Monday, February 03, 2014

Nezame no Toko

Nagano prefecture in the Tokai region is another prefecture which has a lot of interesting places worth visiting. From the historical Matsumoto castle, the snow monkeys of Jigokudani, the picturesque Kiso valley to the ski resorts of the Japanese Alps - Nagano has everything. Located in the centre of Japan, it is nicknamed the Roof of Japan since the Japanese Alps surround the prefecture on all 4 sides. The Winter Olympics and Paralympics of 1998 were hosted in Nagano prefecture. No wonder the ski resorts of Hakuba, Nozawa and Shiga Kogen attract winter sports enthusiasts every year. 

Kiso valley is a picturesque valley in Nagano prefecture along the Kiso river and is at the border of Gifu prefecture to the south west. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful valleys in Japan. The 3067 meter high Mt Ontake san is considered to be a holy mountain and many worshippers climb it every year. The old Kisoji trade route was developed along the valley and was an important part of the Nakasendo highway during the Edo period.

We visited the Nezame no toko gorge in the Kiso valley in summer. Nagano prefecture has a pleasant climate even in summer and also has a low humidity, making it a popular place to visit in summer. 

Nezame no toko is a gorge created by the Kiso river cutting through Granite rocks to create fascinating rock formations against the backdrop of emerald green water. 

Nezame no toko literally translates to "Wake Up Bed". Legend goes that Urashima Taro, Japan's Rip Van Winkle awoke from his 300 years of sleep at this spot. 

In Autumn, the fall colors add to the beauty of the scenery. 

A walk through the Bijutsu Park leads to the Nezame no Toko. This is also the perfect place for a picnic with a scenic view. 

Occasionally one can also see the JR Chuo Line train passing close by. 

Address : Nagano Prefecture 399-5600, Kiso gun, Agematsu machi, Nezame no Toko

Phone: 0264-52-200

Parking: Car Parking available near the entrance to Bijutsu Park.

Nearest Railway Station: Kiso-Fukushima station on JR CHUO LINE

Entrance fees: Free

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