When you’re traveling out in the countryside, it’s not uncommon to find yourself driving for hours on end to reach your destination. If your travels take you to Kirishima (霧島) in Kagoshima (鹿児島) Prefecture and you’re in need of a short rest, why not stop off at this pretty little waterfall to take in the view and relax?
While it is listed as one of the top things to do in Kirishima on TripAdvisor, I’m not sure Maruo Falls (丸尾滝) really counts as a “thing to do.” At best, the attraction takes up 5 or 10 minutes of your time – but all the same, if you’re in the area and have time to stop off, why not?
You’ll see signs for the waterfall just outside of Kirishima on Route 223 where the road bends away from the panoramic view and towards the hills in a loop which only really serves as access to the falls. The “parking lot” isn’t marked as such – it’s just a space at the edge of the road for five or six cars on the opposite side of the falls.
Visible from the road, the 20-meter high falls are certainly pretty but there’s not much to them. The little wooden viewing platform (equipped with information signs about the falls) was cordoned off at the time of my visit for repairs, and so we just stood at the edge of the road to view the scene. It appeared that there might be some sort of hiking route up behind the falls, but they were not indicated with signs; and as we were just stopping off to see the waterfall, we didn’t explore.
What can I say? Maruo Falls is a nice little spot to stop off and take a photograph, but not much else. You could possibly bring a picnic from the nearby convenience store, but where would you sit to eat it? While the viewing platform is closed, the only option would be is to sit in your car and look out the window – not so scenic. So, it’s worth a 5-minute stop if you happen to be driving through, perhaps on your way up to the Ebino Plateau (えびの高原) or to the Kirishima Shrine (霧島神社).
Maruo Falls Website *Japanese only