Josei Falls are located in the southern section of the Sakugi River, a tributary
of the Gono River, in former Futami-gun, in northern Hiroshima Prefecture. It was
designated as a place of scenic beauty of Hiroshima Prefecture in 1960.
Josei Falls consist of three steps, which are called, "Aranami" (rough wave),
"Shiraito" (white thread) and "Tamamizu" (beautiful water), from top to
Josei Falls amount to 126 meters in total height, and this drop is the greatest
in Hiroshima Prefecture. The waters of the upper stream, however, are narrow,
so the volume of water is small and the basin of the falls is not so big.
Nevertheless, the scene of the waterfall, which seems as if it were a thread, is
especially beautiful in the seasons of fresh green or autumn colors.
The area around Josei Falls is called Kanmon (barrier) of the Gono River,
because of the upheavals of the Chugoku Mountains. The Gono River has
continued to carve the mountains through vertical erosion, in spite of their
upheavals, and has never changed its course. In the end, it has separated the
Chugoku Mountains into east and west, and made a valley there.
Although the Gono River around Josei Falls is narrow, it has a large volume
of water, and transportation on it prospered from the Edo to the Meiji period,
connecting Miyoshi (upstream) and Gotsu (downstream).
Josei Falls is higher than Kegon Falls in Nikko National Park (Photograph taken circa 1994)
Around Josei Falls, there are natural woods, where deciduous trees, such as zelkova, evergreen and white oak, have grown together. The area was chosen as a Prefectural National Environment Conservation Region in 1975. Campsites have been set up around the area.
Kagura is also popular in this area. In particular, kagura of the autumn festival of Ikawashi Tenmangu Shrine is famous, and Suzuawase has been designated as an intangible folk-cultural asset of Hiroshima Prefecture.