before securing the first step on the next rock. I tried to balance myself with each step by lowering myself close to the rocks. Step by step, I slowly made it across. One final jump over to the other side led one foot astray into the river, but I made it across. The next challenge in front of me was a metal chain and a rope that ascended a 90° giant rock right beside the gushing waterfall. This was rock climbing to the extreme for me as I have absolutely no experience doing so even with safety harnesses. I tested the strength before opting for the rope up. The climb started easy, and I thought I had found my talent, until of course I ended up losing one footing which led me to swing around the rock and come face to face with the waterfall. I tried to stay calm and held my grip as I attempted to find my footing again. Once calm, I carried on up to the top safe and sound. One final barrier – a ladder that had been placed there for one final rock. Extremely wet and slippery, I took my time and made it for a quick nut break.

1 waterfall down, 6 to go.

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