Summary: Ryuzu Waterfall is a small but scenic waterfall along the Yu River, just above Lake Chuzenji. A short trail along the river passes some smaller cascades.

One of the three great falls in Oku-Nikko, Ryuzu Waterfall (or Ryuza Falls) is formed by the Yu River (Yukawa) cascading over a hardened lava flow. The name of the waterfall translates to “Dragon Headed Waterfall”, which is derived from the shape of the falls that resemble the head of a dragon.

Ryuzu Waterfall in Nikko

The best view of the main waterfall is from below. You can follow the river upstream so see some smaller cascades, and Lake Chuzenji below.

Getting to Ryuzu Waterfall

The waterfall is on the Yu River, just before the river discharges into Lake Chuzenji, with an upper and lower parking area just off Highway 120. It’s about 45min by road from Nikko. You can get a front view of the waterfall from the observatory deck downstream, or follow a short (300m) hiking trail along the Yukawa River to see some of the smaller cascades.

Ryuzu Waterfall is surrounded by many trees and rhododendron wadanum which turn yellow and red during the autumn leaf season, making the scenery especially beautiful in early October.

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