Stunning winter waterfall in Biei
Shirahige Falls is a spectacular waterfall situated 600 meters above sea level in the town of Biei, southeast of Asahikawa. White curtains of water cascading through gaps in the cliff give this natural landmark its name, which means “white beard waterfall.” Shirahige Falls is unusual for a Japanese waterfall in that it flows from an underground river. The waterfall is particularly stunning in the winter when frost-encrusted trees and shimmering icicles showcase the blue ravine below.
Seasonal light-up events make the aura even more magical. Although the illumination period usually lasts from November to April, exact dates may vary by year. When visiting, be sure to wear warm clothes appropriate for subzero temperatures.
After seeing the waterfall, head to nearby Biei Shirogane Onsen. This all-natural hot spring, open since 1950, is rich in minerals like magnesium and calcium sulfate. The open-air bath lets you bathe among the snowy winter landscape.
How to get there
Biei Station is a 30-minute ride from either Asahikawa Station on the JR Furano Line or Asahikawa Airport on the Asahikawa Airport Limousine Bus. Shirahige Falls is 30 minutes from Biei Station by car or Dohoku Bus.