Saturday, August 26, 2006

Buddha Dwells in the Waterfall

Hottai waterfall is one of the best sight spots to visit in my hometown. Its dynamic fall attracts people from all over Japan, and it arouses a feeling of coolness as well. In summer, people can swim at Hottai waterfall, but the water is so cold because the water is melted water from a mountain.

This majestic waterfall is constructed from first waterfall, second waterfall and third waterfall with the length of 100 meters and the drop of 57.4 meters. Third waterfall is the longest one on the photo. Hottai (法体) means Buddha, Buddha of the Pure Land, by intoning “Namu Amida Butsu” or priest. Surprisingly, the water is clear, and the color of deep place looks like emerald green which is absolutely beautiful.

The origin of the name, Hottai comes from fairy take-like story…
Once upon a time, a Buddhist priest visited the waterfall. When he was fascinated by the great waterfall, an old man with white hair appeared all of sudden. The priest asked the old man “what’s the name of this waterfall?” and the old man answered “Hottai”. The priest wondered about the old man, and asked him “where are you from?” The old man said “I live here. I am an immovable monarch for this waterfall.” The old man said like that and vanished all at once. The priest prayed 3 times for the waterfall and trained for 37 days in a cave close to the waterfall.

In fact, the Buddhist priest is considered as Kouboudaishi/Kukai who started Shingon-shu. That’s why the cave he trained is called “Koubou Douketsu (Cave for Koubou).

You can look down the water fall from an observation platform. Also, you can approach to fist and second waterfall which is really exciting and thrilling to see them. Since there is no rope, you have to be careful with their foot; otherwise, you fall easily from top of the waterfall. Here is a video I took first and second waterfall at thrilling place.

Hottai waterfall attracts people in every season because it has different faces. In spring, new green is beautifully much with the waterfall. In summer, people can cool down by swimming in the river and the place is crowded with tents to have BBQ. In autumn, red and yellow leaves show lovely appearance.

People can visit Hottai waterfall anytime except winter time because of massive snow. Here is an example tragedy of snow. This rest house was pushed by snow.

Here is several photos of Hottai waterfall.


Kuntry Konfession said...

how beautiful and clear!-makes you want to plunge in! are there any fish?

kayanon said...

kuntry konfession>

Yes, there are chars and small fish.

Yeah, it makes me want to plunge in, but it's too cold to jump in, actually. Children enjoy swimming there, but I cannot do that.

Pierre-Yann said...

Very nice place. Still a lot of water for the season. Sure, you get a lot of snow in winter.
But here, the water level is generally low in the mountains in summer. Some waterfall are even totally dry.

From where is comming all this water? Is it some lake above?

For the video, I think that if you make the motion more slowy, it will be better. But I know that making good video is very hard.

Piccola said...

Wow~ It's a really nice waterfull! I think most waterfalls have really nice and clear water. It would be nice to take a dip in it. :)

ross said...

i had no idea that there were so many pretty places to see around akita, up in the north where you are. you have featured several of them lately. i keep adding new things to see there!

Fabi said...

The waterfalls are very beautiful and nice! Water is so clear! I want to visit it and swim there :-)

Fabi said...

The waterfalls are very beautiful and nice! Water is so clear! I want to visit it and swim there :-)

kayanon said...


The waterfall looks like having much water, but it has only half of water for it usually has. I think spring time has much more water because of melted water from mountain. Tha mountain is the highest mountain in Akita, and looks like Mt. Fuji. If I have chance, i will introduce the mountain on my blog later.

About the video, I took it using my compact degital camera. I know its quality is not good, but i only have it,,, sorry.

kayanon said...


Ohisashiburi! Yeah, when I was a little, I used to swim there, but it is a little challanging after i get older because of cold.

kayanon said...


i'm glad you like the place! i have visited there countless times, but it still fascinates me.

kayanon said...


Yeah, water there is amazing. whenever i go there, i can relax just by seeing the sight.

Rob said...

Sugoi ne. Another place I would like to go whenever I make it to Japan ^^

<.< When I see a water fall like that it makes my mind yell out "Misogi!!" hehe ^^;

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ShennongShi said...

hey, it looks very nice. I am surprised the damage of the snow.

kayanon said...

Thank you for your comment, rob. Sugoidesho? I love this place.

You mean, you want to yell out "Misoji"?

kayanon said...

Thank you for your comment and compliments ,AC Investor Blog. I stated this blog to practice writing English, but now I enjoy this blog not only practicing but also sharing ideas with people all over the world. I hope you will visit this blog and enjoy reading it! Thank you!

kayanon said...


Yeah, it is scary to see such a damage of snow. It is no wonder to think that there is about 10 ton of snow in winter in my hometown.

Kuntry Konfession said...

pssst...i got a question for u on my blog.

Rob said...

eh? doesn't Misoji mean something else? I thought Misogi was a purification ceremony. ^^; now I'm confused

kayanon said...


Misoji means 30 yeas old in Japanese. When you are asked your age, you can say "I am Misoji."

Rob said...

Hai, I don't think it would make sense if I yelled out "Misoji" ^^; So I would yell out "Misogi" instead.

E said...

Looks beautiful, I think I will go there!

kayanon said...

thank you for your comment, e.

Yeah, please visit there!

E said...

I will go there sometime and thanks for comment on my blog! by the way, can you recommend some good places to take photos in Autumn in the Tohoku area??

kayanon said...


good place in fall... How about Tazawa lake? It is also in Akita, but middle of. its depth is the deepest in Japan. I am sure you can see beautiful red and yellow leaves.

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roth phallyka said...

hey, it looks very nice. I am surprised the damage of the snow.