A Frozen Waterfall (Nioga Falls)

乳穂ヶ滝

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I have been going to Nishimeya Village to teach just about every week, but I never have time to explore. I take the bus there from Hirosaki (1 hour each way in winter time), get off, go to school, spend the day at school, then take the bus home.

I was chatting with Tori one day last week when she told me about this frozen waterfall in Nishimeya. Apparently, this waterfall had not frozen for 4 years, so this year was a very special year. I had never even heard of it! I looked at a couple Japanese blogs and and the pictures of it were amazing! They lit it up at night with colored lights! Tori told me that I should go see it if I have time, so I asked Kyohei if he was interested. And it was a go!

We were going to go that weekend, but while I was in Nishimeya for work on Thursday I finally spotted an advertisement flyer about the falls at the bus stop:

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We drove down that Saturday night, leaving a little after 5:30pm and arriving when it was totally dark. When we drove past the Nishimeya Village Office, I could see the lights on the side of the mountain in the distance. They light up the waterfall area with yellow, green, and blue lights, which make the entire scene very ethereal. We parked and I could see the falls up the hill.

I stood at the base of the waterfall for a few moments, taking many pictures because it was just so beautiful. It felt like a fantasy movie set… Lord of the Rings, for example.

I walked up to the waterfall and followed the trail upwards. I leaned over and was able to touch the waterfall! I thought that this would be the only time in my life where I would be able to touch an actual waterfall. We were some of the only people there, so I could listen closely and hear the water dripping inside the huge icicle-waterfall. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I was actually glad it was cold enough for this waterfall to freeze.

If it was summer and the waterfall was not frozen, I would certainly not have been able to stand there and touch it.

We didn’t stay too long because of the cold, but it was enough for me to take a ton of pictures to remember those magical moments.

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The legend says that there will be a rich harvest if the falls freeze in winter. And people also believe that the size of icicles tells the fortunes of harvest. So that means I am hoping for many good apples next year!

Oh, and because I am silly, I went to Nioga Falls again on Monday night with Tori, Kyle, and Kimberly. They hadn’t been yet, so I got to play navigator and enjoy the scenery one more time. It was a bit warmer that night.

I even took a silly little movie of our shenanigans:

The end!

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9 Responses to “A Frozen Waterfall (Nioga Falls)”

  1. WOW. You told me about this and it sounded spectacular but WOW!

  2. Your pictures, as well as your video, are simply amazing! I was trying to imagine it but my imagination didn’t do it any justice! WOW is right! Yeah for HUGE apples!

  3. So, pretty much I am stealing a few of your pics for my blog. I got some, but not all were really this good. SOoooooo, as long as it’s cool with you I may have to steal one of these:) Specifically the one from the top of the fall. This was awesome. I am so glad we did this!

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