The temple built on a large rock, where the fisherman had awake from his dream (Nesame-no-toko / 寝覚めの床, Urashima-do temple / 浦島堂)

In few weeks ago, I went to an interesting place in the deep mountain.
The place's name was "Nesame no toko (寝覚めの床)".
It is the near place from Narai-jyuku which I wrote about in previous blog.

The meaning of  "Nesame no toko" is "The place where awake from the dream".

This place has a legend that one of the most famous man in Japanese folk story had awake from his dream. The man's name is "Urashima Taro (浦島太郎)" and in saying, he was awake from his dream at the top of this rock, where now you can see small temple.

Walking through the mountain and walking up the rocks, I reached this small temple.

The mountain road was not so rough, but the rocks where little hard to climb.

As the autumn is coming near, the mountain's color was changing green to orange.
Can you see the small building in the center of picture below? It's the temple.

To go this temple, I had to go downward once, and climb up the rocks again.

I saw a beautiful view on the rock.

The temple was quite small.
Door was locked and couldn't see inside.

I was little surprised to see the legs of temple.
The small rocks were used as a stopper!!

I will write folk story shortly about Urashima Taro.

Once upon a time, there was a young fisher man lived near the sea.
His name was Urashima Taro.

One morning, when he was going fishing, he heard children's voice.
He felt something wrong, and went to see what was going on.

What he saw was children and a turtle. Children found a turtle, and were teasing him.

As Urashima Taro was gentle young man, he saved turtle from the children.

The turtle thanked Urshima Taro a lot, and told him to ride on his back.
The turtle took Urashima Taro to the castle in the deep sea.

The beautiful princess, Otohime (乙姫) welcomed him.
Castle was made of beautiful coral, had delicious food, Urashima Taro liked the place at once.

Urashima Taro had fun, that he even forgot the time.
He told Otohime that he want to go back to the beach were he lived. He reminded his parents.
Otohime told to stay little more, but he decided to go back.

Otohime missed him a lot, but she gave him a present and said like this.

"I will give this box. Your TIME spent here is inside this box. When you go back, you will never get old and can stay young forever. But if once you open the box, your TIME will go out from the box. Please don't open it."

When he got back to the beach, the scenery had changed a lot.
He asked the people who met first, and know that 700 years had past since he left the beach.
The time he had spent at the castle was about 3 years, but more and more time had passed outside.

Urashima Taro knew that he never can see his parents anymore and filled with loneliness.

He reminded about the box which Otohime gave him.
At first when he told that he never gets old, he was happy, but now, he felt so sad being young alone. 

He thought if he open the box, the time will go back and can meet his parents.
He opened the box.

The white smoke came out from the box and surrounded Urashima Taro.
When smoke went away, Urashima Taro became an old man.

He couldn't reverse the time. Just time of his body had proceeded.

This is the story of Urashima Taro, which most of Japanese know.

I found some rocks which shaped like a turtle's head.
Don't you think so, too?

I was wondering why the legend of Urashima Taro had left in this deep mountain place.
He must be lived near the sea.

I searched about Nesame no toko, and knew that there where little more additional story.

As Urashima Taro had lost all of his family and neighbors, he decided to traveled around Japan.
He came inside to the deep mountain of  Kiso, the area's name of Nagano and Gifu prefecture, and found  beautiful place.

He liked the place, and spent his life there doing fishing in the river.
One day, he reminded about the box which Otohime gave.

As long time had also passed since he came back from the sea, he reminded good old days.
A memory of happy days with Otohime, he opened the box.
The smoke changed him to old man.

When he become an old man, he felt all thing he experienced was just a dream.
That is the reason this place was called "Nesame no toko", "The place where awake from the dream ".

In the light of sunset, the beauty of the scenery, I felt like it's not bad living here for a while.

I saw someone pine cone at the temple. 
I felt like Urashima Taro is still living here, and left them here.

It's little too fast for me to look back my own life.
I should come here again someday in the future.

Thank you for reading.
Good night!!

木曽, 寝覚めの床, 浦島太郎, 長野


Good old Japanese post town (Narai-jyuku / 奈良井宿,Nagano)

In good sunny day, I went to an old Japanese post town.

Since the begging of Edo era, the road called "Nakasen-do (中仙道)" had started.
Nakasen-do started nearly year 1600, connected Tokyo and Kyoto.

