In the Fuji Five lakes region of Japan, in Shizuoka prefecture there is another aspect of the World Heritage list, the waterfall Shiraito. Part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu national park Shiraito falls is situated to the west of Mount Fuji, about a 1 hour drive from Kawaguchiko, or it can be accessed by bus, although this takes 80 minutes.
Shiraito falls is the widest waterfall in Japan, with the top of the falls spread over 150 meters, falling 20 meters down. The waterfall is known as “threads of silk” as the water gently cascades down (you can see the effect in long exposure photographs best). The water which falls here is all from the slopes and peak of Mount Fuji. As Fuji is made up of volcanic rock water slowly seeps through and travels between the lava and earth. It takes years and years for the water to make it to the falls and because of the way the water travels the same amount of water falls every day of the year here!
From the observation platform above Shiraito fall you are meant to get a stunning view of Mount Fuji in the backdrop with the falls in the foreground. If you are lucky that is. The first time we travelled to Shiraito it was cloudy and the very peak of Fuji was obscured by cloud. Wanting to get that perfect shot we drove back a few days later, only to be met by a sudden down pore, and no Fuji again!
The falls are truly beautiful, and it’s so interesting to see how the water pours out from below the lava. You won’t need too much time here, although I’d recommend walking through the shops to the nearby Otome falls, less grand but still a lot of falling water!