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  • Sheer cliffs and Inkura Falls
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  • View of Mt. Tarumae
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  • Incline facility in the old days
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  • Inkura Falls in summer
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  • Smoldering Mt. Tarumae
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  • Fresh verdure and Inkura Falls
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  • Inkura Falls
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  • Autumn foliage and Inkura Falls
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Inkura-no-Taki (Inkura Falls) Recreation Forest

27.05 ha

Elevation Lowest: 110 m / Average: 110–250 m / Highest: 250 m

Magnificent waterfall in Shiraoi that cascades
from a deep forest over a sheer cliff that towers above like a castle wall

Magnificent waterfall in Shiraoi that cascades
from a deep forest over a sheer cliff that towers above like a castle wall

Newest information
Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Autumn leaf viewing Waterfall viewing Paddling / fishing / boating (river) :Poroto Recreation Forest(Outside the forest) (Payment required)
Geographical/topographical features
At the foot of Mt. Tarumae, close to the headwaters of the Betsubetsu River that flows into the Pacific Ocean near Shadai in Shiraoi Town, there is a vast, nearly flat plateau, commonly known as the Shadai Plateau. This entire area is said to have been formed by wave erosion when the land was uplifted from the sea by tectonic forces. Inkura Falls is located on a vertical cliff at the southern edge of the Shadai Plateau. The spectacular waterfall is about 44 m high and about 10 m wide, with abundant water, and has been selected as one of Japan's 100 best waterfalls. It is also called Betsubetsu Falls by locals.
Historical/cultural features
Inkura Falls is said to have been named after a facility called an incline* that was at one time installed on the Shadai Plateau to transport timber from trees such as Ezomatsu (Yezo spruce (Picea jezoensis)), Todomatsu (Todo fir (Abies sachalinensis)) and Mizunara (Japanese oak mizu-nara (Quercus crispula Blume)) to the bottom of the steep cliff.
A system that made use of the weight of downward moving loaded handcars to raise unloaded handcars. As the incline was difficult to operate, it was closed, and the equipment was removed in 1944. Since then, timber has been transported using forest roads.
Climate, flora and fauna
The climate in the Iburi region is relatively mild compared to other parts of Hokkaido. Spring arrives earlier in the region and it experiences cool summers and refreshing and stable autumn weather.
In this area, the abundant underground water has slowly percolated through the thick volcanic ash layers that have accumulated from Mt. Tarumae's past eruptions, leaving it clean and clear. Evergreen trees such as Ezomatsu and Todomatsu and broad-leaved trees including Nara (oak (Quercus)), Itaya (painted maple (Acer mono Maxim.)), Katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum Siebold et Zucc. ex Hoffm. et Schult.) and Harunire (Japanese Elm (Ulmus davidiana var. japonica)) grow on the surrounding cliffs and gorges. The clear surface of the water reflects their changing seasonal colors.
Inkura Falls is relatively easy to reach from New Chitose Airport, Sapporo and also from the Tomakomai West Port Ferry Terminal. The waterfall fascinates visitors by changing with the seasons and makes a powerful impression that conveys the dynamism of nature.
There are also a variety of tourist sites nearby, such as the National Ainu Museum and Park (to open in 2020), which introduces Ainu culture, Mt. Tarumae, with its mountain hiking trails, a broad range of food-related spots offering local specialties made from freshly harvested ingredients and the Kojohama Onsen hot springs, which boast some of the most plentiful hot spring water in Hokkaido. Foodies can try the exquisite local Shiraoi Beef―world renowned for its smooth, rich flavor―for reasonable prices at restaurants in the town().
Latest Information
Warnings (Flora and fauna) 
Ezo Brown bears: Higuma (brown bears (Ursus arctos)) may be present during the period from April to November. When entering the forest, please carry a bear bell and stay in a group. Check for local information on bear sightings and warnings and follow instructions.
Nighttime visits are not recommended as there are no lights or staffed facilities and the forest is home to many dangerous animals, including Higuma (Ezo brown bears (Ursus arctos)).
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
Operating hours and seasons
Accessible 24 hours a day, but nighttime visits are not recommended as there are no lights or staffed facilities and the forest is home to many dangerous animals, including Higuma (Ezo brown bears (Ursus arctos)). In winter (from November until around April), the Town Road Futamata Line becomes impassable due to snowfall.
Accommodation options
About 15 km (about 30 minutes) to three inns, etc. in Shiraoi Town.
About 35 km (about 50 minutes) to 11 inns and hotels in Kojohama Onsen.
Toilets (1 toilet location) Walking trail (Currently off limits) Parking lot Observation platform Restaurant (Outside the forest) Campsite and/or cabins:Poroto Recreation Forest (Outside the forest)(Payment required) Resource center/Museum : Sendai Clan, Shiraoi Manor House Museum (Outside the forest)(Payment required) Accommodation facilities (Hotels/Japanese inns)(Outside the forest) Hot Spring (Outside the forest) (Payment required)
Shadai, Shiraoi Town, Shiraoi County, Hokkaido
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)

Parking lot capacity / parking charges
  • Inkura Falls Parking Lot: Free parking for about 10 vehicles
Nearby tourism facilities
Management office contact details
Iburi Tobu District Forest Office
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Sendai Clan, Shiraoi Manor House Museum [External link]
Official Tourist Information
Shiraoi Town Tourist Association [External link]
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Shiraoi District Recreation Forest Management Committee (Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Division, Shiraoi Municipal Office)
TEL: 0144-82-6491

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