[Iriomote] How to get to Maryudo Falls and Kanbiree Falls

Mariyudo Falls

  Contents 
Welcome to Maryudo / Kanbiree Falls
Maryudo Falls
Kanbiree Falls
How to get to Maryudo / Kanbiree Falls
How to take the Urauchi River tour boat
Things to bring and clothes
Maryudo / Kanbiree Falls Hiking Best Plan
Precautions for hiking

Welcome to Maryudo / Kanbiree Falls

Urauchi River Observatory

More photos : Instagram

There are many waterfalls on Iriomote Island. But most of them don’t have signs, so it’s difficult to get there without a guide. You cannot use your mobile phone in the mountains of Iriomote Island. You shouldn’t go into the mountains easily, as there is no way to contact others if you get lost in the mountains.
The waterfalls on this Island that can be reached without a guide are Maryudo Falls and Kanbiree Falls.

These waterfalls are located upstream of the Urauchi River, which flows northwest from the center of Iriomote Island. There is Maryudo Falls on the way to Kanbiree Falls, so you can go to these two waterfalls at the same time. These waterfalls have signs and toilets along the hiking trail so that visitors can go without a guide.

It takes about 1 hour one way to the waterfall, and even beginners and children can enjoy hiking. The subtropical jungle of Iriomote Island has an atmosphere as if dinosaurs live there. Therefore, you will feel excited when you hike there. In addition, on the hiking trails, you can see Heritiera littoralis and, if you are lucky, yellow-margined box turtle and Sakishima tree lizard.

Box Turtle


Maryudo Falls

Mariyudo Falls

More photos : Instagram

It is a beautiful waterfall that has been selected as one of the 100 best waterfalls in Japan. The height of the waterfall is about 16m, and it is divided into two parts. It is about a 30-minute walk from the pier upstream of the Urauchi River.

There is an observatory on the way to the waterfall, from which you can see the whole view of Maryudo Falls. The photo above is a photo taken from the observatory.
The Maryudo Falls observatory has benches that make it a great place to rest during your hike. This observatory is approximately the middle point of the hiking trail to Kanbiree Falls.

Maryudo Falls Observatory

A few minutes walk from this observatory, you will reach Maryudo Falls. However, you cannot go to the side of the waterfall, and you will see the waterfall from the promenade. You can see the whole waterfall from the observatory, so you can take better pictures from there.

Maryudo Falls


Kanbiree Falls

Kanbiree Falls

More photos : Instagram

This waterfall is sometimes written as Kanpiree Falls, but “Kanbiree” means “God’s seat” in the dialect around here and is a sacred place.

This waterfall does not have much height, but it is about 200m long. It takes about 50 to 55 minutes on foot from the pier upstream of the Urauchi River to this waterfall. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes from Maryudo Falls Observatory.

You can get close to the waterfall, but be aware that the rocks are slippery.


How to get to Maryudo / Kanbiree Falls

UrauchiRiver Jungle Cruise

Maryudo Falls and Kanbiree Falls are located upstream of the Urauchi River. The boats that go to these waterfalls (Urauchi River tour boats) operate daily from the downstream of the Urauchi River. You can take the boat to the upstream of the Urauchi River and walk from there to reach the waterfall in about an hour.

There is a bus stop on the Urauchi River, so you can get there by route bus. In addition, there is free parking near the bus stop, so you can drive there.

How to get to Maryudo / Kanbiree Falls
1. Iriomotejima Uehara Port About 16 minutes by bus or car Urauchi River bus stop
2. Urauchi River bus stop About 2 minutes by walk Boarding point of Urauchi River tour boat
3. Boarding point of Urauchi River tour boat About 30 minutes Urauchi River upstream pier
4. Urauchi River upstream pier About 30 minutes by walk Maryudo Falls observatory
5. Maryudo Falls observatory About 20~25 minutes by walk Kanbiree Falls

Kanbiree Falls Hiking Trail

You should make a plan in about an hour one way by getting off the boat to the waterfall and walking from there. However, if you want to take a break at the observatory for a while or walk slowly while looking at the scenery, it will take longer. Some other information explains that it takes about 45 minutes to walk to the waterfall one way, but when we actually went, we couldn’t reach it in 45 minutes.


How to take the Urauchi River tour boat

Urauchi River tour boat

You can reach Maryudo Falls and Kanbiree Falls by Urauchi River tour boat.
The ticket office is about a 2-minute walk from the Urauchi River bus stop. You don’t need to make a reservation for a tour boat, but there is a schedule. Please check the schedule of the Urauchi River tour boat.

The schedule only mentions the departure time from the downstream pier. The boarding time to the upstream is about 30 minutes. Therefore, the departure time of the upstream pier is the schedule + about 30 minutes later. You will be back in the downstream pier about another 30 minutes later.

Urauchi River tour boat TicketUrauchi River tour boat Ticket

There are toilets and vending machines at the ticket office, where you can buy snacks and rent rain shoes for free.
There are no shops upstream of the Urauchi River, so you should buy drinks and light meals here. You should definitely bring a drink. It needs at least 500ml.

