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Ichinoi Weir Falls, Kyoto
Waterfall Seasons - The Waterfall Guide

The drop over this constructed weir across the Katsura (Oi) River in Kyoto can be viewed from the historic Togetsu-kyo Bridge near Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. Technically a weir wall rather than a natural waterfall, but still impressive for its width, noise, volume, and picturesque river surroundings. Ichinoi Weir Falls from the Togetsu-kyo Bridge Above: Ichinoi Weir Falls from the Togetsukyo Bridge (Order this image)

I came across this weir as part of a visit to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama, on the eastern outskirts of Kyoto. From the Bamboo Forest, which is one of the most popular attractions in Kyoto, I headed through the Kameyama Park by foot, wandering through the cherry tree garden and then following the paved path down to the river.
At the river the weir forms a pool which backs up into the Rankyo Gorge, with chartered boats and row boats for hire from the little wharf beside the river, for paddling around in the weir pool. There is a wooden fence in the water a few metres upstream of the weir, presumably to stop any tourists from being sucked over the falls in their row boats. Togetsu-kyo Bridge immediately downstream of the Ichinoi Weir Above: Togetsu-kyo Bridge immediately downstream of the Ichinoi Weir, with the hydropower channel in the foreground (Order this image)

The falls can be viewed clearly from the concrete boardwalk that runs alongside the river, or by venturing across onto the Togetsu-kyo Bridge, about 100 metres downstream. According to an information board on site, this historic wooden bridge was first built in the year 836. Walking across the bridge is extremely popular with Japanese tourists, with people shoulder to shoulder on the footpath when heading across on my visit, even on a rainy day.
During cherry blossom season, the river banks upstream and downstream were scattered with cherry trees in bloom throughout the surrounding park and forest, creating a picturesque view from the bridge, even in gloomy conditions. Ichinoi Weir Falls in Kyoto Above: Ichinoi Weir across the Katsura (Oi) River during cherry blossom season (Order this image)

The weir has a channel which runs along the northern bank of the river. The information board on site indicates that water along this channel has been used to generate hydropower since 2005 to run the lights along the river boardwalk. If you head to the downstream side of Togetsu-kyo Bridge you can see where the channel drops back into the river.

From the bridge it is an easy walk back past several cafes and shops, many of which are built in a traditional style, to the Arashiyama light rail station that heads back into Kyoto.
Your Seasonal Guide:
Best Time of Year to Visit:Best Time of Day to Visit:
Streamflow data was not available to me for this river, but based on available rainfall information, there is likely to be reliable flow over the falls all year round, with flows highest from March through to July. Visit early morning or late evening to avoid the peak tourist hours.
Other Information Before You Go:
Location: Japan, 616-8385 Kyoto, Ukyo Ward, Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho.
Latitude:35.013454 Longitude:135.676411
Getting there: From Arashiyama light rail station, walk south 170 metres until you reach the river at Togetsu-kyo Bridge. The weir is 130 metres upstream of the bridge. Alternatively, from the Arashiyama Bambo Forest, walk south for 500 metres through Kameyama Park until you reach the river, then follow the paved paths for 300 metres downstream along the river until you reach the weir.

Water source: Katsura (Ooi) River
Approx. height: 1-2 metres
Approx. width: 150 metres
Approx. length: Vertical drop
Swimming available at the falls: None, but you can hire a row boat.
Facilities: There is a cafe along the road between the bridge and the falls, and public toilets approximately 200 metres west of the weir. There are various shops and restaurants along the main road between the bridge and the Arashiyama light rail station. There is a little park with park benches and public toilets on the southern side of the bridge.
Entrance fee: None
Opening times: Always open
Sun shade: No shade at the weir, on the riverside boardwalk, or on the bridge.
Wheelchair access: The riverside boardwalk with views of the weir is wheelchair accessible and the footpath across the bridge is also wheelchair accessible.
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: None stated on site that I could see
Accommodation and Tour Options: See my accommodation and tour suggestions for Ichinoi Weir.
Managing authority: Unknown
Nearby attractions: The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, 800 metres to the north-west.
Before you head out, make sure you read the waterfall safety information and check with the managing authority (if known) for any current change of conditions.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the start of the mid-point of the weir in the river. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can occur with some browsers, simply refresh this web page.
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