Mayagusuku Falls

Mayagusuku Falls

     This is a huge waterfall in the middle of Itajiki River which is a branch of Urauchi River, being located in the center of the island.  Entering the island crossing route from the upper reaches of Kanbire Falls, walking for about 2 hours, and getting to this falls.  As to the name of Mayagusuku, "maya" means a cat and "gusuku" means a castle, therefore it has a nuance of a castle where a wild cat inhabits.  Actually this waterfall had not have any official name because its presence has not been known for a long time even to the native people except a few of hunters.  Once in Kanpira-so, there were some lodge rooms called navvy rooms, Mr. Shotoku, who was one of the inhabitants there (now the owner of Shotoku-an), discovered this waterfall by chance when he was searching missing people, so the waterfall was called "Shotoku Falls" for a while.  
     Thereafter, the other inhabitants of the navvy rooms made a heated discussion on the name of the waterfall, it was finally decided as Mayagusuku Falls which excelled from other candidates such as "Tidasara Falls" and "Yamamaya Falls".  And the next day of the meeting when March 5th, 1979, some of the inhabitants made a signboard of Mayagusuku Falls with a wood board given by Robinson's Inn, they started for island crossing with the signboard, and placed it in front of the waterfall.  Mayagusuku Falls was named with such a story, lately the name of Mayagusuku Falls has been very popular, actually its naming was a great achievement by the inhabitants in the navvy rooms of Kanpira-so.  
     Like this case, there are many nameless waterfalls in Iriomote, the waterfalls with official names such as Pinaisara, Mariyudu Falls and Kanbire Falls are limitedly located in the places where anybody can visit easily.  
     The appearance of Mayagusuku Falls is quite splendid, the figure created by the water current flowing down on the arch-shaped and stairs-like bedrock is very beautiful.  Although there are so many waterfalls also in the Japanese main Islands, perhaps there are no waterfalls that shows such a shape anywhere.  Once there used to be a large basin like a pool below the waterfall, recently a part of the stairs-like rock were broken considerably on a large scale (maybe by a flood), about two third of the basin was covered up with the rocks.  Although this can be the workings of nature (everything is evanescent), we cannot help feeling sad that a naturally created beauty is crumbling. 
Completely flat rock table in top of the waterfall Gushing spot of water
Much water which may catch our feet Flowing water in expanding on the rock table
The edge of the upper flat where water flows down
The basin viewed from the upper flat A view of the waterfall from the left side
     On the upper side of the waterfall, there is a completely flat rocky plane which might be able to utilize as a heliport, to cross over the plane, we have to crawl in the water current.  Although the volume of running water is not so much, the current is rapid, if we catch our foot on the current, we must roll down from the edge of the rocky plane through the stairs-like bedrock nonstop, and float up in the basin.
     In fact some years ago, a young girl slipped down from the rocky plane, being almost fatally injured.  It was a serious incident to call a rescue helicopter of the Maritime Safety Agency.  It made the police and a district forestry office be rather nervous, therefore thereafter strict announcement sheet on the entering mountains and cross running are dealt to every hotel.  In case of a day tour to Mayagusuku, we have not had to make an application, however since the spring of 2002, we must apply to the police and the forestry office until the morning of the tour day because accidents in the forests increase very much recently.  You can download the registration sheet from this Web site.  Formats by MS-WORD and PDF are prepared.  Click the links below located to download.  
Registration to enter forest (WORD) Registration to enter forest (PDF)
     As it requires some stamina and experience, it may be difficult to get to the waterfall for an inexperienced person, however, some tours to this falls is available recently.  But the charge of the tours are so expensive that you should look for an experienced person and ask him for a guide.  In the autumn season at Kanpira-so, you may be able to meet a man of Mr. Chokichi who is a repeater customer every year.  As he stays for a very long time, during from late August to November, you can ask him for the guide to Mayagusuku Falls.  Since he has so many experiences to visit there, you will be easily conducted there.  In particular for a young girl, he will make it with pleasure.  Of course the Web master of this site will accept to guide when he stays in Iriomote.  
A nameless falls in Itajiki River
A nameless waterfall in Itajiki River branch
     On the way from Itajikigawa-no-deai (joint of Itajiki River) to Mayagusuku Falls, there is a branch stream in the left side, going up along the stream for a little distance, we can see a small waterfall whose height is a few meters.  When you have an opportunity to visit Mayagusuku Falls, I recommend you to see this waterfall.  Since this waterfall does not have a name like the other cases, Mr. Chokichi wants to give the name of "Chokichi Falls"...., but I suggest that a more suitable name should be given.  In such a view point, the name of Mayagusuku is a nice naming.  

     You can watch movies of Mayagusuku Falls and the nameless waterfall by Windows Media format (wmv) streaming files. They are played by Windows Media Player.

    Mayagusuku Falls (2,285 KB, 82 seconds)
    Nameless waterfall in Itajiki River (1,402 KB, 31 seconds)

     The other movie of Mayagusuku Falls filmed by Mr. Sara is available by the same format.  Refer to here.  Images of his film is much clearer, further including sound.  While, it will take a time for buffering owing to the large file size, so please be patient for a file until the beginning of play.

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