Shiraito Waterfall (白糸の滝, Shiraito no Taki), measuring three meters high and 70 meters wide, is located in the forests north of downtown Karuizawa. The mountain slopes above the waterfall contain a volcanic stratum on which groundwater flows before surfacing here. This explains why no river flows into the Shiraito Waterfall. Also, as only a small portion of the water flowing is rain water, the strength of the flow stays relatively constant independant of the weather.
Shiraito no Taki literally means "the waterfall of white threads", which aptly describes its appearance, as multiple streaks of water drape over the surface forming what seems like a white curtain. The site is most beautiful in summer when the vegetation is lush; it is a somewhat popular destination for autumn colors around late October each year. Immediately below the Shiraito Waterfall is a secondary waterfall that is shaped such that water cascades over several steps.
Kusakaru Kotsu operates buses between Karuizawa Station and the Shiraito Waterfall (25 minutes, 710 yen one way, 1-2 buses/hour, less in winter). Get off at "Shiraito no Taki" bus stop (白糸の滝) from where the waterfall is a five minute walk.
For those visiting by car, the waterfall is located along the Shiraito Highlandway toll road (300 yen), which starts just north of the Former Mikasa Hotel and ends at the Mine no Chaya intersection.