The hiking trail condition gets worse when it rains. If you don’t want your shoes to get dirty, you should rent rain shoes. We recommend that you bring marine shoes.

Urauchi River tour boat Ticket Office

Urauchi River tour boat information (As of November 2021)

  Business Hours 
8:30 – 4:30pm
  Fare 
2,200yen
  Required time 
3 hours (Boarding time is 30 minutes one way, The standard time for hiking is 2 hours)

When you get on the boat, the staff will ask you for the time of the return boat. As a standard, it seems that the time spent upstream is about 2 hours. Therefore, for example, if you board a boat at 9 o’clock, you will board a boat that departs from the upstream pier at 11:30.

But the impression we actually went there was that two hours of hiking wasn’t enough. You probably only have time to go to the waterfall and return immediately. If you want to take a break at the observatory for a while or take a lot of pictures, you should plan to return by another boat.

When you are asked by the staff for the return boat time, you can delay the return boat time by telling then that you want to relax upstream. However, the boat has a schedule. In addition, there is no way to go back downstream other than this tour boat, so you should plan with plenty of time.


Things to bring and clothes

Kanbiree Hiking Trail bridge

Hiking trails to the waterfall are well maintained. You don’t need hiking shoes, but sandals are inadequate. You should go with suitable clothes and shoes.

  Clothes 
Clothes that are easy to move and dry quickly are suitable. You walk in the mountains, so you don’t get sunlight, but you sweat. The hiking trails are well maintained, so even a T-shirt is suitable. However, if you are worried about insects, long sleeves are recommended.

  Shoes 
The shoes we recommend to you are marine shoes.
You walk on the mountain road for about 2 hours. The road is well maintained, but since it is a mountain road, shoes that are easy to walk in are suitable. You don’t need hiking shoes, sneakers are enough, but there are some muddy places.
The day we went was sunny and it wasn’t raining the day before, but there was a place to walk on the stones and cross the stream. If it rains the day before, the stones may be submerged and you may have to walk in the water. Therefore, we recommend marine shoes to you.
Kanbiree Hiking Trail
You can rent rain shoes for free at the ticket office, but we think marine shoes are easier to walk on. We recommend that you bring it with you.

  Things to bring 
You have to bring something to drink. There are vending machines only at the ticket office downstream. You should bring it at least 500ml.
It’s not a tough hiking trail that requires you to bring a light meal, but you may want to eat some sweets at the observatory.


Maryudo / Kanbiree Falls Hiking Best Plan

This is a proposal for a hiking plan for Maryudo Falls and Kanbiree Falls.
Hiking is a plan with plenty of time, and it is a plan to eat lunch at the observatory and come back.

 Best Plan 
*The schedule as of May 2021
1. Ishigaki Port Dep. (8:30) Iriomotejima Uehara Port (about 9:30)
2. Breakfast at the cafe “Iriomote no Shonen” (French toast is recommended)
Restaurant Iriomote no shonen
3. Anei Kanko Ferry Shuttle「Uehara Port」 Dep. (10:30) get off 「Urauchi River」(about 10:45)
4. Urauchi River tour boat Dep. (11:00) To upstream of the river (about 11:30)
5. Lunch at Maryudo Falls Observatory (You need to bring a light meal.)
6. Enjoy Maryudo Falls and Kanbiree Falls
7. Depart upstream of the river tour boat (2:30pm) To downstream of the river (about 3:00pm)
8. Anei Kanko Ferry Shuttle「Urauchi River」 Dep. (3:43pm) get off 「Uehara Port」(3:57pm)
9. Iriomotejima Uehara Port Dep. (4:30pm) Ishigaki Port

If you go with this plan, we recommend a tour of Anei Kanko Ferry.
It is a tour that includes a round-trip ferry fare from Ishigaki Island and a ticket for the Urauchi River tour boat. It allows you to decide everything, such as departure time and return time. In addition, it is cheaper than going by yourself.


Precautions for hiking

Toilets on the hiking trail are minutes from the upstream pier. There is no toilet near the waterfall, only this one. It takes about an hour from Kanbiree Falls to this toilet.
Kanbiree HikingTrail Toilet

There are no shops or vending machines on the hiking trails. You should bring something to drink. There is a vending machine at the ticket office downstream.

This is a well-maintained hiking trail, but mobile phones are not available. The directions to the waterfall are easy to understand, but if you get lost, there is no way to get in touch with anyone.

The departure time of the return ship is fixed. You have to return to the pier yourself in time for that time. This ship is the only way to get back downstream.

There is information that the round trip time to Kanbiree Falls is 90 minutes, but it is better to plan for a round trip that takes about 120 minutes. In addition, the ideal time to depart Kanbiree Falls is about an hour before the departure time of the return ship.

You should change your favorite shoes that you don’t want to get dirty.
Sneakers are sufficient for hiking trails, but there are some muddy places and places to cross streams. It was sunny when we went, but there was a place like this. If it rains the day before, you may have to walk in the water.
You can rent rain shoes for free at the ticket office. However, we think that marine shoes that you don’t have to worry about even if they get wet are suitable. We recommend that you bring it with you.


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