About 45 minutes from Shimoda is the Kawazu Nanadaru (7 Waterfalls) hike. It's a gorgeous hike that takes you up along a river with 7 natural waterfalls cascading down the mountain. It's hard to put into words how beautiful it is. Even Andrew, who lived in Hawaii for years, and has hiked all over, said that this was probably the best waterfall hike he's ever been on! It's really incredible. And, it's not a strenuous hike at all. The paths are well constructed and Will did just fine walking the whole way; Clara would have been fine walking on her own also, but we want to make faster time so she got put in the hiking backpack :)
Each of the 7 waterfalls was marked with one of the 7 Lucky Gods, and this guy caught my attention in particular. I think he might be Bishamonten, the god of warriors.
And here's Benny, just trying to get a little taste of some cleansing water. I don't think he was successful, but he tried!
We made it to 6 of the 7 falls except for the first one, Odaru, which is closed to the public. Some of the falls were bigger than others, but all were spectacular, and almost hypnotic to watch. I was especially in awe of the turquoise water that seemed to pool at the bottom of each waterfall. I was seriously tempted to jump in several times!
This hike is definitely a new favorite of all the activities that we've done since being in Japan! I just can't get over how gorgeous it is here! There is beauty all around! And I'm so grateful that we have the opportunity to explore and experience some of it!