Located about an hour outside the bustling city of Nagoya in Yoro town in Gifu Prefecture,Yoro no Taki or Yoro Falls is one of Japan’s top 100 Waterfalls and one of the 100 Best Spring Water Sites in Japan.
Legend has it that during the 8th century, a poor woodcutter who had a sick father went to the forest to find firewood and in his search he stumbled upon the falls. Suddenly he discovered that the spring’s water turned into rice wine or sake. He immediately filled his gourd with the magical sake and brought it home to his sick father who without delay drank the sake and miraculously got well.
It is believed then that the water transformation was a reward for the man’s piousness and dedication to his father. Word then reached the then the Empress Gensho who immediately visited the falls and also drank from the spring’s water. She then renamed the period of her reign “Yoro” and said “Rei springs art beautiful springs. And so doth nourish the old. Perhaps it was the spirit of the waters. I do hereby give amnesty under heaven, and fix the third year of the Reiki era a new to year 1 of the Yoro area.”
Travelers can find a wooden ladle at the base of the falls wherein they can drink the water from the spring. Although in reality there is no naturally made sake flowing out from the falls, one can find the “Yoro Sanroku Cider” near the falls, which is made from the local water. Furthermore, the water from the falls is famous for having high quality so it is not unusual for you to see travelers carrying jugs with them. Lastly, the area around the waterfalls can also get particularly beautiful in the fall and spring so if you are into old traditions, tranquility, and fine scenery, Yoro falls would definitely be your cup of tea.