The Cliffhanger is probably the most notorious obstacle. Featured from the fourth to the 28th tournament, it has known many forms:

1. Three ledges side by side with 15cm gaps in between

2. Two ledges side by side with 15cm gaps in between, and a third ledge 15 cm along and 30 cm up

3. One ledge, then the second ledge 15cm along and 30cm (10 inches) up, then the third ledge, 15cm along and 45cm (17 inches) down

4. One ledge, then the second ledge 15cm along and 30cm up, but the ledge is tilted, making getting down harder, so the first bit of the third ledge is wider than the rest (This was called the Shin-Cliffhanger, meaning the New-Cliffhanger)

5. Two diagonal ledges one above the other, then a third, straight one above that, then a gap to a higher, shorter fourth ledge, then a jump to a fifth ledge that is only 15cm long, making it hard to fit both hands on, and another jump to a sixth ledge further along  (Three have cleared, all being in SASUKE 27; Brent Steffensen cleared in American Ninja Warrior 4) (This was called the Ultimate Cliffhanger)

6. Crazy Cliffhanger: In SASUKE RISING, this obstacle was featured in the third stage. With no clears whatsoever, it consists of the third form except for the fact that the gap between the second and third ledges is only 30cm down, the third ledge is way shorter, and there's a fourth ledge on the opposite side that competitors must flip to

The ledges are 4cm wide; only wide enough to support fingertips; with the exception of the first part of the third ledge in version four, which is slightly wider.

Even mighty challengers like Katsumi Yamada and Toshihiro Takeda have failed on the cliffhanger. It is the only obstacle to remain in the 5th, 18th, 25th, and 28th tournament. Each time the course was significantly redesigned as a challenger defeated all four stages.

The Cliffhanger was introduced in the 4th tournament because in the previous tournament, five challengers reached the final stage, and one, Katsumi Yamada, had very nearly completed the Final Stage. The Cliffhanger did its job, and defeated Katsumi Yamada in the 4th tournament.