The length of Nakasen-do was about 200 kilometers, and had 67 post towns.
The post town I went one of them, "Narai-jyuku (奈良井宿)".

In the lonely planet Japan, "Tsumago (妻籠)" and "Magome (馬籠)" were introduced.
They are the post towns of Nakasen-do, too.

Taking a train from Matsumoto, 45 minutes ride will take you there.
Large wood made bridge will welcome the visitors.

This bridge was made with woods which lived more than 300 years.
It was built in year 1991, so it is not so old compared to the town.

Across the bridge, climb up the road a little, you will soon see the old buildings.

Once stepping inside, what you can see is an old town, which maybe changed just a little from hundreds of years.

In this old thin road, the car goes through.

These old wooden made buildings are built in hundreds years ago, people still lives inside.
Some of them are restaurants, hotels, and wooden works shops.

The shop below is snack shop.

The snack, "Oyaki (おやき)" is famous around here.
Oyaki is steamed bread, and there are several kinds of stuffings. Sweet Azuki beans, salty Miso, and Nozawana vegetable flavored with soy sauce.

As it is near the mountain with forests, the water is so clean.
You can drink spring water directly.

It's so cold, so that it is tasty in summer time, but you will get freezing in autumn and winter time.

As this town was famous for wooden works, I saw a lot of dishes, chopsticks and combs made of wood.

The gold and silver things are the bells.
In the memo, it says "It is small, but it rings in large sound! Please use them for Bear bells".

As mountain is near, there are several kinds of animals.
I never seen bear, but saw deer, fox and martens.

These are the spinning top.
When I was a child, I played them with my friends.

Going back to the street, and walk for a while again.

Wooden works shops, but selling umbrellas.

Window shopping are for free.
There were Japanese cray dolls.

I got hungry ate some snacks.
Grilled corn with soy sauce. We can eat them at street festivals in the summer time, too.

At the snack stand, I had rice cakes.
Snack stand was like this.

The rice cakes called "Go hei mochi (五平餅)".
Their flavor was miso, sesame, and soy sauce.

People seemed acting slowly.

If you are living in huge cities, it is really good place to get vacation here.
Time seems floating in different speed here.

I would like to spend a night at post town some day and get relaxed.
When I do, I will upload pictures here, too.

Thank you for reading!
Have a good night!

奈良井宿, 中山道, 中仙道, おやき, 五平餅,


A deserted railroad become good nice hiking road. (Azumino / 安曇野, Haisenjiki walking / 廃線敷ウォーキング)

In the mountain of Azumino, there were once a railroad called Shinanoi-Line.
This line connected Matsumoto city and Nagano city.
It is said that the train took about 3 hours going to each city.
Now other new line had prepared, it took about 1 hour 20 minutes to go each city.

The line had started at year 1902, ended the service 1988.
For 86 years, there were train running in the mountain.

After 35 years had passed, we still can see the part of railroad.

From Matsumoto station, ride a train to Nagano using Shinanoi line and get off at Akeshina station. (This line is new Shinanoi line)

Few minutes walk to the north and go to a shirine named Kotani Inari shrine (小谷稲荷神社).

+ Map to Kotani Inari shrine +,137.9351712,18z/data=!4m7!1m4!3m3!1s0x0:0x0!2zMzbCsDIxJzMxLjAiTiAxMzfCsDU2JzA5LjQiRQ!3b1!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0x7023d08cdd8a6b11

Near the shrine, the old rail road starts.
It was good sunny day.

Walking along the road, I came to the tunnel.

I got inside, and walked on.

The wall was like this.
Partly made of blocks. Same as the rail road, this tunnel was made more than 100 years ago.

I got out and saw some equipment were left.

Getting in to the mountain, the road got inside of the woods and the sun light getting green.
To tell the truth, I went to this place at the end of summer, so the color of the leaves were still green.

I found a laid down power pole.
I felt like I'm seeing the part of how the time is passing.

This equipment seemed some kind of switch.

I walked a little more and come to other tunnel.

I felt like going to some where unknown.
Maybe this was like a time tunnel.

The green road just kept on going.
I seemed didn't go anywhere.

I think today's blog seemed not so Japanese atmosphere, but I'm glad if you like it.

Thank you for reading.
Have a nice weekend!!

松本, 明科駅, 安曇野, 廃線敷ウォーキング, 篠ノ井線, 国鉄, 電車