Photo by Roger Smith

Photo by Roger Smith

Photo by Roger Smith

  • Just a thirty-minute drive from the centre of Tohoku's busy metropolis, Sendai City, lies a natural oasis called Akiu. The area boasts natural hot springs, farm-to-table eateries, a winery, hiking, cycling, local crafts, shrinesyou name it.  Akiu is the ultimate countryside escape. It even boasts one of Japan's Top 100 Waterfalls, Akiu Otaki Falls.

    Around a twenty–minute drive from the Akiu Hot Springs village, you will find a small roadside market next to a sizeable torii gate. Walking through the gate is almost like entering another world. A beautiful old shrine stands within a forest of tall pine trees. Walk through the forest down some stairs and you will find yourself standing on a platform overlooking the incredible Akiu Otaki Falls, plummeting fifty-five metres down into the pristine river below. If you're feeling adventurous, a short hike down some slippery stairs (tread carefully!) will take you to the base of the waterfall. Alternatively, you might prefer to relax in the on-site teahouse which serves up hot tea, coffee, and a selection of vegetarian-friendly Japanese snacks and desserts.

    Although enjoyable to visit during any season, autumn is by far the most scenic time of year at Akiu Otaki Falls. The surrounding mountains are covered in a fiery carpet of yellow, gold and tinges of red (typically peaking late October to early November).

    Nature lovers are recommended to complement their trip with a stop at some of the many other scenic spots in the Akiu area, such as Rairaikyo Gorge, Futakuchi Canyon, and Banjiiwa Rock. Whilst the area is accessible by public transport, it is recommend to visit by car, allowing you to enjoy the countryside at your own pace and make new discoveries along the way.

    Local Voice

    Akiu is one of my favourite destinations for a weekend trip out of the city centre. The countryside is beautiful in any seasonyou'll never see the same scenery twice. It's a real natural wonderland despite being a stone's throw from the heart of the city.

  • Last Update
    November 22, 2022

    Area Sendai



Otaki, Baba, Akiu-machi, Taihaku-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi-ken


From Sendai Station: 60–80 minutes by bus. At Sendai Station West Exit Bus Pool Platform 8 (仙台駅西口バスプール8番のりば), board Akiu Line (秋保線) bus bound for Akiu Otaki (秋保大滝). Alight at Akiu Otaki. Timetable here. Buses that go from Sendai Station all the way to Akiu Otaki run only weekends & holidays. To visit the falls on a weekday, catch a bus from Ayashi Station.

From Ayashi Station: About 40 minutes by bus. From Ayashi Station Bus Platform 2 (愛子駅2番乗り場), board a #83, 84, 85, 86, or 87 Akiu Homen Line (秋保方面線) bus bound for Nojiri (野尻町北) or Futakuchi (二口). Alight at Akiu Otaki (秋保大滝) bus stop. Timetable here.




Not accepted


Japanese only




Always open, but unlit most nights