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Otome-no-taki, the Virgin Waterfall of Nasu

Once upon a time, at a village in the Nasu highlands, there lived the most beautiful young girl the people had ever laid eyes on. She had the longest, shiniest, smoothest hair; it was her custom to slowly and carefully wash it by the waterfall. Travelers, thirsty for fresh water, would lay eyes on her bathing near the river. They were smitten by her lovely face and flowing hair. (Continued below after Japanese summary)

乙女の滝

栃木県那須塩原市にある「乙女の滝」。この間の3連休で見に行ってきました。幅約5メートル、落差約10数メートルの美しい滝で、緑そして綺麗な空気に囲まれました♪ マイナスイオンに浴びせられ、癒されました♪ ちなみに、滝の名前の由来にはいくつかの説があるようですが、滝壷に若い人魚が現れたという説に納得です^^ 紅葉になってもう一度行きたい場所でした^^

Gently falling water. 穏やかな落水。

Gently falling water. 穏やかな落水。

But then one day, she was gone. One of the villagers swore he saw her swimming down the river, transformed into a mermaid. Some were not convinced, but the entire village remembered how beautiful she was. And so they named the waterfall “Otome-no-taki”, the Virgin Waterfall.

And that, folks, is the story I made up regarding the naming of the waterfall :) It is a combination of several explanations as to why it was named the way it was. According to some, it was because a beautiful blind girl used to bathe there, or that the falling water reminded people of a girl’s long hair, or that there was actually a mermaid sighted there. Some believed it was a blind snake that had metamorphosed into a waterfall. Whatever the reason, the Otome waterfall is very pretty, a pleasure to look at.

A wider view. 滝のある風景。

A wider view. 滝のある風景。

We went there in mid-September. The leaves have not yet taken on their autumn colors. But it was good in the sense that there were very few visitors so we enjoyed leisurely gazing at and photographing this part of the forest.

Below is a photo of my husband down by the foot of the waterfall. I think it’s a good way to gain perspective on the size of the fall. It isn’t very big. In fact, it’s quite cute :)

My husband went down the rocks to shoot. 主人は滝の足元に降りて撮影。

My husband went down the rocks to shoot. 主人は滝の足元に降りて撮影。

There was a pathway going further down the forest. We did not venture all the way down, but took some photos of the scenery nearby.

The air was so clean and fresh there. It was a very peaceful and relaxing spot. I can’t wait to go back there when the autumn tints are in their brilliant splendor!

When to Go

The Nasu highlands is a very popular place during autumn, when the forest leaves turn to gold. But one of my husband’s colleagues, who had been there during the peak of 紅葉 (“kouyou” or fall foliage), warned that it was so crowded the cars were congested for miles and miles, and it was nearly impossible to park anywhere near the famous spots for fall foliage viewing.

If you’re happy enough with the greens, then early autumn would be fine. We went there during a public holiday, in the morning. There were very few people (about 3 or 4 groups in total) who came while we were shooting the scenery.

I feel that summer would be not just too hot, but also too little water. We were able to visit after a lot of rain the previous day. I don’t think there’d be as much water if it hadn’t rained.

How to Get There

Address: 703 Itamuro, Nasushiobara, Tochigi Prefecture
Access: By car. There’s a free parking lot above the waterfall that can hold up to 20 cars.

住所: 栃木県那須塩原市板室703
アクセス: 車で。無料駐車場有(普通車約20台)

I Would Love to Hear from You!

So, what do you think of this article? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the Comments section below.

この記事についてのご意見・ご感想を是非、お聞かせください!コメント欄↓に書きこんで頂けると幸いです!

External Links

Otomo-no-taki 乙女の滝 – page by Nasushiobara City. 那須塩原市の滝に関するページです。

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6 comments

  1. noritan /

    那須周辺は滝が多いところですね。
    中でも乙女の滝はたいていのガイドブックにでてくる有名な景勝地のようです。
    この3連休は天候がよくなかったのですが、奇跡的に晴れた時間帯に観れてラッキーでしたね。

    • コメントありがとうございます!おかげさまで滝を見に行けました♪感謝しています♪ 紅葉もなく雨がたくさん降りましたが、おかげで滝は綺麗に流れていましたね。本当に奇跡の半日の晴れでした。次回は、小春日和と紅葉に囲まれた姿を見たいですよね^^ 次回は是非、他の那須高原の滝も見に行きましょう(^0^)/

  2. Nice early autumn greens. Love the collage! Quite sure this place will look fabulous with the momiji. Hope you can get to see it again, would love to see more pics ;-)

    • Hey Han! Thanks for viewing! I would dearly love to visit this place again surrounded by fall foliage. We had wanted to visit the other falls nearby but the weather turned bad in the afternoon so we gave up. This Otome waterfall was kind of a miracle (that it stopped raining)! That’s why I guess it’s kind of special to me :)

  3. Looks like a just the place for a bath in the summer. I don’t suppose it’s allowed though…hehe.

    • beverlyclaire /

      Hehe, I can imagine the girl who bathed there (and was transformed into a mermaid) thinking the same thing! :D

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