Headwaters of the Nagaragawa River

Gifu

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Recommended Themes, Seasons and Activities

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Natural Scenery:River and Waterfall
Dragon Legends and Traditions:From here to the sea on the Nagaragawa River

Seasons

Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter

Activities

Cultural Experiences(Cormorant Fishing Observation Boat, Boat Ride)/ Look / Walk / Photograph

In the uppermost reaches of the Nagaragawa River, the adjoining Husband and Wife Waterfalls

The Nagara River has its headwaters deep in the heart of Mount Dainichi in Gifu Prefecture. Mount Dainichi is 1,709 meters high, but a monument marking the headwaters stands in the Kamasu Valley, where runoff from the peak converges. Downstream from the headwaters monument are the Meotodaki (“Husband and Wife Waterfalls”), where two falls flow side by side, dropping about 70 meters over layers of beautifully stratified rock. One never tires of the sight of the glistening rock face and the adjoining falls, nestled among the green of the surrounding trees.
Legends say that Taicho Daishi, the first person to climb Mount Hakusan, performed ritual ablutions under the Husband and Wife Waterfalls, and you can almost see the monk standing in silence under the pounding water.

From here to the sea on the Nagaragawa River

Hirugano Kogen (elevation 876 meters) is an area where the waters flowing down from Mount Dainichi come together, forming a watershed from which the waters flow in two directions. The divide can be seen in the Watershed Park. In one direction, the waters flow into the Nagara River and on to the Pacific Ocean, while in the other direction, they flow into the Sho River and ultimately to the Sea of Japan. Because the flows are completely separate, the divide is classified as a complete watershed. A stroll through the grove of white birches surrounding the watershed lets you enjoy the changes of the four seasons, from the skunk cabbage blooming in the spring to the greenery of summer and the brilliant colors of autumn.

The Well of the Princess

The Well of the Princess

In the upper reaches of the Nagara River is a place called the Omaki Chasm, formed by a huge whirlpool that was created when the river’s torrent struck large rocks. Legend says that a sacred straw rope was stretched across the deep depression in the rock, and the place became known as the Well of the Princess.
It is said that long, long ago a Dragon God dwelt in Omaki, and that a princess lived at the well. The legends also say that if the well becomes contaminated, the Dragon God will be angered and bring floods to the area. One year, the area suffered a great drought, and with their crops withering in the fields, the villagers were greatly troubled. The village headman, Gohei, remembering the Well of the Princess, became obsessed with the idea that if the well were to be contaminated, rain would fall, so he dumped trash into the well. The next morning, booming thunder reverberated overhead, and violent rains fell continuously. The Nagara River overflowed its banks, leaving homes and fields awash in water and mud. Hoping to appease the wrath of the Dragon God, Gohei threw himself into the muddy torrent, and the rains finally stopped. Ever since that time, the villagers have vowed to protect the purity of the Well of the Princess, and every summer they stage a river festival in honor of the Dragon God and Gohei.

Headwaters of the Nagaragawa River

Address

Hirugano, Takasu-cho, Gujo, Gifu Prefecture

Hours

Takasu Tourism Association 8:30 am to 5:30 pm

Closed

Open daily

Cost

Free of charge

Phone

Takasu Tourism Association 0575-72-5000

Access

Takasu Tourism Association By Shirotori Kotsu Bus to Bunsuirei Koen, take Shirotori Hirugano-sen to Bunsuirei Koen

Web site

http://kankou.takasu.or.jp/
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