Nezame no toko at Agematsu, Nagano, c. 1910.

1910sAmusements & RecreationsOutside Tokyo
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Nezami no toko at Agematsu, Nagano, c. 1910.

Nezame-no-toko [Bed of Awakening], so named because the views in this neighborhood are considered to be so exciting as to make even sleepy eyes open, is regarded as one of the most lovely spots of the Kiso Gorge. It is 1-mile south of Agematsu Station, and consists chiefly of huge rocks, wrought by nature into various shapes, one appearing like a lion, another like a screen, yet another like a lotus flower, etc. The platforms formed by the rocks at a spot where the river narrows add considerable charm to the scene.

“Tradition connects a rock, on which there is a small shrine dedicated to the goddess Benzaiten (or Benten), with Urashima Taro, the Rip Van Winkle of Japan, who is supposed to have fished from this rock. The origin of this tradition is probably that a hermit nicknamed Urashima once passed his time here in angling.”

Japan: The Official Guide, Japan Travel Bureau, 1940

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