Located in the foothills of Mount Fuji near the Shiraito Falls, the Otodome Falls (音止の滝, Otodome-no-taki) were designated by the Ministry of the Environment in 1990 as one of the 100 best waterfalls” of Japan. The powerful waterfall plunges about 25 metres into a deep pool, ringed by lush vegetation
The term “otodome” means “to stop sounds”, and the Otodome Waterfall got its name from an episode in the Soga Monogatari story of the Kamakura period. When the Soga brothers accompanied Minamoto no Yoritomo on a hunting expedition to the base of Mount Fuji, they plotted to assassinate one of Yoritomo’s rivals, Kudō Tsuketsune, who was the murderer of their father. In order to avoid being overheard, they planned their strategy by the roaring waters of this waterfall. (Another version of this story says that their conversation was disturbed by the noise of the waterfall; they prayed to their god, and the noise suddenly stopped for a few seconds.)
Getting to Otodome Falls
Otodome Falls is a 30min bus ride from JR Fujinomiya station (and only 5min from the nearby Shiraito Falls). There is also a parking station near the trail to the falls.
The waterfall is easily accessible from the road via a paved walking trail, which descends to the base of the falls. The best time to visit is in summer when the waterfalls have their peak flow from the Mount Fuji winter snow melt, and during the autumn season (usually from mid to late November) when the leaves change colour.
A short loop passes both the Shiraito Falls and Otodome Falls.