Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nunobiki Falls - Medaki

In Japan, Nunobiki is considered one of the great"divine falls" along with the Kegon Falls in Nikko and the Nachi Falls in southern Wakayama. A well-known section of the Tales of Ise describes a trip taken to the falls where a poem by Ariwara no Narihira is quoted – inscribed on a monument near the falls:

White cascading gems
scatter down
as if someone has unstrung a necklace
I desire to hold them all,
Alas, my sleeves are too narrow

There are actually two falls that make up Nunobiki, the Medaki (Female Falls) and the larger Odaki (Male Falls) higher up the mountain. Aside from poetry the falls are also the subject of legends and tales, including the two falls being considered as male and female deities with all the ensuing romance and drama. Upon revisiting this area I found that what I previously believed was the largest of the falls is actually the smaller, the Odaki was higher up the mountain and the area truthfully contains four waterfalls - the last two being considerably smaller - hence my previous confusion.

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