CONTRIBUTED BY QUENTIN RICHARDSON
On a cloudy Sunday morning, I decided to show my guest (Mom) some of the waterfalls of Okinawa. It’s an adventure worth doing if prepared and planned out. We visited the first set and made our way to the next set of falls known as “Meoto” or “Tachigawa”.
If you are like me and speed from one place to another, this place is very easily missed. After passing Higashi village heading north on Pref. Route 70, you come up to a sign shaped like a coffee cup telling you where to park. The next sign marks the entrance to what looks like a ranch across the street.
Once inside you see a well groomed yard with a few houses and the famous two-story restaurant. The patio is covered with creatively worked wooden chairs and surrounded by nice local flora. You are greeted by the friendly staff and handed the menu, which is translated in English. You don’t have to sit outside, but if you ask, choose to sit on the sky terrace if its not too hot or raining.
I ordered the Ginger Pork meal, which was 1,000 yen, and my mother ordered the Seafood Fried Rice. About 7 minutes later, our food was served. Wow, not only was everything good, but they gave us quite the variety of food with our order. Along with her meal, my mother ordered some tea that was very tasty as well.
After eating and paying, we decided to walk around the property and take pictures of the two sites: The view from the sky terrace and the set (meaning two) waterfalls.
First, walking over to the sky view gives you an excellent view of the valley and beach nearby. After asking permission (as a sign of respect) we headed to the entrance of the waterfalls. There are two ways to get there, the steps and the walking path. Both were closed due to the heavy rains and other safety reasons.
Since I knew the area quite well, I decided to show my mother the viewpoint of the beach from the village nearby and how to get there via the trail. Since the trail is very slippery from the rain, we decided to head back. Luckily we did because a nasty storm began dumping rain on us as soon as we were headed back.
Directions: To get to this area, you need to get to Pref. Route 70 in Higashi village via Highway 331. If you prefer the scenic route or you are already on the east side of the island, use Highway 329 (use the Ginoza Interchange [#9] if you are traveling north on the Okinawa Expressway). Traveling north on Highway 329 leads you to Highway 331, which in turn, leads you to Pref. Route 70. If you are using Highway 58, turn right on Pref. Route 9 and later turn right on to Highway 331 which will lead you to Pref. Route 70.
Once on Pref. Route 70, after marker 43 look for a brown sign with a coffee cup and the letter “P” on your left side. This is where you park, since a few meters up the road you will see the sign in English and Kanji that says “Tachigawa Waterfall Cafe”. Across the street from these signs is the entrance to the cafe.