Akame 48 Waterfalls:A group of beautiful waterfalls preserved by the locals

Akame 48 Waterfalls:A group of beautiful waterfalls preserved by the locals

The Akame ravine in Mie Prefecture is well known for two reasons, having a large number of spectacular waterfalls and being the ancient ninja training ground in feudal Japan. Every season offers a different experience for visitors to the Akame 48 Waterfalls. You can see cherry blossoms in the spring, lush forests in the summer, leaves changing colors in the autumn and frozen waterfalls in the winter. In addition to enjoying the natural wonder of the Akame 48 Wateralls, visitors can participate in a ninja training course that features weapons and techniques used by the mysterious mercenaries. There is even an option to wear a ninja outfit during the training.

Written by Nathan Raymond
About the Author:
I was first introduced to Japanese culture when I participated in a sister city exchange. Now that I live in Japan, I want to help other foreigners learn more about this amazing country. Experiencing the unique beauty of Japan is how someone gets hooked, and I hope presenting my experiences will encourage others to visit and explore with confidence. 

The best way to get to the Akame area from a major city is on the Kintetsu Railway and I got off the train at Akameguchi Station. From the train station, I had to take a bus up the mountain to Akame Natural History Museum. The bus ride takes about 10 minutes and I got off at the Akame-taki bus stop. I went straight to the museum to start my ninja training and waterfall adventure.

Caption: Akame Natural History Museum is a 10-minute bus ride from Akameguchi Station.

When I entered the museum, the staff greeted me warmly and let me know what kind of activities I would be participating in during my experience. I was very excited about hiking in the mountains and seeing all of the different waterfalls that make up the renowned Akame 48 Wateralls.

There are actually 23 waterfalls that you can visit in the Akame 48 Wateralls and each one has its own unique appearance and features. As I was hiking to each waterfall, the incredible nature all around me relaxed my mind and I felt a strong connection to the earth.

Caption: The Akame 48 Wateralls are a feast for the senses and the increasing volume of the rushing water as you approach each waterfall creates an atmosphere of anticipation.

Many waterfalls of varying sizes and scenery flow through the rock walls and quiet mountain streams, enriching the surrounding landscape.

Caption: There are also waterfalls right next to the path.

The power and beauty of the waterfalls is something anyone can enjoy and it was a special experience to see so many of them on one hike. The waterfall tour was the perfect way to wind down my mind and refresh my body.

Designated as one of the 100 Best Waterfalls in Japan and 100 Best Forests for Bathing, making it one of Japan's top nature-filled locations. It's perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities, such as hiking and forest bathing.

There are three trekking courses that even beginners can enjoy. These come in 50, 90, and 140 minutes, with all of them allowing you to experience the area's abundant nature. I took the 50-minute beginner course, but the 140-minute trekking course to Nagasakayama (584m elevation) offered a breathtaking view of the valley below.

Caption: You can experience this beautiful scenery along the path to Nagasakayama in Autumn.

It is important for people to help preserve the spectacular natural areas of Japan for future generations. In the area around the Akame 48 Wateralls, there is an initiative connected with Japan’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is the "Nabari Bamboo Akari SDGs Project" and its goal is to create a sustainable cycle of "environment," "society," and "economy" under the theme of “bamboo”.

The main focus of the project is to maintain abandoned bamboo groves. If the groves are left unattended for many years, they can cause various environmental problems. With the participation of local residents, schools and companies, the program fosters awareness of environmental conservation and love for the local community by harvesting the bamboo and making bamboo lights. 

Caption:Parents and children are working together to learn the importance of nature.

Caption:The completed bamboo lights illuminate the valley, creating a magical world.

The completed bamboo lights were used to illuminate the valley at night, healing the hearts of its visitors. This is planned to become an annual event, which will be a project combining tourist entertainment and environmental protection activities.

Learning about this project gave me hope for the future and I was pleased to learn about how this community was proactively managing the forests near their homes.

We offered our prayers for this beautiful forest scenery to live on forever.

Surprisingly, you can experience being a ninja amid this lush environment. It's an interactive experience where one can feel the history of this region in Japan. I applied for this ninja training experience and started my visit.

The first thing I had to do was get into the spirit by changing in a ninja outfit. There were multiple colors to choose from, but I opted for the classic black set-up for the most authentic look. 

Caption: In the training, we learned the ancient techniques of the ninja. 

Some of the ninja techniques were very challenging and it was a good test of my skill and perseverance to accomplish the tasks. For example, on the climbing wall, we had to imagine scaling a castle wall using only our fingers and toes to move forward. This was very difficult and I had to keep my focus on each finger grip and toehold as I made my way across the wall. It was challenging and fun to see how much I could push my physical abilities with the support of my trainer.

Caption: I had to climb across the wall using only my fingers and toes.

Tourist attractions covered by this article