Exploring Oni-no-Shitabui Gorge

(A shark had a big crush on a beautiful female deity)

Hi, I am Sachiyo!

At the end of October, I showed guests from China and Bangladesh around Okuizumo with a fellow guide, Aisa.

On the trip, we visited “Oni-no-shitaburui gorge”, a V-shaped gorge spanning about 2 kilometers. It’s a place of spectacular scenic beauty. At the bottom of the gorge, boulders and rocks lie one on top of another, clogging the waters rushing down the stream. It looks like the huge stones are trying to dam up the river. A myth which is told in an ancient book written about 1300 years ago says that a beautiful female deity, Princess Tamahime, once lived up the stream. A shark had a big crush on her, and often went up the river to see her. She didn’t like it and blocked the river with the huge rocks.

The boulders and rocks look like they are blocking the shark’s way.

Our guest from Bangladesh looked like she was very interested in the story.

This is the Shitaburui “Love” Suspension Bridge. The weather was so beautiful and they looked amazed by the stunning view from the bridge.

On the halfway of the broad walk along the “Oni-no-shitaburui gorge”, there is a rest place. Aisa kindly served us some tea there. She also prepared paper cups for us to have tea, and each cup had some messages written by her. It was quite a pleasant surprise.

I really like this photo we took together after having Aisa’s delicious tea.

This rock is called Demon’s Tears Rock. It looks like the rock has two eyes, and a river of tears is gushing out from the right eye. The “demon” here refers to the shark which had a big crush on the female deity. It has been crying for her for more than 1000 years. I felt a little bit sorry for it.

During the trip, we dropped by the Road Station Okuizumo Koryu-kan, which has a wide selection of local Sake (Japanese rice wine). The guests enjoyed sampling some sake. I also wanted try some, but I had to drive, so I bought a bottle of Sake which was brewed from locally produced rice, because Okuizumo is famous for its rice. I had the Sake right after returning home. It was so good, and I enjoyed its aroma from delicious Okuizumo rice.

We also had sake-flavored soft-served ice cream there, and it was so good, too!

As the road station is located in Kamedake Onsen Hot Spring District, an Onsen stand offering hot spring water is found in the corner of the parking area. Beside the stand, a small shrine which enshrines the deity of the hot spring stands. Our guest from China looked amused to see the stand and the shrine, saying, “It’s so cute!”

We had a great time in Okuizumo on a beautiful day.

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