Andrew’s world in Japan 2018/February

Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring the creative process & connecting with other creative people.

A Visit to Nara – Part7
Hike to Uguisu no taki

There are apparently quite a number of waterfalls in Nara. This abundant forest, protected by special mandate from the areas heritage status has helped to preserve these falls. Having begun this Nara adventure outdoors, it only seems fitting that we make our final round visiting Uguisu no taki Falls. From the guide maps located around Nara park, we learned of a waterfall we could hike to.
When it’s spur of the moment, I’m usually just taking it all in and trying to keep up. To know exactly what you are getting into is not a requirement. So usually late in the game I actually learn more about the details and history of the spaces and places I experience. This experience was no different. It could be this falls gained its name from Uguisu the local bush warbler with its distinctive breeding call that when heard because like the bird, it’s increased activity beckons the arrival of spring.
Into the depths of Kasugayama Primeval Forest Julien and I hiked a trail that claimed to lead us to a waterfall. Near where I grew up, in the Columbia Gorge is a large waterfall called Multnomah. Somehow, I’d end up visiting it at least once a year, if not more. There’d be a guest from outside the state or country, and inevitably, if not the rose garden, we’d visit the falls. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit many other waterfalls in my life, and generally, I always end up comparing them to Multnomah. When I think of Japan, waterfalls don’t generally come to mind, so I was pretty excited to finally see one. 
As we made our way up the hill, signs warning of snakes kept popping up. There didn’t seem any way to tell if they were poisonous snakes or just your normal wild snakes so I didn’t give it too much thought. It wasn’t super warm out either, and I had no plan to swim in the water once we’d reached. While walking through I did not notice that there are some 270 different varieties of trees spread about Kasugayama. What I did notice was that there weren’t as many deer here as there’d been everywhere else. That seemed a good sign that we were not going to be bumping into large numbers of people.
Our path ran about 10km between Todai-Ji and Kasuga Taisha. It begins wide and clear until it gradually becomes natural. Walking along you may notice the firs, cypress and cedars that line the way. Eventually, you arrive at the descent to the falls. There wasn’t another soul to be found. On our way back from the falls, we did encounter a snake. It was out of commission though and would do us absolutely no harm. Nara, a place full of nature’s creatures.