Shōmyōdaki: A Stunning Waterfall with Japan’s Biggest Drop


Shōmyōdaki makes a rainbow.

At 350 meters, Shōmyō Falls has the biggest drop of any waterfall in Japan. White torrents of water flowing off the Tateyama mountain range and crashing powerfully into a misty pool below is an impressive sight. During the spring snowmelt, when the water volume increases, Hannoki Falls to the right joins the spectacle, and the two falls combine to create a stunning V-shaped cascade. Other smaller falls also appear in the vicinity as the water volume increases further still.

The Shōmyō Falls exhibition room at the nearby bus stop uses relief models and videos to describe the waterfall and the process of its formation. Shōmyō Falls presents a different face depending on the season, attracting many repeat visitors who come to enjoy the lingering snows of spring, the greenery of summer, or the falling leaves of autumn.

Access: Approximately 15 minutes on the Shōmyōdaki sightseeing bus for Shōmyō Falls from Tateyama Station on Toyama Chihō Railway, then 30 minutes’ walk from the bus stop.

Website: Tourism Information in Toyama (Shōmyō Falls)

(Banner photo: Hannoki Falls appears to the right of Shōmyōdaki when the snow melts. Information courtesy of the Toyama Prefecture Tourism and Regional Promotion Bureau, and the Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association.)

Toyama tourism nature Hokuriku Tateyama Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route